A woman talking to journalists with a AI driven hand helping her

13 Ways AI Will Impact Public Relations Over the Next Decade

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, it will significantly impact public relations. AI for Public Relations can help manage and monitor communications, identify potential crises, and provide strategic recommendations.

The current situation is the classic epoch shift in a technology challenge to an established industry. With Public Relations being so “relationship-driven” and the human element is central to industry, where could AI fit into this model?

  1. The public relations industry is changing. 
  2. Professionals who don't adapt will be left behind. 
  3. PR and AI offer a revolutionary way to learn about the new face of coming industry standards and provide the perfect opportunity to stay ahead of the curve.

AI has the potential to revolutionize the way Public Relations professionals manage communications, identify crises, and provide strategic recommendations. With so many benefits, it's no wonder that AI is poised to change the PR landscape over the next decade. Unfortunately, current practitioners who don't evolve their workflows to include AI will cause setbacks and ultimate competitive disadvantages.

Here are some ideas on ways AI will impact public relations over the next decade:

  • AI can help identify patterns and trends in data, making it easier to understand what is happening in the media landscape.
  • AI can help Public Relations professionals track media impressions and coverage and analyze sentiment.
  • AI can create targeted media lists for media interviews or releases.
  • AI can help identify potential issues and crises based on open source and company-specific data
  • AI can assist in the development of communication strategies.
  • AI can help with the social media management of social network accounts.
  • AI can generate reports and insights.
  • AI can help monitor brand reputation and media impressions.
  • AI can help with media monitoring and relations.
  • AI can create personalized content for each journalist contacted.
  • AI can provide recommendations for campaign optimization.
  • AI voice assistants can handle simple tasks, freeing PR professionals to focus on more complex tasks.
  • As with all technology, as AI becomes more widely used, it will become more affordable and accessible to small
  • AI can be used to monitor communications across various channels and platforms.
  • AI can help identify potential crises before they happen.
  • AI can provide strategic recommendations for managing communications.
  • AI can help create more personalized messages for target audiences.
  • AI can generate reports on media coverage and analytics.
  • AI can help manage social media accounts by identifying influencers and creating content.
  • AI can monitor online conversations and identify sentiment around a brand or issue.
  • AI can assist with media relations by identifying journalists most likely to be interested in a story.
  • AI can help create targeted pitches for media relations.
  • AI can provide insights into how a campaign performs and make recommendations for changes.
  • AI can help evaluate the effectiveness of marketing and communications campaigns.

OK, let's get this “Artificial Intelligence” thing out of the way

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a wide-ranging branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks that are typically done by human beings.

There is nothing in existence yet reported to be true “artificial intelligence”, with the vast majority of systems being “machine learning” based to allow for Big Data analysis.

AI vs Machine Learning

How many types of AI are there?

According to the current classification systems, there are four primary AI types: Reactive AI, Limited Memory AI, Theory of Mind AI and Self-aware AI.

4 types of artificial intelligence

Reactive AI:

This AI type cannot form memories and only reacts to current conditions. IBM's Deep Blue chess-playing computer is an example of a reactive AI system.

Reactive AI systems are the most basic form of artificial intelligence. These systems cannot store or recall past experiences and only respond to present conditions. Reactive AI systems are often used in simple tasks such as playing chess or completing a Rubik's Cube.

Limited Memory AI:

Also known as semi-autonomous AI, this AI type can remember past events and use that information to inform future decisions. Google's self-driving car is an example of a limited memory AI system.

This AI type can remember and use past experiences to inform current decisions. Google's AlphaGo is an example of a limited memory AI system.

Limited memory AI systems can store and recall past experiences. These systems use this information to inform current decision-making. Limited memory AI systems are often used in more complex tasks such as playing Go or driving a car.

Theory of Mind AI:

This AI type has the ability to understand human emotions and intentions. Theory of mind AI systems are still developing but could eventually be used in mental health, PR, and marketing fields.

This AI type can understand the mental states of other individuals (beliefs, desires, intentions, etc.). Unfortunately, this type of AI does not currently exist but is being researched by data scientists for progress.

Self-aware AI: 

This is the most advanced AI type characterized by its ability to be aware of its own thoughts and feelings. However, self-aware AI systems are still in development and are not yet available commercially.

