What does AI mean for PR?

What does AI mean for PR?

If your PR content strategy doesn’t include the use of AI as part of your franchise marketing plan, you’re already behind.

The use of artificial intelligence in creating consumer-facing public relations content is accelerating and you need to be on board. Franchises have long understood the importance of public relations in building brand reputation, and the use of this new technology can help you do it faster with a variety of tools to reach a more targeted audience.

To be clear, we aren’t talking about a cybernetic Arnold Schwarzenegger writing a press release, but rather using AI as a partner to assist in generating content for your franchise company. AI can assist in the creation of blogs, social media posts, media pitches, email marketing, talking points, outlines, event plans and data analysis.

The use of AI for creating content is only limited by your own ideas in how you want to implement them. But while AI has already advanced significantly in the last few years, it still is limited in the quality of content it produces.

So, don’t expect ChatGPT to replace any of your content writers. Envision this as more of a technological partnership with a human at the wheel.

The Transformation

While AI’s use for content creation has been around for a few years, it wasn’t until large-language-model systems were recently released that their use became more available and usable to agencies and PR professionals.

ChatGPT, one of the most popular language models, was developed by OpenAI and burst into our world in late 2022. The program is an AI-powered conversational program that’s been trained on vast amounts of text data and designed to interact with users in a natural, human-like manner. Users are meant to feel like they’re having a text conversation.

Bard, BERT, GPT-4, LaMDA, Llama, Orca and PaLM are also language models. But it was ChatGPT that largely took center stage. These programs excel at tasks like generating content, answering questions, doing research, generating code, translating language and content generation.

As more information is entered into these systems, the more they learn and the more sophisticated they become. But they also have their drawbacks and those using these programs need to be wary of what they produce.

AI language models are only as good as the information they are provided. This means there can be a lot of drawbacks. Some of these drawbacks can include inaccurate or made-up data, so data should always be confirmed through outside sources. The data can also be biased based on gender, race or culture since it is dependent upon the information it is provided. In the case of ChatGPT, that information ends in 2021. Its creators limited training to information available on the Internet through that year.

AI Uses in PR

The use of AI in PR isn’t limited to generating content alone.

Large PR companies are developing their own tools and using generative AI to focus on real-time results.

Edelman, a PR industry leader and trust authority, launched its “Trust Management Platform” earlier this year to measure real-time results on how consumers view the company. It can sort data based on a number of demographics in real time to see which audiences trust them the most and how that trust can fluctuate based on news coverage.

Other companies are also developing tools to target specific journalists, create pitches, address public sentiment and create chatbots for customer service.

While sophisticated, the technology isn’t infallible and should be used cautiously. But not using it and incorporating it into your workflow will leave you behind as the technology advances.