Artificial Intelligence and PR_ What You Need to Know

Artificial intelligence and PR have had a a bit of a wobbly relationship from the beginning.But it has been one of the hottest button topics to hit the PR industry recently. Let’s look at artificial intelligence and its impact on PR — including how it may possibly affect your brand!

Admittedly, most of the buzz surrounding AI and its future implications has been negative. From its potential to steal much needed jobs in popular industries to a potential dependence on its use, most people fear the development of artificial intelligence.

Let’s push pause on the negative possibilities for a second, and focus on AI’s power for positive change and advancement within the public relations industry.

But first of all…

What is Artificial Intelligence Exactly, and How Does It Relate to PR?

Artificial intelligence is the development of computer systems that are able to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence.

In terms of PR, this technology has the potential to:

  • Distribute press releases
  • Create media lists
  • Transcribe audio and video into text
  • Predict media trends
  • Monitor social media

In fact, some PR agencies are already using artificial intelligence to accomplish some of these tasks. Think of some of the popular PR tools that you already use. Buzzsumo, Hootsuite, Trendkite, to name a few, use AI and machine learning to deliver you quality information that enhances how you do your job.

So is this something public relations professionals should fear? Not at all. As noted by The Public Relations & Communications Association, “Our powers of anticipation and responsiveness separate us from machines. It is these skills, not creativity, that will guarantee the future of PR and prevent complete automation”

For instance, you already know how to write an effective press release. You can probably see how your expertise and powers of anticipation help you to write a release that fits each situation. AI is not going to take your place. What it might do is help you distribute that release more effectively.

Far from stealing jobs from capable PR professionals, AI has allowed them to do their jobs better and more efficiently. To ignore AI would in fact be doing a disservice to PR professionals.

Let’s look at some of the ways AI is poised to positively impact the public relations industry.



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1. Automate Menial Tasks

Every industry has the short-straw jobs — as in, you must have drawn the short straw to have this job. AI offers a degree of relief.

Think of all the tasks that pass across a PR professional’s desk in order to keep tan agency on point. This includes scheduling calendars, structuring meeting notes, setting due dates, creating Gantt charts, and sending out follow-ups.

Today, because these tasks are completed by humans, we inevitably deal with plain-old human error. This causes delays, errors, and a whole lot of frustration.

Human error, however, can be eliminated if we implement artificial intelligence to automate these tasks. Left with more time and less stress, PR professionals can increase their productivity.

2. Provide More Precise Insight

Public relations professionals collect a wide range of data, through social media, website traffic, campaign interaction, and the list goes on. It would take years for humans to sift through, draw conclusions on, and effectively use this data.

AI, on the other hand, can analyze this data in a matter of minutes and provide fresh data. PR professionals can then use this data to adapt their approach and improve their success rate.

3. Determine True Influence

Influencers have become an integral part of public relations — using individuals with a strong social media following to influence their audiences in favor of your brand.

In the past, determining influence was based merely on numbers. As this field grows and expands, influence is determined based on more intrinsic factors, such as engagement and audience loyalty.

Artificial intelligence has the power to quickly look through public information — what influencers are meeting with whom, who is on what committee, etc. — and draw upon this data to determine a true level of influence. If and when we start to use AI in this way, we can expect improvement in the way influencers are found and used.

4. Improved Content Options

Data provided by artificial intelligence can help PR professionals to hyper target their audience and speak directly to their wants and needs. With the right data, companies can create content that truly resonates with their audience — and avoid annoying their audience with useless content.

For example AI might show PR professionals that C-suite individuals within companies read blog posts about cloud storage solutions. Knowing this, a cloud storage solution company can create an eBook or white paper that delves into these solutions and offers a comprehensive guide that its audience will eat up.

5. Avert Disaster

You heard me right — AI can help you avoid PR disaster and reputation crisis. Left to their own devices, humans find it’s difficult to predict what’s going to pose a threat to a brand’s reputation. More times than not, we’re left managing a crisis after it’s already been blown out of proportion.

AI, on the other hand, isn’t restrained by human limitations. A machine can analyze hundreds of different factors, including some from social listening, to predict what brand threats are on the horizon. This gives PR professionals time to create a plan of action to deal with potential situations.

Key Points to Remember…

  • Streamline tasks with AI, and use that time to focus on more important issues
  • Leverage data from artificial intelligence to provide fresh insights
  • Use AI to improve your use of influencer marketing
  • Precision target your audience with the right content, using data from AI

Far from stealing our jobs, AI can make us better at them. The future of artificial intelligence and PR is bright and positive — a future that we should embrace, rather than fear.

How could artificial intelligence improve your job? Let us know in the comments below.

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