Updated: Nov 22
PR is one of the newest industries to adopt AI technology. Frequently associated with clichés such as "The Terminator" and "The Matrix," AI is one of the best tools for automation to assist humans with various tasks. AI has evolved from ‘doing what is asked’ to ‘being programmed to perform tasks autonomously’. In PR, AI offers brands limitless potential through big data, intelligent automation and machine-powered predictions that can significantly increase revenue and also reduce costs. Even though AI has multiple advantages, it does have limitations, especially during a crisis.
Lacks Empathy and Social Skills
Even though AI can, without a doubt, process large amounts of data, it still fails to pass the turning test- which measures how ‘human-like’ of a conversation can AI technology comprehend. AI technology fails to hold a genuine 1 on 1 conversation, which can be a determining factor during a crisis.
Lacks Storytelling and Emotional Intelligence
While dealing with a crisis, PR’s two fundamental standpoints to approach a relationship between the client, the media, and their audience are - trust and storytelling. AI might make our lives easier by automating various mundane tasks, but it still cannot automate trust and create a story necessary to touch the human mind. Let’s look at an example of how AI and a human touch can work hand in hand during a crisis.
At the beginning of a crisis, a PR professional can use AI technology to efficiently track all the media outlets in which the case or topic has appeared. One of the simplest ways to do so is to add crisis-specific keywords on ‘Google Alert’ and the software will automatically notify you when and where the article has popped up on the net. The strategy to overcome the crisis can be a collective effort- data from AI and human intelligence and human touch to responses which will connect better with the audience. To understand the emotional response behind the comments of individuals, a joint effort of a PR pro and machine learning can help create a personal response. In order to track and evaluate the impact of the crisis strategy, various AI technology which uses media tracking tools can be used.
All this said, AI is one of the best advancements to be added and adopted in the PR industry. AI helps reduce monotonous and mundane tasks such as media tracking, media reports, etc., which lets PR pros focus on other important aspects of public relations such as writing creative ad copy, client servicing, pitching etc. The bottom line is the PR industry should not consider AI and automation tools as a permanent replacement for PR professionals since who better understands human beings and the ‘public’ than other human beings? What do you think?