How can AI supplement human communication in public relations?

August 14, 2018 by Megan Burnside

New advances in the digital world impact the workspace of every industry on a daily basis. Emerging technology is changing the way people communicate, process information and use it to meet their bottom line. As a professional in public relations, the idea of introducing artificial intelligence into your workflow can be intimidating.

While technology can certainly take many of your normal daily tasks off of your hands, it's important to remember that your career thrives on building relationships with clients. As Ivan Ristic wrote for PR Week, artificial intelligence just can't replace that personal connection.

"A bot can't lay claim to emotional intelligence, a cornerstone of all PR work," he wrote. "Teams employing AI handling external communication would be wise to have plans to manage reputation should anything automated go awry. Humans build trust with humans—not bots."

Instead of getting intimidated by AI, embrace technology and use it to your advantage.

How communication is better with AI

The digital universe can play a key role for PR professionals when used effectively. For example, Forbes reported that tools like BuzzSumo and others can be used to create insights and measure action and the impact of reach from company advertising that sets the tone for the future of business.

LexisNexis Newsdesk® is a powerful tool for monitoring and analysing trends in traditional and social media which can help shape the tone and direction of communication. Tracking programs allow professionals to follow trends and act in real time to beat out competitors. All in all, AI shouldn't be viewed as a replacement, but rather an assistant that takes care of the time-consuming tasks that keep you from doing what you're best at: forming and maintaining strong relationships with customers.

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Why AI can't replace public relations

At its core, the role of a PR professional is defined as managing vital information between an individual or an organisation and the public. That takes creativity and emotion to build a strong connection to spread the correct message to consumers. Artificial intelligence can track certain keywords (within AI datasets) and use them to develop insights, but context is most often left behind and can lead to creating the wrong message.

Humans work off of context and create impactful stories that hit home and spark interest with consumers. This means they know how to make humans care about something; a task that AI simply isn't designed for.

Essentially, AI cannot be mimicked nor can it replace the important relationships that you need to develop with your customers to meet success. It's nothing to fear - it's something that needs to be taken advantage of.