AI has completely transformed the way we interact with the world and could soon begin to have an unavoidable effect on the PR industry. But how? And will it be a positive change, or a negative one? Let’s push aside the AI scare mongering for a minute and think logically in terms of predicting what’s on the cards for the future of PR in our rapidly-advancing world.
Job roles will adapt
Let’s not get carried away: the reality is that PR content will forever need an element of personalisation in terms of the ‘human touch’, in order for it to fully connect with readers. Activities such as the creative thought process behind spotting PR opportunities which might not be obvious on the surface of things, cannot be replaced by robots. Rather than worry about losing our jobs, roles will simply adapt to involve AI, and the adoption of AI to assist with certain work can in fact free up our time to concentrate on the tasks we want to.
An example of how AI is already transforming the way we work in the PR industry is that mundane, repetitive tasks such as forming media lists, developing reports and distributing press releases are already fully automated in many agencies. In order to adapt to further automation in the future, we must hone and embrace the skills and attributes that separate us from machines: responsiveness and anticipation, as well as creativity.
Change in content consumption & data processing
We must remember that real-time data as a result of AI is also accessible to PR professionals and can be utilised, allowing them to provide audiences with the content they want, rather than the content they do not wish to see and find irritating. This allows PRs to save time that was previously being wasted on content that they know won’t have a welcome reception from their audiences.
AI speeds up data processing, which means PRs will be able to process their data faster, in turn improving the performance of services. With deeper insight in terms of what customers want, key messaging can be refined to be strong and direct. Access to big data, alongside AI, will help the PR industry better understand different readerships.
With this improved understanding, PR professionals can tailor messages for their audience, fine-tuning according to insight gained through AI and big data. As a result, content can be tailored specifically to individual consumers in real-time, driving better results due to the relevant messaging.
AI will empower decision-making
A major part of working in the PR industry is always been on the lookout for techniques in terms of producing work faster, and making better-informed decisions that help push for results and fulfil objectives.
The combination of more granularity it terms of our goals, increasingly niche audiences, fast-growing industries and high expectations when it comes to communication, all lead to a larger need to reach or exceed these expectations. AI cannot do this for us alone, but it will serve us extremely well in producing the work and, in turn, the results that we want to.
Instead of being feared, AI is something that should arguably be embraced by PR companies because of its potential to improve overall output. PRs should recognise that big data and AI can provide readers with engaging, data-led research on a huge array of topics. Instead of fearing AI, embracing it means that news angles can be experimented with in terms of what the available data can tie in to, and how it can align with target audience messaging.