Artificial Intelligence in Public Relations

Artificial Intelligence illustration

Editor’s note: Artificial intelligence is a growing technology in the public relations and communications world. At ICON 2020, there were multiple sessions detailing how the technology could impact the future of analytics, media buying, message curation and more.

Emelie Brown, a junior at Samford University, recently submitted a piece detailing some of the ways AI crosses paths with public relations. Read her thoughts below. And for those who missed it, check out some of the ICON 2020 sessions on artificial intelligence here.

Artificial intelligence (Al) signifies one of the greatest ethical obstacles of our time. AI is a term for technologies that permit machines to perform certain tasks while analyzing data. We use AI every day, even if we do not notice it.

AI impacts almost everything we see in the world today. Smartphones, social media feeds, video games and health care are just a few of the ample ways AI modifies programming to make our lives easier. However, in the life of a public relations professional, AI could dramatically affect the workforce too.

Marketing analytics and paid media are facets of public relations that can be used through AI with programmatic buying. Companies such as Associated Press have already begun to use AI to write full earnings reports. While automation isn’t new to the public relations field, it is changing daily. One of the biggest challenges public relations professionals face is the ethical issues that could negatively impact the reputations of organizations.

There are more positives than negatives in AI however, as it can synthesize large amounts of information to complete media lists and press releases faster than a human could. This leaves more time for public relations professionals to focus on not only creative tasks but also networking and socializing with a targeted audience. The public relations industry is a field that rolls with the punches and adapts with the rest of the world. AI will not change that.

One thing remains: A revolutionary machine will not replace the human interaction and creativity that public relations was built upon.


Emelie BrownEmelie Brown is a junior journalism and mass communication major with a concentration in public relations at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Her goal is to graduate in 2022 and obtain a job in social media public relations. In her free time, Brown likes to write poetry and teach herself computer science.

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