How to Leverage Artificial Intelligence in Public Relations Yes, robots could be used to write press releases, but this isn't the future of the industry.

By Paul Fitzgerald

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

While the human touch will always prevail, you should know that there are many ways in which we can all utilize artificial intelligence (AI) wisely in order to run more efficient and effective PR campaigns.

As technology continues to evolve, many companies are turning to artificial intelligence as a means to help streamline repetitive processes and find efficiencies where they can.

The public relations sector is no different, with PR firms looking for ways to use artificial intelligence for certain aspects of the business that can benefit from AI functions.

The idea of using AI can be worrisome for people working in PR as they are concerned about their jobs being replaced by programmable technology, but that is not the case.

Related: How to Write a Press Release Reporters Will Actually Read

How to embrace AI

Public relations firms can benefit from the use of AI, particularly when it comes to the sheer volume of information they need to sort through.

PR firms need to always be on top of the latest trends and news, which can be a tedious task for employees with information getting missed due to the sheer volume of information available or getting bogged down by irrelevant material.

By using artificial intelligence, firms are able to search through all of the information available across any digital platform at lightning speed and pull out any content that is relevant to their clients by programming the bot to search out specific words or phrases. This will ensure that only the content that is important gets flagged to the PR firm.

AI can also be used to monitor media coverage of competitive products and client's competitors to ensure that their clients are reacting as needed or getting their fair share of media coverage with their own campaign. AI bots can be used to track media impressions for a PR firms's own clients as well as their client's competition.

Not only can artificial intelligence be used to track media coverage for your clients by scanning news coverage, but it can also track any trends in topics that the PR firm may want to get ahead of. With its automated process of scanning information, artificial intelligence will be able to determine the best time of day for press releases, social media posts and other avenues of engagement with their target audience, based on when people are interacting with the information and what platform or means of communication receives the most interaction. This will provide data that the PR firm can use going forward to ensure they are reaching their target customer in a way that makes sense. The data captured can help PR professionals with recommendations as far as what channels to push their message through, how the content should be built and even what type of content to include.

Related: 8 Ways to Prepare for Public Relations

The benefits of AI in PR are vast

Artificial intelligence has many more uses with public relations, other than information scanning and data sorting. It can be used to write up preliminary press releases and even build websites by programming the bot using predetermined algorithms for the gathering and compilation of data. Through data analysis, AI can determine the most relevant information to include in a press release, based on audience interaction and tailor future press releases to capture and keep the audience's attention. The benefits of AI in PR are enormous, with new uses being discovered all the time as the technology continues to advance and evolve based on the industry's needs.

One of the greatest fears with automation and the use of artificial intelligence in any company and industry is of course the fear that this will put people out of jobs. While artificial intelligence may seem like it would eliminate the employees, that isn't the case in the pubic relations industry.

This industry still very much relies on the human touch for face-to-face client interactions, social networking and in providing insights and recommendations on how to use the data captured through AI for the best outcome for the client. In fact, artificial intelligence will enable public relations professionals to focus on tasks that can't be automated such as brainstorming creative ideas, determining what steps they want to take for their clients and working closely with the client, as opposed to performing repetitive tasks that currently take away from client interactions.

Artificial intelligence isn't something to shy away from in PR. It is a tool to embrace to provide efficiencies in data gathering so that employees are able to focus on their clients and the creativity of their industry.

The future is all about technology, so use it wisely to help grow your clients' brands.

Related: What is Authentic Marketing, and How Is It Different From Public Relations?

Paul Fitzgerald

Founder and CEO, Salt & Pepper Media Inc.

Paul Fitzgerald is the CEO of Salt & Pepper Media. He is also a technology and business journalist in the U.S. and Canada. He is nearing completion of his PhD in communication sciences.

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