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We’ve stopped asking “when will robots replace us?” and started asking “how can I use the robots to my advantage?” In the world of public relations, here’s how we’re using AI tools to make us more efficient and productive at work.
As publicists, we’re no strangers to keeping tabs on current trends or predicting what’s to come. We do this in service for our clients – like anticipating what the hottest cocktail will be next year – but we also do this in service for ourselves. One of the latest conversations has been the surge of AI tools for communication professionals and how we can use those tools to our advantage. It’s unfamiliar territory, but as AI has shifted the media landscape, we’ve learned how to work with AI rather than against it.
According to Muck Rack’s State of AI in PR 2023 report, 61% of public relations professionals use (or are interested in using) AI to improve their workflow – and drafting content for pitches, press releases and social media copy are the top three ways folks in our industry are experimenting with these new tools. Let’s be clear about one thing first: We don’t condone copying and pasting text from AI tools and calling it a day. At our core, we’re storytellers – and we do our best work when we get to be creative, which is a human touch where AI still falls short (at least for now). That said, we’re curiously exploring PR-specific tools like PressPal.ai, which can generate press releases and pitches based on prompts. While the content is far from perfect – what we would consider a first rough draft – we’ve found that it eliminates the “fear of the blank page”. It saves both time and effort rather than starting from scratch. Think of it as a brainstorming tool, then edit and personalize!
The world of journalism is constantly shifting. This means that publicists are in a perpetual state of updating their media lists. Using AI tools and databases can make this routine task more efficient. In PR, we’re obviously big fans of platforms like Muck Rack. They allow us to search for relevant media and build lists based on keywords, topics they cover, locations and reach – all without sacrificing hours upon hours of Google searches. Just like with content creation, these databases give us a starting point, and we refine our lists from there.
Searching for press coverage is an important part of our role in public relations. After all, one of our (many) goals is securing coverage for our clients. That means monitoring for stories on a regular basis. Tools like Brandwatch can automate this process by tracking brand mentions and metrics so that we have useful data at our fingertips. It’s like an amped-up version of Google Alerts, which has been a tried-and-true tool over the years… but it’s been nice to have other resources for media monitoring.
I’ll say it one more time: Data! It’s king around here, and one of the more interesting things about the evolution of PR is the number of new ways we can quantify it. Reporting tools like CoverageBook and Muck Rack can automate metrics, meaning publicists have more data to analyze and support their strategies. We can track metrics like the number of views an online article got, whether the sentiment of a press mention was positive or negative, the potential audience reach and much more. Whereas before we had to manually track data or make estimates based on outlet media kits, these new tools have streamlined reporting and helped PR professionals quantify their efforts.
While the introduction of AI tools was alarming at the start, we’ve stopped asking “when will robots replace me?” and started asking “how can I use the robots to my advantage?” It’s not an exact science, but we’ve learned to embrace these new tech advances and how they might ultimately help us become more efficient and productive in the world of PR.
– Kayla L.