The impact of technology on public relations is accelerating. As such, PR pros must determine how they can best leverage technology to stay current.
According to Google Finance, as of last fall the “Big Five”: Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft, were worth a whopping $3.3 trillion combined. The tech industry’s accelerating at a pace that’s difficult to fathom. Everything from AI and virtual reality to digital business models and application program interfaces (API) are changing the way we think about our businesses. In the end, technology is at the heart of most organizations. To maintain a competitive edge companies need to effectively use technology that makes sense for their specific needs.
Companies that adopt technology and are digitally minded stay ahead of the curve, and the others that can’t (or won’t) keep up become obsolete. In a way, you can think of it as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution: evolve or poof! You’re gone. Darwinism might seem like an overwhelming thought, but not to fear! We’re here to help. We have insights into not only how technology is impacting the PR industry, but how to roll with the changes.
What does AI mean to PR?
Over the years, science fiction movies have depicted computers (or robots) gaining the ability to “think” and create a master plan to take over the world. That may not be real, but the fear that one day computers will be able to replace people’s jobs is a reality. For example, Amazon is at the forefront of this technology with Amazon Go, a cashier-less store. News like this has the potential to frighten some, but this kind of new technology can actually help PR pros. It does this by allowing them to work more efficiently. Media monitoring software, analytics, workflow applications and the like help PR pros to process data faster, thereby improving their relationships with their customers. With AI, PR will be able to access all of the benefits that data analysis can bring, including a better understanding of the digital world. They’ll be able to develop fine-tuned messages for customers, and individually tailor their campaigns to their target audience, reducing wasted content.
Routine PR functions are a thing of the past
Technology is also helping PR pros be more effective by cutting out unnecessary steps. For example, in the past, press releases were developed and distributed individually. Now, they’re distributed through programs like Business Wire and Constant Contact. Companies also have chatbots on their sites and social media pages to answer customer questions. Before when PR pros wanted to pitch to the press, they’d need to build their lists of journalists. Now, that information is much more readily available. So, all PR pros need to do is craft the perfect, targeted pitch, and then click send to journalists that they think will cover their company’s news. It cuts out time and saves resources that can now be allocated elsewhere. With these tools, among many others, PR pros can rest assured that they can dedicate their time to building their company’s reputation or combating a crisis communication issue, rather than wasting their efforts on redundant tasks.
Embrace the Technological Future
The future of PR isn’t robots taking over jobs. It’s making PR pros lives easier so they can focus on what matters–their company and career development. Business consultant Katie King urged PR pros to have an optimistic outlook back in 2016, and it still rings true two years later:
“Casting a shadow on the gloomy effects artificial intelligence could have on our working lives, instead perceiving it as a handy assistant to make it better and easier, the future looks promising, especially for those in jobs where creative input, craftsmanship and human judgement will remain superior to what a machine can do,” King posted on LinkedIn. “Cautiousness, preparation and optimism should be the driving force for embracing the changes artificial intelligence will bring.”
Until next time!
Passionate about all things communications, Jolie found her dream job as a copywriter with Critical Mention, where she’s continuing her passion for writing and editing. With a background working for high-profile clients in the financial, hospitality and technology industries, she’s excited to bring her experience to Critical Mention. When she’s not writing you can find her at music festivals, hiking or snowboarding.