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Can AI Replace Human Expertise in PR?

April 8, 2024
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AI in PR: Friend or Foe? Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming our world, and the PR industry is no exception. It’s no secret that AI is everywhere. Before it gained household recognition and innovations like ChatGPT infiltrated our daily lives, AI quietly resided in our devices, shaping our interactions long ago. Embedded in our phones and computers, it powers familiar features like Siri and GPS maps.

Just because it’s all around us, does that mean we should leave our brains on the shelf, and have AI replace many of the business functions we humans usually undertake?

We think not.

Concerns Regarding AI in Journalism

Recent MediaNet research reveals scepticism among journalists regarding AI’s impact on their field.  Key findings include:

  • 36% view generative AI as a threat to public journalism.
  • 74% haven’t used AI yet.
  • 79% worry AI will compromise journalistic quality.

This concern extends beyond research. SourceBottle, a media outlet, shared a call-out last week that specifically requested the response to NOT be AI generated (see below). According to SourceBottle themselves, this request for people NOT to use AI is becoming more and more prevalent in their call-outs as the trend of using AI increases.

The Case for Human Expertise in PR

While AI can be a helpful tool, a recent anecdote highlights its limitations. I recently spoke to one of my SUPER-smart tech-savvy friends and he had used ChatGPT to write a media release for his daughter’s story.

Despite the well-written “article,” (note the emphasis on article), it wasn’t a great ‘media release’ (two very different things). The AI version had buried the lead down in the fourth par – the very aspect of this inspiring young woman’s story that would attract the journo’s attention was buried… meaning most journos would not even GET to the most compelling part of her story and pitch.

Hence my cautionary tale about using AI to replace well-thought-out, strategic PR pitches. One journo I spoke with this week, called out AI generated articles ‘theft’ – theft of other people’s work product that’s sometimes lifted in its entirety for a so-called ‘new’ article. Not cool.

The Power of Human Creativity in PR

Our MasterClass graduates leverage AI for brainstorming and research, but they understand its limitations. They use AI-generated content as a starting point, not a finished product.

A good media pitch will always need a human touch – one that highlights the sexiest bit of YOUR story, YOUR difference… and respectfully, no tech on the planet can showcase your brilliance better than YOU!

Conclusion

AI is a valuable tool, but it shouldn’t replace human expertise in PR. The human ability to understand audience needs, craft strategic narratives, and build relationships remains irreplaceable.


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