Bytes and Bylines — The Quirky Union of PR and AI

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Artificial intelligence has rapidly evolved from a trendy buzzword into a technology with widespread real-world applicability. Just look at ChatGPT’s explosive rise in recent months. Many businesses already use AI-powered tools to streamline their processes — including public relations, where we are seeing significant effects of AI helping with everything from pitching to content creation.

As a public relations professional, the thought that robots may one day be able to mimic the human voice in content creation is daunting. However, despite AI’s convenience and time-saving benefits, human writers are still crucial for bringing accuracy, creativity and nuance to a client’s messaging.

AI-generated content and other AI tools are remarkably diverse and are increasingly being used to develop everything from meeting agendas, simple product descriptions and media pitches to more complex works like news articles, award submissions and press releases. As newsrooms across the country shrink, many media organizations are using AI to produce content, so public relations professionals should be prepared to understand how these tools work and expect the prevalence of AI-generated content to increase.

Artificial Intelligence and Public Relations: What You Need to Know

AI can be a powerful tool for streamlining the writing process by quickly generating content ideas, rough outlines, headlines and even topic clusters for blog posts. Using tools like ChatGPT or saves PR professionals time and resources, freeing them to focus on other aspects of their work. AI can generate ideas or take notes, but the technology is not yet able to handle the nuances of language that are so important in human communication. In other words, AI is an expert’s assistant — not an expert itself. 

Communicators juggle long lists of tasks, so tools that help optimize time-consuming efforts are game changers. AI can’t handle every aspect of public relations, but its latest offerings can undoubtedly make a PR professional’s life easier by providing the following services: 

  • Multilingual writing capabilities to assist in content creation and help expand a campaign’s reach and audience.
  • The ability to unify messaging and facilitate consistency through search engine optimization (SEO), meta tags, alt tags, internal linking and data analysis.
  • Enhanced research potential, breaking down complex topics quickly and highlighting key concepts to focus on when crafting media pitches.
  • Quick brainstorming sessions that lay out potential problems your target audience may be worried about or dealing with.
  • Easy note taking through speech-to-text applications like, allowing communicators to focus on client meetings as they happen, knowing everything that was said is documented and can be reviewed at a later date.
  • Producing initial drafts of time-sensitive content, such as news articles or crisis response, allows writers to stay on top of breaking stories and promptly deliver content to their audience.

Using AI to improve efficiency is an excellent benefit that can help PR professionals focus on more big-picture tasks, but only if they know how to use it correctly. That leads to the most crucial aspect of using AI generation — the prompt.

The Prompt and AI-Generated Content

AI platforms need instructions, either in text or visual form, to create the content you have in mind. AI systems are essentially a series of algorithms trained to recognize patterns, so the more data fed into the system, the more accurate and effective it becomes. AI-generated content is only as good as the instructions, or the prompt, a user provides. 

Unlike using a search engine such as Google, where you might ask, “What are the top three ways to do fundraising,” AI requires more specific and tailored instructions. To get the best results from ChatGPT, you would need to say something like, “Here is the company and its goals — what are your ideas on the best ways to fundraise for this specific company?”

For example, if you asked an AI tool to write a press release about your company’s latest fundraising round, it can’t automatically produce top-tier content. Al needs clear direction like, “add in a quote from the CEO about how exciting a fundraising round is for the company” or “mention the market significance of this investment” to help shape the release creating more relevance for the target audience. 

AI is skilled at presenting the most important information, but it often falls short of providing a compelling narrative. Reporters are driven by stories and want to feel connected with the people and companies they write about. AI can’t create authentic experiences through storytelling, so if a reporter came across an AI-crafted pitch that lacked emotion and authenticity, connecting with what’s being presented might be difficult. Journalists are busy, so if you can’t capture their attention, they’ll just pass on your pitch and move to the countless others in their inboxes.

We’ve been playing with generative AI tools and found that while the technology is intriguing and rapidly advancing, such “solutions” lack the tone and style of an agency-produced press release. AI is able to create something better than most bad writers, but it still pales compared to a seasoned communications expert like our copywriters at Comprise.

Developing content that lands with its audience is about finding the right balance between keywords, readability and relatability. Remember, content should be optimized for the reader, not the algorithms controlling much of our daily lives.

Striking a Balance Between AI and Human Creativity

Generative AI tools can help save time and effort, but they are not a substitute for the human element in communications. ChatGPT may be able to create a list of product features, but it cannot convey the emotional connection that the product may have with its audience. Human communicators can tap into the nuances of language and storytelling to craft messaging that resonates with their audience. PR practitioners also must review any generated content to ensure it resonates with the target audience, is spelled correctly, is grammatically accurate and captures the brand’s voice and tone. 

Technological innovations like AI will only continue to become more complex and advanced as algorithms learn from an ever-increasing amount of information. By using AI tools responsibly and efficiently, whether utilizing text-to-speech applications to streamline client meeting notes or brainstorming potential pitching angles, communicators can leverage AI to enhance their writing process and achieve better results. 

Are you tired of creating content that falls flat? Do you feel like you’re just spinning your wheels without seeing any real results? Our team has the PR experience to help develop engaging content that converts your audience. We’ll work with you to create a strategy that meets your unique needs. Why wait? Contact Comprise today!

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