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Study: AI is transforming PR: What are the risks and benefits?

By Lindsey Chastain

Your company can harness the benefits of AI while mitigating risk.


A computer motherboard.Since the explosive growth of artificial intelligence, AI is already transforming public relations workflows. According to The State of AI in PR, presented by Muck Rack, 61% of PR professionals currently use AI tools or plan to explore them. Companies that invest in PR agency services should understand the opportunities and risks of AI.




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The key benefit is obvious: productivity. AI can help agencies deliver more value in less time by automating tedious tasks. The survey found the top uses today are crafting pitches, writing press releases and social copy, and research. In the future, PR pros want AI to assist with research, list building, monitoring, strategy, writing, and reporting.


What does this mean for your company? AI allows agencies to focus less on repetitive work and more on strategic thinking and relationship building. You get higher quality outcomes faster and likely at a lower cost. AI also enables more personalized, targeted outreach at scale to help your brand's messages resonate.


However, according to the Muck Rack report, 60% of PR pros worry unscrutinized AI output could lower quality. 58% fear younger pros may overly rely on tools rather than core PR skills. And 56% think their clients might conclude content creators are no longer needed. 


Look for these best practices in an agency's AI use:

  1. Human review and editing of all AI-generated output before it's published or sent
  2. Policies ensuring AI doesn't fully replace human strategists and writers, who add creativity and judgment 
  3. Transparency about what work used AI assistance versus human-only effort
  4. Training for staff on getting the most from AI while retaining core PR skills

The survey also revealed higher ranking employees at PR agencies and smaller agencies are more likely to adopt AI tools. Don't assume larger PR firms offer an AI advantage when evaluating potential PR agencys. Vet each agency's use of AI and integration into workflows.


Discuss expectations upfront about AI's role and parameters. For example, will AI be used to draft press releases for review? Or only for background research? Be cautious if an agency touts AI as a way to get more content for less money. 


AI should enhance human work, not replace it.


Thoughtfully implemented AI can boost an agency's capabilities while allowing PR pros to focus on high-value tasks. This benefits you through better outcomes and responsiveness. But provide active oversight, align on creative guardrails, value PR strategy and relationships, and require transparency. Harness the productivity of AI while ensuring the human touch remains strong. When used well by a trusted partner, AI can elevate your brand’s PR success.


For more information about how to maximize your public relations investment, download our free ebook.


PR Intelligence Report


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Topics: artificial intelligence

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