This AI type has a sense of self and consciousness. Self-aware AI systems are still in development but could eventually be used in fields such as security and robotics.

This AI type is aware of its own existence and can experience emotions, as claimed by a Google Engineer in Summer 2022.

So what types of Machine Learning are there?

There are three primary types of machine learning: Supervised Learning, Unsupervised Learning, and Reinforcement Learning

Supervised learning:

A type of machine learning where the AI system is provided with training data. This data is then used to develop a model that can be used to make predictions on new data. Supervised learning is often used in tasks such as image classification and facial recognition.

Supervised Learning is like:

  • The machine learning model has a mentor
  • the training dataset is like a mentor to guide your learning
  • the training dataset is used to train the machine

Example:

Classification: A machine learning model is trained to classify something into some class.

Real World Examples are:

  • classifying whether a patient has a disease or not
  • classifying whether an email is spam or not

Regression: A machine learning model is trained to predict some value like price, weight, or height.

  • predicting house/property price
  • predicting stock market price

Unsupervised learning:

A type of machine learning where the AI system is not provided with training data. Instead, the AI system must learn from experience. Unsupervised learning is often used in tasks such as clustering and anomaly detection.

  • is like learning without a teacher
  • the machine learns through observation & finds structures in data

Real World Examples are:

Clustering

A clustering problem is where you want to discover the inherent groupings in the data

  • Grouping customers by purchasing behavior which is now done in Google Analytics 4

Association

An association rule learning problem is where you want to discover rules that describe large portions of your data

  • such as people that buy X also tend to buy Y

Reinforcement learning:

A type of machine learning where the AI system is provided with feedback. This feedback is used to reinforce certain behaviors. Reinforcement learning is often used in tasks such as robotics and game playing.

But what does AI for Public Relations mean?

As you can see, AI will likely significantly impact public relations, future press releases, and media relations over the next decade. So if you want to stay ahead of the curve, it's important to start incorporating AI into your Public Relations strategy now.

Here are 13 ways that AI will shape the public relations industry over the next decade:

AI-assisted contact recommendations 

Tools do exist to identify reporters who write about your industry proactively, allowing you to target media most likely to cover your news rather than manually creating traditional media lists on categories and keyword searches.

Data-driven media relations

You can now identify patterns and trends in the media landscape using AI. This helps you to understand what topics are being talked about the most, who is talking about them, and how your company can be involved in these conversations. This analyzing consumer data allows you to create data-driven campaigns allowing for better allocation of your time and resources.

Influencer identification

Tools now exist that can help you identify influencers in your industry using AI. This data management and data analysis allow you to target your outreach and create more efficient and effective campaigns. This will enable you to target your communications more effectively. This lets you target your communications more effectively and build relationships with key opinion leaders.

Journalist Content personalization

By understanding the preferences of individual reporters, you can send them content that is more likely to be of interest to them. Automated press release distribution is a whole feature to use AI to distribute your press releases to relevant media outlets. This saves you time and ensures that your news gets in front of the right people. 

You can now use AI to distribute your press releases to media outlets. This allows you to reach a wider audience with your news.

You can also customize your pitch to each reporter, increasing the chances of getting coverage.

Speech-to-text technology

Using speech-to-text technology can be used to transcribe audio and video interviews and search for keywords in podcasts or press conferences. This allows you to quickly and easily identify relevant information. Video analysis can use AI to analyze video footage of events, such as protests or conferences, to identify critical moments or themes. This allows you to quickly and easily understand complex situations. This area alone will reduce the many everyday tasks of reviewing media for messages.

Predictive analytics

Story angle customization tools are also available through a few PR technology firms that specialize in predictive analytics. For example, AI can help you identify the best time to release a story, which media outlets are most likely to cover it, and even what type of content is most likely to go viral.

Video authenticity monitoring

There are even applications that can be utilized to track “deep fake” videos, which might have a negative influence on your customer's brand reputation. AI can help you monitor social media for these types of videos and take action to have them removed.

Natural language generation

In the first press release written by AI, as demonstrated by the first dispatch produced by AI, machines can generate content with natural language generation (NLG) and translate it into various languages for wider dissemination. In addition, AI-generated press releases can help you save time by automatically creating draft content that can be edited by humans.

