The impact of AI on the Public Relations industry

In the fast-paced, ever-changing landscape of public relations, the question of AI overtaking the role of the PR professional arises. But, is the technology really there yet?

Victoria Sowerby | Posted 1 month ago

With new research from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) finding that up to 40% of tasks performed by PR professionals are now assisted by AI tools[i], it begs the questions of our future. Will job displacement be a reality, and will ChatGPT be the generator for developing campaign strategies, writing press releases, and evaluating results?

The ability of AI to sift through vast amounts of data to summarise research, support with media monitoring and evaluate analytics can only be applauded as a supportive tool to PR professionals. But it is only ‘supportive’. As the CIPR’s ‘Humans needed more than ever’ article outlines, we now have new roles and opportunities related to fact-checking and ethical decision making. Humans must intervene, edit, cross-check sources and verify assertions.[ii]

An over-reliance on AI in PR raises concerns about the loss of human creativity and intuition. While AI can analyse information and generate content at speed, it lacks the human touch, and the ability to empathise with audiences. So, for an industry where the foundations are built on relationships and communication, overlooking the human element in favour of technological efficiency will lead to a loss of authenticity and connection with target groups.

At Clearsilver, we pride ourselves on our long-standing relationships with clients, and that human-to-human interaction that’s so important to an individual, or a brand’s needs. As an agency that specialises in the not-for-profit, charity and parenting sectors, cutting corners on the ‘human element’ isn’t an option. We work hard to build our relationships; relationships that have resulted in award-wins due a deeper level of understanding of the client, their objectives, and their required outcomes of a campaign. With AI unable to think for itself outside of the code, and without a conscience, it’s unable to satisfy the deeper nuances required.

In conclusion, AI is still far from replacing the PR professional. However, we must be realistic about the future of AI, and continue to educate ourselves on the tools available. But, for now, AI for public relations is just that, ‘tools’ to enhance a professional’s capabilities, but not at the expense of replacing the human element that is vital for the industry.

It is, after all, called public relations.

Disclaimer: elements of research for this article were generated using AI; the content and fact-checking is original.

[i] CIPR Newsroom

[ii] Humans needed, more than ever. An analysis of the use of AI in PR and the impact on public relations work

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