AI In PR: The Future of Communications

Published On: April 22nd, 2024Categories: UncategorizedBy

The team at Black Vanilla recently attended a number of insightful AI sessions organised by the Digital Summit, the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and the Institute of Directors (IoD). Each of these sessions offered a thorough examination of how artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising different sectors, including the public relations industry and provoked debates about the implications for ethics and business. 

Our Senior Account Manager, Katy, shares her insights after attending an engaging session organised by the PRCA.

There were a lot of interesting takeaways from the recent ‘AI in PR’ session which focused on the use of AI in communications, emphasising how PRs can use generative AI technologies to boost productivity and enhance reporting, data analysis, content development and strategic planning. I’ve summarised some of my key highlights below.

1. Upskilling for AI Integration: A common topic from these sessions is how crucial it is for staff members upskill in order to fulfil the demands of AI integration. Businesses must place a high priority on developing the skills required to properly use AI technology at all organisational levels as AI is integrated into PR strategies more and more. Investment is essential and various speakers pointed out that the organisations that do not give AI the focus it requires will fall behind.  

  1. Navigating Knowledge Gaps: Conversations with industry peers revealed varying viewpoints regarding AI and knowledge gaps. While some see the inability to apply AI as a knowledge gap, others draw attention to the dangers of relying too much on the technology, which can lead to new knowledge gaps of its own. Identifying and addressing these discrepancies and assessing the importance of knowledge gaps in light of easily accessible AI technologies is imperative.
  2. Redefining Core Competencies: The necessity to update PR’s traditional core abilities has grown since the introduction of AI. As AI takes on jobs like content creation and data analysis, PR professionals will need to diversify their education and training to accommodate the ability to successfully prompt and utilise AI tools effectively. We expect job descriptions to change quite quickly over the coming 12 months and beyond, with the inclusion of basic competency levels for various AI tools.
  3. Ethical Considerations: As AI technologies become increasingly integrated into PR practices, it’s essential to navigate ethical considerations, particularly concerning data privacy and authenticity in corporate communications. PR professionals must ensure transparency in AI usage and uphold ethical standards when utilising AI tools in client interactions and corporate messaging. It is critical to apply human intelligence to every step of AI usage, not only to check for factual accuracy or bias, but also understand when it is appropriate, or not, to utilise the technology.
  4. Industry Dynamics: Examining the integration of AI in various industries indicates differences in acceptance rates and obstacles. Conventional sectors, like banking, may encounter additional challenges when implementing AI technologies due to their less modernised approach to business. Comprehending these dynamics is essential to optimising artificial intelligence’s potential in a variety of industries. Having clear objectives for the technology is essential, along with the business case for its application and an understanding of the implications of rolling it out to staff, customers and other stakeholders.

It’s clear from attending these workshops that there is a tangible enthusiasm for the exciting potential presented by AI technology and its application in the field of public relations. However, this excitement is matched with concerns about how it will really work in practice and what this means for the industry long term. Regardless, it is essential that PR practitioners embrace these developments and proceed cautiously with them, maintaining ethical behaviour whilst harnessing the potential that generative AI tools offer.

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