The fascination with computers and artificial intelligence (AI) is deeply rooted in our culture, especially in the entertainment industry. Many films play on the fear angle to show how technology could take over the world in the future. The common message in many of these stories cautions us not to rely too heavily on technology to solve our problems.
What exactly is artificial intelligence?
In simple terms, AI refers to systems or machines that mimic human intelligence to perform tasks and can improve themselves based on the information they collect. AI is more about the process and the capability for superpowered thinking and data analysis than it is about any format or function. AI isn’t intended to replace humans. It’s intended to significantly enhance human capabilities and contributions, making it a very valuable business asset.
How AI impacts us every day
There are so many amazing ways AI impacts our daily lives. Trying to imagine a life without artificial intelligence is hard to do. Whether we’re trying to read our emails, get driving directions, or even get music or movie recommendations, AI can help keep us on track. And many times, we don’t even realize how much we’re already using it. For this blog, I wanted to focus on AI as it relates to public relations and, more specifically, writing copy.
AI’s use in the business world has increased tremendously, and it is now utilized for market research, customer service replies, marketing campaigns, strategic planning, and many other purposes. Much of the media we consume is tailored to align with our thoughts and opinions. This data is collected and tailored for us based on what we engage with. According to Forbes, “With real-time data being used as an asset, professionals in the PR and media industries are able to provide their audience with content they want, rather than content they find annoying.” The beauty in this is that AI allows PR professionals to target niche audiences with specific content and advertisements tailored for them.
Some in the PR industry have been slow to adopt artificial intelligence for fear that it would result in job loss and redundancy. And while this may be true in some instances, it is not the rule. Sure, AI might close some doors, it is more likely to open many more in the long run.
How public relations and communications professionals use AI
AI can improve an organization’s PR efforts by providing tools that tap into a target audience’s hearts and minds. It has the potential to improve content marketing efforts through SEO optimization, improved audience personalization and calculating audience response.
AI can help uncover stories that specific reporters at certain outlets may be interested in for those in media relations. Many PR pros already use AI in the services they use to conduct monitoring, website analytics, social listening and more. The tech in this area is growing exponentially. Some systems assert to analyze past reporter behavior, predict the success of a campaign, and even make suggestions to modify future press releases that will grab and hold your audiences’ attention.
In media monitoring, AI can suggest related topics that you might want to include (or exclude) in your monitoring. If you’re using a service for image (rather than text) monitoring, it’s likely using AI to power that search.
The benefits of AI in public relations are numerous, with new applications being discovered every week as the technology advances and evolves in response to ever-changing business demands.
One of the many benefits of AI in PR is that professionals now have the opportunity to streamline routine workflows. Eliminating the time required to complete many everyday tasks, such as collecting and analyzing consumer data, media monitoring, and social listening can free you up to get more creative in your content creation.
A few other benefits to using AI in communications and PR include:
- Speech-to-text conversion can help for press conferences, media interviews, podcast episodes and conference presentations
- Through natural language processing (NLP), AI has already reached human-level writing and can write about practically anything.
- Translation of audio and text files into multiple languages for broader distribution
- Create custom story angles for journalists based on interests, past coverage, personalities, and trends
When writing longer, more complex stories, AI can help jumpstart the writing process and free up time for tasks best suited for humans, like storytelling. Something AI doesn’t have is a sense of narrative, which is what grabs the readers’ attention. Human participation is still crucial to this communication process, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
How AI writing software can help content creators
And speaking of engaging with your audience, if you’re a content creator, you know how much time it takes to produce quality content. Whether you’re creating blog posts, articles, or even communicating with your audience through social media, it can be a time-consuming process to create content that grabs your readers.
That’s where AI writing software can help. These writing tools can be used in every step of the content creation process – from content ideation and research all the way to your final edits.
While some people may be scared by this technology, it can help you build high-quality work with minimal effort! And when you see everything it can do, it’s no wonder that digital marketing communication is becoming more reliant on algorithms to create effective copywriting.
Of course, AI writing tools can’t replace the talents of your creators; however, they can be used to help you:
- Break the dreaded writer’s block
- Create engaging content for your brand or business
- Create content faster and more efficiently
- Find the perfect keyword that will get you noticed
- Discover the ideal tone for your story
- Create optimized content for specific platforms
When your content creators combine AI with their own creative talents, the benefits of AI software are practically endless. The software has come a long way in recent years. These are some of our favorites:
- Jasper.ai: great overall tool with support for long-form content
- Copy.ai: best free trial we’ve seen with no credit card required
- Bertha.ai: ideal for bloggers who use WordPress (built-in plugin)
- Grammarly: this writing assistant helps spot and correct grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes
All of this potential is wildly exciting, but all the talk of digital transformation and machine learning inevitably leads to questions, as I mentioned earlier: will AI eventually replace PR pros? I think those worries are somewhat overblown. But job losses truly are one of the most common concerns about automation and the application of AI.
While it may appear that artificial intelligence would eliminate jobs, that has not been the case in the public relations sector. Thankfully, PR still relies on human interaction for most major projects, cultivating relationships and offering insights and recommendations on how to leverage the actual data gathered by AI to get the best possible outcome for your customers.
So instead of looking at AI with apprehension, consider all it can do to make you a more efficient worker. It allows public relations professionals to focus on tasks that cannot be automated, like brainstorming creative ideas and deciding what recommendations to make for your clients, versus time-losing repetitive tasks that currently take you away from interactions with your clients.
As AI continues to make our work lives more efficient, more people will come around and see its many benefits. This type of technology is the future, so the time is now to utilize it intelligently to help your organization and, ultimately, the businesses and brands you work on.
Burrelles’ media monitoring provides both automated, software-based measurement and the option for human-verified, qualitative coverage—online and off. Contact us here for more information and to discuss your media monitoring, social listening, or media outreach needs.