Sentiment analysis

AI and natural language processing are also being used to analyze online conversations' sentiments. Advanced sentiment analysis and data sorting on social media postings, news stories, and other forms of content are now possible thanks to tools like these.

This allows you to quickly and easily understand how people feel about your brand, allowing you to take campaign or strategic action accordingly.

Attribution for earned media 

If a potential customer reads an article about your client and then downloads a white paper, you may be able to take advantage of content marketing attribution solutions like Cision Impact and Onclusive, which promise to attribute sales outcomes to earned media coverage. This technology is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to be a game-changer for PR pros.

Crisis management

There are now AI-powered crisis management solutions that can help you identify potential risks and issues before they spiral out of control. These solutions can also help you monitor social media for early signs of a crisis and take action to mitigate the situation.

These solutions are still in their early stages, but they have the potential to be a valuable tool for PR professionals.

AI Media monitoring and analysis

AI can also be used to monitor media coverage and analyze press coverage and social media posts. AI-powered media intelligence solutions like Cision and Meltwater can help you track coverage, identify influencers, and understand the sentiment of online conversations.

This allows you to quickly and easily understand how people feel about your brand, allowing you to take campaign or strategic action accordingly.

This can be used to identify trends, track key messages, and measure the media effectiveness area, saving PR professionals from performing repetitive tasks.

Content curation and creation

AI can also be used to curate and create content. This can be used for brainstorming creative ideas, stimulating creative thinking, creating rich media content like infographics and videos, and writing preliminary press releases and articles. AI-powered content curation and creation tools can help you save time by automatically creating draft content that can be edited by humans.

How To Start Learning AI Today

The best method is to break your learning into background theory frameworks and practice.

Learning Framework

This step is to understand the foundations and fundamentals of AI, not specifically for PR but more generally so concepts can be grasped.

YouTube

Google, which declared itself an “AI first company” in 2017, has produced a great series of videos on both Machines Learning and AI:

This is the first video by the fantastic Cassie Kozyrkov from Google AI team

Making Friends with Machine Learning was an internal-only Google course specially created to inspire beginners and amuse experts. It is now available on YouTube!

Watch these, and you will get the core of what AI & ML really is.

Books

OK, our feelings on books are anything online marketing is out of date before it is published, so it's only the principles it could cover. However, some books that are worth reading on the AI in Marketing topic:

Practical Learning

We at SLX marketing are BIG believers in getting hands-on and playing with new things (nothing like breaking something and making it to learn).

Here is a list of ML marketing tools you can play with today.

Some of these links are affiliate links which allow a small payment to us if you subscribe to the service. This doesn't cost you anymore than going direct and allows us to keep giving away quality content.
  • Jasper.AI – this is a AI copywriting assistant. It covers a wide range of marketing functions like Facebook Ads Headlines and Primary Text, Company Bios, AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) copy, Problem-Agitate-Solution (PAS) copy, Engaging Questions, Short Social Posts, Email Subject Lines, Instagram and TikTok Captions and Content Rewriting. It gives you 10,000 free bonus credits to test the system.
  • Hotpot.ai – visual creative tools that stimulate creativity and automate tasks with art AI. These help you remove backgrounds, create AI art, make personalized art, upscale images, restore pictures, do copywriting, colorize pictures, remove objects, and create NFTs
  • Lumen5.com – combines powerful A.I. with a simple drag-and-drop interface to help you create professional video content in minutes. Templates for content marketing, thought leadership, and brand awareness working on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Includes various tools that Add Text to Video, Cut Video, Merge Video, Compress Video, and Resize Video.

AI in PR Questions To Answer

These are some of the things to think about and questions to answer in the world of PR and AI.

PR & AI Thoughts and Challenges
  1. What is the single most important thing that AI brings to public relations?
  2. How will AI change the way you think about public relations?
  3. What key impacts do you see AI having on public relations in the future?
  4. Are there certain tasks or aspects of public relations that are better suited for AI implementation?
  5. How do you see AI changing the landscape of public relations?

These are just a few of the ways that AI will impact public relations over the next decade. As AI continues to evolve, we can expect even more changes and innovations in the field of public relations.

As you can see, AI will have a significant impact on public relations over the next decade. PR professionals need to start thinking about how they can use AI to their advantage if they want to stay ahead of the curve.

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