I was delighted to be challenged by a new team member recently to pen a blog on Artificial intelligence (AI) and its impacts and implications for our profession.
With a degree of mischievous delight, I simply tapped the following prompt into ChatGPT, the AI-based learning model that generates human-like text in response to questions:
"How is AI impacting public relations and marketing communications?"
This was the response generated:
"AI is having a significant impact on public relations and marketing communications. Here are some ways in which AI is affecting these fields:
- Personalization: AI can help PR and marketing professionals to personalize their communication and tailor it to the specific needs and preferences of their target audience. This includes using data and analytics to gain insights into customer behaviour and preferences, allowing for the creation of targeted messaging and campaigns.
- Automation: AI is being used to automate certain tasks within PR and marketing communications, such as social media posting and email marketing. This saves time and resources, allowing professionals to focus on more strategic tasks.
- Predictive analytics: AI-powered predictive analytics can help PR and marketing professionals to anticipate trends and identify potential issues before they become problematic. This can help to improve the effectiveness of campaigns and reduce the risk of negative publicity.
- Chatbots: Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular in customer service, allowing businesses to automate responses to common queries and provide 24/7 support. This can help to improve customer satisfaction and reduce the workload of PR and marketing teams.
- Media monitoring: AI-powered media monitoring tools can help PR professionals to track mentions of their brand or industry in real-time, allowing them to respond quickly to any issues or opportunities.
Overall, AI is helping PR and marketing professionals to be more efficient, effective, and data-driven in their communication strategies."
Well, that’s that solved then.
The reassuring element about the above is that this is already well-known territory, or (in the case of predictive analytics) is something we are beginning to have regard to. The conclusion, for me anyway, misses the point.
I could have spent a good half an hour or so coming up with the same or similar conclusions about AI and PR. Perhaps having trawled the web for articles or research which backed up, or challenged, my assumptions.
But I didn’t have to because Chat GTP did the heavy lifting for me.
And there’s the rub. A lot of this is about speed.
The content we’ve got. What AI does is opens a new way to access it, design it and target it so that it engages the desired audience effectively and at the appropriate point in the process (in the case of this blog, right at the start).
And, within that, there’s a new element in terms of AI’s impact on our current norms in terms of workflow.
An article in Forbes from February, ‘How AI Will Forever Change The Face Of Corporate Communications And PR’ by Greg Matusky, MD of a leading US agency, nailed it.
The real value hinges upon AI’s ability to fundamentally change the workflow of communications and communicators, offering a more structured process that ultimately delivers faster and higher-quality outcomes for the organisations we serve.
Practically, the implications are deeper. What AI will do is stretch us as professional communicators in terms of our skill sets – in crude terms, we will all need to become tech savvy.
And in my attempt to become AI-savvy, I’ve looked at a few AI tools to get a sense of how they fit into the work that we do. The list below is not comprehensive. New AI tools are being launched every day, and if we had to keep up with them, I’d be writing this article forever.
Copy AI analyses your existing content and creates new content that mirrors the style and tone of your original content. It can write new content and suggest improvements to existing content. It can even generate content for ads, websites, blogs and even LinkedIn posts.
Copywriting tool Jasper is trained to write original and creative content for websites, blogs, social media, reports and emails. It is plagiarism free, and the premium version can write stories and even books.
Surfer SEO helps optimize content for search engines by comparing your pages to those that are currently at the top of search engine results. It analyses your pages based on your keywords and tells you how to revise your content for SEO. This tool continues to optimise content even after publishing.
Grammarly is a writing assistant that could help marketers write a lot of good quality content quickly. It checks your content for mistakes, simplifies your wordy sentences, and offers suggestions to make your content more engaging. All this as you are writing.
As brilliant as these tools are, their success depends authentic data, human creativity and empathy. We’ll – as Matusky puts forward – be talking to a machine before the machine talks to our intended audiences, as AI absorbs the data, insight and nuance we humans have provided, but also helps us produce a better product. That makes me feel excited, but also reassured. We will still need the human touch.
Kindly call off your robot slayers. For now.