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How AI is Changing PR

How AI is Changing PR

When you hear the words “artificial intelligence”, what pops into your head? You might start thinking about the countless Hollywood movies where robots take over the world (I Robot, The Terminator).

Or perhaps you think about the Instagram ad on your feed for the same Caribbean resort you were Googling on your lunch break.

You probably don’t think of this 2015 study that predicted artificial intelligence can be implemented in every industry, and 45% of tasks currently done by humans could become automated.

So how will public relations be affected by the machine invasion? Currently, artificial intelligence and public relations don’t often find themselves in the same conversation. So we’ve come up with a few ways we see AI changing PR, and some tips on how to ensure you’re not left behind like WALL-E.

Data collection

Artificial intelligence has made it so much easier to gather consumer data. Data is any company’s best resource. No information is ever too much when trying to understand your customers and prospects. AI has made it much easier to understand buyer habits, behaviors, beliefs, interests, and motivations.

One example of this can be seen through Facebook. As you may be well aware, Facebook monitors everything you do on their site. They use this information to tailor your feed to what they think you want to see. This has allowed Facebook users to avoid “clutter content” released by brands for marketing purposes. However, this also means that it’s harder for brands to advertise on Facebook without coughing up some cash (learn more about Facebook advertising). The good news is that when they do commit to advertising, Facebook has AI-light technology (tied to its ad pixel) that helps brands learn more about how users engage with the ad campaign and gets better at targeting the right audience over time.

Trend Watching

There’s no longer a need to spend hours watching trends and metrics. Artificial intelligence has eliminated manually creating spreadsheets, handwritten notes, and data entry. Instead, artificial intelligence can instantly do all the tracking and monitoring for you, leaving you more time to determine what this data actually means, and how to best incorporate it to help reach your business goals. Indeed, solutions like Trendkite have harnessed the power of AI and Big Data to monitor industry conversations and spot emerging trends.

More Value-Added Consulting

Before you start planning your exit from the PR industry, rest assured that AI has actually made the need for human PR professionals even more necessary. Creativity is one of the areas of PR that will see significant improvements because of AI. As is big-picture strategic consulting. The less time you spend searching for content on Google and studying data means more time spent figuring out creative and innovative solutions to client problems. Focusing on value-added services like ‘big-picture’ strategy and creativity will keep your skills as a PR professional relevant for years to come. At least until Terminators start roaming the earth or we get overrun by a zombie apocalypse.

So, our conclusion is that no matter how smart a computer is at analyzing data, it will never be able to add the emotional  element of what it means to be human. Think of it like this – your Spotify playlist can create a playlist based on past likes and dislikes but it will never know how you will react emotionally to a given performer or style of music.  

In short, staying on top of and fluent in new AI technology while focusing on how to add the human ‘je ne sais quoi’ will keep you relevant and in demand in the increasingly competitive PR industry.

About Eddie Fitzgerald: Eddie is a senior at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, and Swyft’s Denver PR intern. He is moving to Denver after graduation, and is looking forward to experiencing the world of public relations in the Mile High City. As Swyft’s Denver PR Intern, he utilizes social media, blogging, and tech PR activities to support clients. Swyft is a tech PR firm in Austin, Austin, Denver, and Antwerp that provides PR services and trade show PR support for tech companies around the world. Some of the their services include media relations, content and inbound marketing, CPC campaigns, and marketing automation consulting.

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