Three Ways AI Will Help PR in 2018
It’s that time of year again when PR pros are making predictions. And the industry revisits the death of the press release as the need for more creative media relations becomes necessary as newsrooms continue to thin out. Those doing the work face the reality of why paid practices are a must have, the rise of influencer marketing, an increased focus on content distribution, and how new measurement tactics will help redefine ROI for PR.
These predictions, among other tried-and-true trends, seem to resurface every year. And, they’re not wrong. But, for those–like me–who jump at the mention of new tech, the PR trend to watch for 2018 is the incorporation of AI (artificial intelligence) into our everyday publicity work.
3 Main Ways AI Will Help PR
1. Audience Insights
Just as with advancements in data science and machine learning, AI will help companies delve deeper into their target audiences to reach them on a more discreet and personal level. With the ability to predict interests and uncover trends, companies – especially consumer brands – will be able to create more relevant products and services with the buyer experience front and center.
With this level of intel, PR pros can produce more sophisticated campaigns with relevant messaging that corresponds to specific audience segments. PR and comms priorities can align with reality and adapt quickly as markets change. Talk about ensuring the most bang for your buck!
2. Day-to-Day Tasks
A lot of day-to-day tasks that PR teams undertake are crucial to understanding the industry landscape, competitor activities, and new trends, or to demonstrate the success of a campaign and establish benchmarks or records.
But, the amount of time spent on these types of tasks – including news scanning, media monitoring, coverage clipping, social listening, sentiment analysis, reporting, and other similar endeavors – are greatly reduced with the help of AI. There are already services out there for such tasks, but many still require a lot of manual oversight or corrections since the software isn’t quite there yet for the tools to really know what’s relevant and what’s not.
This could all change with AI so that PR pros can get even more time back in their day and use their strategic brains for more creative campaigns and relationship building – the things that lead many of us to join the field in the first place!
3. Social Interactions
When it comes to social interactions, human involvement is obvious. Or is it?
Chatbots are increasing in their capabilities and prevalence as major companies invest in the development. But, for PR, we need to think beyond today’s most common chatbots like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, and typical questions like, “What’s the weather today?”, to fathom an interaction that helps further PR goals of brand awareness and beyond.
AI advancements are helping create smarter chatbots that are paving the way for PR pros to help further conversations on behalf of brands in a relevant way.
The easiest place to imagine this is on social media where chatbots could interact intelligently with relevant hashtags, or respond to comments or direct messages on a company’s behalf. It’s just a matter of harnessing that level of machine integration in a strategic way to help expand PR efforts, which can focus on more of the human elements that bots can’t take over!