AI and PR: Conflict or opportunity?

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James Vella Clark is Media and Communications Manager at Corporate Identities and has worked in the sector for the past 24 years.

Artificial Intelligence has rapidly permeated nearly every industry, ushering in a wave of innovation and transformative possibilities and the pr sector is no exception.

As PR professionals, our mission revolves around moulding public perceptions, safeguarding reputations, and cultivating strong a connection with our respective audiences.

Yet, as AI becomes inevitably integrated into everyday PR practices, a critical question emerges: is this fusion bound to usher more conflict and challenge our ‘traditional’ roles, or an unprecedented opportunity to elevate our work to new heights?

The answer very much depends on how we choose to approach this technology, which love it or hate it, has already transformed the times we’re living.

The conflict perspective

AI appeared poised to disrupt the traditional PR landscape from the start. The fear that AI might supplant human PR practitioners stems from its uncanny ability to navigate vast troves of data, dissect sentiments, and even craft content, was palpable. The spectre of AI as a direct threat to the very essence of PR professionals’ roles was raised.

It must be remembered that the quintessence of PR ultimately resides in the human touch – an innate ability to fathom emotions, discern the subtleties of public sentiment, and craft narratives steeped in authenticity.

The nagging question persists: Can AI truly replicate these intricate facets of our profession? This conflict perspective suggests that as AI increasingly shoulders routine PR tasks, we may risk relinquishing our distinctive edge, potentially eroding our influence in strategic decision-making processes.

The opportunity perspective

However, embracing the opportunity perspective reveals an entirely different narrative. AI, when harnessed judiciously, can be a powerful ally to PR practitioners. It augments our capabilities rather than replace them.

Besides assisting us with invaluable data insights, AI can (to a certain extent) assist in generating content. But this can never replace the creativity and emotional intelligence that PR professionals bring to storytelling and no matter how AI can streamline content creation, only maintaining a human touch will ensure authenticity and relevance.

Additionally, AI can help segment audiences and tailor messages that enhance engagement and connections with our target audience.

The real opportunity, however, lies in the synergy between AI and us PR practitioners who can use AI as a tool to handle routine tasks so that we can focus on putting more emotional intelligence, creativity, and strategic thinking into our work.

The way forward

So, how do we navigate today’s PR landscape to seize the opportunities that AI presents while safeguarding our profession’s essence?

PR professionals must continually educate themselves about AI’s capabilities and limitations because only when we understand what AI can and cannot do, we can strategically integrate it into our work.

This is where AI tools become partners rather than substitutes, through which we can enhance our efficiency, allowing us to allocate more time to strategic thinking and creativity.

We must adapt to evolving technologies to stay ahead of the curve and remain valuable assets to our clients or organizations.

AI will be a game-changer for how we conduct our work. However, it will also be crucial to remember that AI should complement, not replace, human expertise in PR.

Doing PR successfully is set to depend on a combination of AI strengths with the human element and the communication skills garnered over the years. Only a combination of AI and our humanity can achieve outstanding results in the dynamic world of public relations.


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