Public relations has always been an essential part of any business. It is the process of managing the relationship between a company and the public. And while the basics of public relations remain the same, artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way it is done. AI can help companies to better understand their customers, and it can also help to create more effective PR campaigns.
In this article, EloQ Communications will address how AI is changing the PR industry, and discuss whether or not it brings a threat to the career of PR practitioners.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
AI is a process whereby a computer system can learn how to do things that normally require human intelligence, such as recognizing objects and sounds, understanding natural language, and making decisions.
There is a lot of talk about artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on various industries, and public relations is no exception. According to ICCO’s World PR Report 2021- 2022, AI (53%) and data science (40%) are the top two most relevant technologies in the future of the PR industry. The underlying machine learning technology can be complicated, and many tend to be taken back upon hearing the word “AI”. But our first advice is: Don’t think that AI is out of your league!
(Source: ICCO World PR Report 2021 – 2022)
In the context of public relations, AI is being utilized to automate repetitive tasks such as media monitoring, managing social media, creating coverage reports, and analyzing big data for better decision-making. Let’s find out how AI is being utilized in the PR industry in the following section.
How to apply AI to the public relations industry?
1. Leverage data-driven campaigns and improve decision making
One of the perks of applying AI in the public relations industry is that it can help with the analysis of data and leverage PR’s analytical functions, which were perceived to be lacking in comparison with the marketing industry.
By integrating AI, PR practitioners can extract data from the Internet, from there on, identify trends and understand what the public is interested in. Insights drawn from AI can be used to draft campaign direction, and aid the company decision-making related to their objectives, target audience, key message, communications channel, etc.
- In content creation, AI can identify important keywords and headlines to capture the audience’s interest.
- When choosing influencers, AI can skim through data to find influencers that meet brands’ requirements in only a few seconds.
AI can also improve PR measurement because AI-powered tools not only collect data but can also analyze and produce evaluations. PR builds the firm’s reputation, and its impact has always been more difficult to measure than that of sales/marketing/advertising. AI could step in to solve this problem and demonstrate the true value of PR activities.
2. Automate repetition-based tasks
PR companies now can apply AI into their day-to-day operation and put an end to daunting repetitive tasks. With a zero error rate, AI can generate coverage reports, draft emails out of a press release, covert speech-to-text during media interviews with Natural Language Processing (NPL), customize media and influencer lists, email tracking, update databases, etc. With AI in place, PR practitioners can increase their efficiency, which allows them to work on more complex tasks such as strategizing campaigns or building media relations. Imagine all the time that can be saved by automating the mentioned boring tasks.
3. Analyze real-time online conversations and predict potential crises
AI has also been integrated into public relations to monitor online communities. AI makes it easier for PR professionals to figure out the tone of real-time conversations on social media and conduct statistical analysis accordingly to make reliable predictions about any potential crises looming on the horizon. This information can then be used to roll out immediate actions and adjust PR campaigns accordingly. It gives more flexibility and adaptability. Additionally, AI can help companies better understand customer sentiment. This can be used to improve customer service and create more effective marketing strategies.
4. Generate hyper-personalized content
Have you ever heard of AI-written content? AI-powered content tools can create highly personalized stories, so brands can apply these tools to personalize email content, build chatbots for company websites, suggest relevant content for consumers, create custom media pitches for journalists based on their past interests, and many more.
Would AI threaten PR practitioners’ jobs?
There’s a heated debate on whether AI would threaten career opportunities for PR practitioners as it can automate and outperform human power in so many tasks. But in our opinion, there’s no need to worry.
Technology cannot replace human relationships in an industry that is driven by it. It’s true that AI can help you generate content, draft out press releases, or sort highly accurate media lists, but it cannot take journalists to lunch or convince C-level executives on conducting interviews.
AI brings automation, acceleration, and accuracy to PR’s work product. While AI can perform its function and eliminate all human errors, it requires PR professionals to guide where AI comes into use. For example, content creation bots rely on data and structure to create content. Hence, they lack the feel and flow of a content piece. To a certain extent, they need human input and proofreading to guide the content in the right direction. So at the end of the day, AI can only replace repetitive tasks or non-human interaction functions. It cannot replace the core nature of the PR industry, that is, building relationships with the company’s stakeholders. Therefore, applying AI would not threaten career opportunities in the PR industry, but instead, it would be a boost for the PR industry to grow faster.
To sum up, AI can help to improve the effectiveness of public relations campaigns. Many Vietnamese companies, especially the digital marketing industry, have integrated AI-powered applications and partnered with AI developers to improve their service performances. And for public relations in Vietnam, AI has provided reliable media monitoring and sentiment analysis. In the future, AI is expected to grow in popularity and play an increasingly important role in this field.
Hanh Le, Assistant to Managing Director at EloQ Communications, a leading PR and marketing agency in Vietnam. Hanh is supporting EloQ in connecting and maintaining relationships with partner agencies in Asia and other global PR networks to execute global projects, as well as to leverage service quality in the communications industry.