AI and Public Relations: What You Need to Know

artificial intelligence

With the rise in AI technology, it is now commonplace to wonder how artificial intelligence will affect some industries. Many assume that in relationship and emotion-based industries, such as public relations, AI is less effective and sometimes altogether not useful. However, consumer AI tools are becoming extremely accurate and accessible, and can be extremely useful in a public relations toolbox. 

To make the most use of artificial intelligence in the public relations world, here’s 4 things you need to know: 


1. There are two types of AI: Pure and Pragmatic

Not all AI is created equally. There are two general categories of artificial intelligence: Pure AI and Pragmatic AI. 

Pure AI is artificial intelligence that you are probably most familiar with. It is the machines that have equal or superior intellectual abilities than humans. It’s the type of AI that we see in movies and that is debated in politics. 

On the other hand, Pragmatic AI is far less discussed (and far less scary) and you probably use it more than you think you do. Pragmatic AI is designed for specific business tools, like automating customer service or predicting consumer behavior. Things like chatbots, navigation apps, virtual assistants and image recognition services use Pragmatic AI. Pragmatic AI is what public relations professionals will most likely get the most use out of. 


2. Basic AI terms

At its core, AI is all statistics and math, so many of the terms associated with AI are data-based and technical. For public relations professionals, there are a few basic terms that will come up more often than others that you’ll need to know:

  • Algorithm: the math formulas and programming commands that tell a computer how to solve problems using AI. 
  • Black box: the ridiculously complicated math that AI does to reach a certain function. 
  • Chatbots: a chat robot that can talk to humans. 
  • Data Mining: the process that AI goes through of sorting through large datasets to find recurring patterns and solve problems.
  • Image Recognition: identifying an object or feature in photos and videos. 
  • Machine Learning: the way AI uses algorithms to perform AI functions. 

3. How does AI help PR? 

Now that we’ve covered the basics of understanding AI, now comes the fun part: how public relations pros can actually use it. 

A general rule to use is if you do the same, exact thing more than twice, it’s probably a good candidate for AI. Here is a short list of some daily tasks that AI can help PR pros accomplish:

  • Tracking Coverage/Press Hits
  • Monitoring and Engaging in Social Media Conversations
  • Answering Mundane Emails
  • Scheduling Meetings and Events
  • Predicting Media Trends
  • Analyzing Data 


4. Realistic expectations for AI 

While AI has its benefits, there are obviously some limitations, especially in the world of public relations. By using AI to compliment PR tasks, a public relations pro can use it to maximize efficiency, but AI will not be able to take on the more human and emotional tasks. Building relationships, writing creative articles and pitches, and content creation are just some of the things that artificial intelligence won’t be able to tackle, so keeping your expectations realistic for your AI use is key to making it actually helpful. 


If you’d like to learn more in how to use technology to help your public relations campaigns, click here