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AI in PR: what don’t we know?

AI in PR: what don’t we know?

This year, pretty much everyone has been talking about Artificial Intelligence and how it’s going to change lives, jobs and businesses. The PR and communications industry is no exception, and a consensus is emerging in terms of how this is likely to evolve, with the common thread being that AI is – for now at least – broadly viewed as a beneficial, user-friendly, and productivity-enhancing tool, rather than a threat or replacement.

 

Although these viewpoints make sense, there are a couple of other important areas that are often overlooked or underestimated when it comes to considering the implications of AI in PR and communications:

 

 

  1. Eyes on the market: While articles often highlight the ease and workload-reduction benefits of using AI, its vital role in trend identification like curating news for daily briefings and generating pitch ideas that are always relevant, is often overlooked, representing a missed opportunity when it comes to creative tasks.

 

  1. Beware bias: While it’s widely acknowledged that AI has limits, there are few discussions about the unseen biases and constraints influencing its applications. For example, a recent article in Forbes, highlights ‘anthropocentric bias’ as one such issue, suggesting that humans may resist AI in tasks traditionally linked to humans. Therefore, understanding how to use AI effectively is essential to avoid potential pitfalls like content duplication, prejudices, and ethical considerations.

 

  1. Legal and Ethical: The ethical use of AI in PR is mentioned briefly in some articles, but a more in-depth exploration is needed. Although most have made a strong distinction between AI as a tool and a human replacement, legal and ethical challenges surrounding AI remain, especially in fact-checking, transparency, potential plagiarism, and its lack of regulation.

 

  1. Journalist relationships: While some articles touch on the importance of maintaining good relationships with journalists, this topic deserves more attention. AI can assist, but it’s crucial to remember that journalists are humans. Building and nurturing authentic, interpersonal relationships with them remains a vital aspect of PR that cannot (and should not) be replaced by a machine.

 

To effectively integrate AI in the day-to-day practices of the PR industry, we must thoroughly consider and understand its potential, its impact and its wider implications.

 

A lot has been said on this topic already, but it’s clear we’re all still very much at the beginning of our journey with AI. Giving deeper thought to some of the more overlooked aspects of this technology will be essential if we are to embrace this successfully in the years ahead.