Tech public relations

Does AI have a place in PR?

By September 15, 2023 No Comments

We recently held a team meeting with a focus on AI. Working in the tech sector, we know that AI is all the rage and most of us already use it in our daily lives when we communicate with people, shop online, or relax in front of the TV at home. As public relations experts, we discussed the ways AI can be helpful to us and strengthen the great work we do. We also looked at the ways it can be damaging and cause issues for us and our clients. As AI continues to soar, the public relations industry is now in a position to decide how to use it to our advantage while at the same time using it responsibly. 

The Sky’s the Limit – Sort of
AI can be incredibly helpful when it comes to pulling research and completing the humdrum tasks that nobody really enjoys doing. However, we have to remember that there isn’t actually a real person behind the screen, and at some point, there is a data cutoff. For example, the knowledge pool of tools like ChatGPT only goes back so far. If you ask a question about something or someone, you will not always get a complete answer. This isn’t to say that these tools lack total value, they just need to be used in conjunction with other tools to ensure you’re seeing the entire picture. 

Another favorite way to use AI is for self-education and scaffolding purposes. I love asking ChatGPT to teach me about something like I’m a child, and then build up to the more complex explanations. Laying the groundwork can be super helpful when trying to make sense of new information — but again, you have to take into account that the information you are learning might not be 100% accurate. It’s always best to double-check and cross-reference using additional sources. 

PR pros already use AI in many of our analytical tools like Google Analytics and MuckRack’s, and these tools are incredibly useful. We are able to better service our clients with these kinds of AI tools, allowing us to operate more efficiently and productively. 

Navigating Uncharted Territory
Some are apprehensive when it comes to AI, as change can be scary. The fear of humans being replaced by robots is probably a bit far-fetched, but there is value in knowing when a human brain is needed for the job. There have been a few recent cases where companies have leaned too heavily on AI and got burned. Earlier this year, CNET was forced to issue corrections after publishing incorrect information sourced from generative AI tools. In addition to worrying about incorrect content, things start to get murky when plagiarism becomes a question. Obviously, these types of mistakes can be costly and negatively impact the larger brand as well as individual reputations and client relationships. 

AI isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so it’s probably best to familiarize yourself with it. The key is finding that balance between utilizing it as an enhancement and not a replacement. At the end of the day, our savvy PR brains are priceless and there isn’t a smart technology out there that can replace the strong foundations that exist between us and our clients.