ChatGPT and the need for tech PR to be more human than ever

Article by:Ilona Hitel


The PR industry is seeing questions and challenges raised by the advent of generative AI and ChatGPT. If, like me, you were around in 2008 with the advent of social media, the scale of questions it raises and shock waves feels similar when it comes to PR’s role in business. 

The same dependency and questions were in the media as late as 2015 — hard to believe when you consider how social media is now widely accepted as a PR add-on. As we now know, it simply sits alongside news journalism and optimises the process, be it for amplifying stories, building media relationships or influencer engagement.

Yet Generative AI has been creating similar waves of fear in the industry, which is strange given the complementary nature of its capabilities. Being typically more about words and ideas, it seems PRs aren’t known for the way they embrace new tech and therefore the natural instinct is to fear change. Yet an hour a day spent on research and using new tech to enhance our services is a no-brainer. PRs should be thinking about creating more superior campaigns as a result of using AI to research, and dig deep into the web’s rich tapestry of influencer contacts and measurement of them.

What does chatgpt think?

I asked ChatGPT itself if it was a threat to PR and actually couldn’t have put it better myself.

“ChatGPT and similar language models like it have the potential to be powerful tools for various applications, including customer support, content generation, and personal assistants. However, it is unlikely that they will completely replace human professionals in fields like public relations (PR).

Public relations involves building relationships, managing reputation, and strategically communicating with various stakeholders. While language models can assist in tasks such as drafting press releases, monitoring social media, or generating content, they may not possess the nuanced understanding, empathy, and creativity required for effective PR.

Human professionals in PR bring their expertise, judgment, and interpersonal skills to the table, allowing them to navigate complex situations, anticipate potential issues, and tailor their communication to specific audiences. They can also provide strategic counsel and insights that go beyond what a language model can offer.

While language models can be valuable tools to support PR professionals in their work, it is more likely that they will augment and enhance their capabilities rather than fully replacing them. Human judgment and expertise will continue to play a crucial role in PR, especially in managing sensitive or high-stakes situations.”

Spot on. Rather than get bogged down in pre-written or canned content, we can improve the level of research and creativity for stories, and use AI for relevant help. If anything, PRs need to be more human than ever before and use the time to grow contacts and pitch people with targeted ideas and news. This can only improve standards in our industry. 

So, ChatGPT: I say bring it!


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