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Trends & Insights | Blog

Why AI could be a PR’s best friend

June 8, 2023


With AI set to be one of the biggest tech revolutions of the 21st century, it’s time to consider the impact it’s having on the PR landscape.

Natalie Allen

Senior Account Manager

With AI set to be one of the biggest tech revolutions of the 21st century, it’s time to consider the impact it’s having on the PR landscape. Recent research published by the CIPR found there are now almost 6,000 different technology tools with relevant applications to the communications industry. 

They can be used to initiate, support, augment and challenge PR strategies, but can they replace them? Can an AI research, plan and pitch a campaign better than a seasoned PR pro? Will it use insights and be able to develop nuanced messaging to cut through in a hypercompetitive market? And will it be able to deliver crisis comms in an unfolding human drama?

Creative campaigns

In a bid to find out what AI is currently capable of, I asked ChatGPT a few questions:

Q: Can ChatGPT deliver creative PR campaigns?

It's important to note that creativity is a subjective and human-driven process that involves various factors such as emotions, intuition, and experience.

Q: Can ChatGPT deliver a successful PR pitch?

As an AI language model, I can certainly help you craft a PR pitch, but please note that its success ultimately depends on various factors such as the target audience, the specific context, and the quality of the pitch itself. I'll do my best to assist you, but it's important to tailor the pitch to your specific needs and consider additional guidance from PR professionals or experts in your industry.

Q: How can AI ensure that my PR campaigns are ethical and responsible?

While AI can be a valuable tool in promoting ethical and responsible PR campaigns, it's important to remember that human oversight and judgement are still essential. PR professionals should exercise critical thinking, review AI-generated suggestions, and make final decisions based on their expertise and ethical considerations.

These answers show that even bots agree that the human element is a key component in many elements of a PR professional’s role – particularly when it comes to assessing and understanding cultural nuances, regional wit and the potential overall efficacy of a brand campaign.

The best ways to use AI in PR 

While AI is currently lacking many of the more human skills a good PR pro brings to the table, it can be used as a tool to save time. 

For example, when asked if it could help write a crisis communications statement, ChatGPT came back with a useful framework:

When developing a crisis communications statement, it's crucial to prioritise transparency, empathy, and a clear plan of action. Here's a general template to get you started:

  • Acknowledge the situation
  • Express empathy and concern
  • Provide information and context
  • Communicate your actions
  • Reiterate your commitment
  • Provide contact information
  • Monitor and adapt

Remember, this template is a starting point, and it's crucial to customise the statement to fit your specific crisis and organisational context.

By becoming a leading role in areas like admin, research and planning, AI will create more capacity for top PR minds to focus on higher levels of consultancy and creative thinking for clients.  

The future of AI in PR

At its core, PR and press office operations are still about strong and meaningful human-to-human interactions, and that will be incredibly difficult to replicate or replace – even with advanced technology. 

According to PRWeek’s Media Relations Redefined white paper, 75% of media relations professionals keep a handful of tools at their disposal for activities such as coverage tracking and KPI measurement. However, respondents emphasised that the critical element is the ‘human touch’ in a press office. That’s real people driving the strategy, maintaining relationships, and telling the brand story. 

Over the next few years, a considered and shrewd approach to AI will enable PRs to deliver a higher level of consultative and strategic thinking for brands and clients. It will act as a time-saving tool when it comes to formulating and fleshing out ideas, rather than a replacement for strong pitches and human-led storytelling.

What’s next?

This is an exciting time for the PR industry. It may take a while for everyone to jump on board, but there’s scope for communications professionals to take on a far more consultative role and focus on driving results and success with the help of AI.

There’s a great opportunity to harness the capabilities of AI and use them to elevate industry skills, knowledge and outputs even further. Watch this space to see how we apply AI and other emerging technologies at Battenhall.

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