Since founding my PR agency Nadel Phelan 30 years ago, I’ve had the pleasure to bring countless disruptive technologies to market. Working with industry leaders including Microsoft, Apple, AWS, and Alphabet I’ve assisted companies in reaching successful exits, including 148 acquisitions and 21 IPOs on eight exchanges.
In the process, I’ve learned firsthand how innovation can sometimes be a double edged sword, and how it has the power to radically streamline industries for the better.
This is why, despite my old school bona fides, I’m bullish on the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to transform marketing and corporate communications. Over the years, I’ve seen the marketing and PR landscape undergo significant tectonic shifts. Some traditional methods of communication have evolved, others have been left by the wayside. Technology, more often than not, has been the determining factor between these two fates.
So as we stand on the precipice of a revolution brought about by AI, I see its integration as the next step in this evolutionary chain, one that will enhance our capabilities as an industry, make processes more efficient, and amplify our impact.
Now, as COO of Intelligent Relations, I work every day to define a recursive AI PR platform that brings this idea to fruition. And I’m proud to say we’ve staked out some exciting territory for ourselves, bringing together top-tier PR professionals with innovative technologists to effectively leverage a proprietary AI PR solution, which has elevated the value we bring to clients.
As one of the pioneers in this space, I’d like to share some examples of AI-PR integration I’m particularly excited about.
The fundamental application is automation. AI can automate mundane or repetitive tasks, freeing professionals’ minds to engage in more complex, high-skill job functions including strategic thinking and creative problem-solving.
Generative AI, the golden child of the AI revolution, will increase efficiency and productivity. Leveraging natural language generation (NLG) algorithms we can produce press releases, articles, and reports based on user-provided inputs or data sources. Account executives can use this function to generate outlines, which they can flesh out, stylize, and edit to reflect the client’s voice and to meet editorial standards.
In addition, AI can be a helpful tool for analyzing existing content – even content it wrote itself – to provide recommendations for improvements. These might include suggestions for SEO optimization, readability, grammar, clarity, or even alternate headlines. AI can even rewrite existing content in the favored style or voice of a particular publication or niche. Of course, as good as generative AI is, its output requires human oversight.
Future-Proofing the Job
Just as generative AI is revolutionizing how we create and improve content, recursive AI is going to radically alter how we identify earned media opportunities. Imagine having an AI-powered media assistant that continuously monitors news outlets, identifies relevant opportunities, and suggests tailored pitches based on journalists’ and editors’ predilections.
This technology certainly saves time, but it can also increase the chances of securing meaningful earned coverage and cultivating long-lasting relationships with media outlets. For example, we can share a decision to outreach a byline article to a particular outlet by highlighting that outlet’s relative history of viral hits with similar subject matter. And we can share the level of engagement and interest of each editor. Transparency of this sort offers clients the opportunity to better understand how their messages and stories are being received.
Some see AI as an existential threat to the communications industry, I disagree. While AI’s capabilities are broad, revolutionary, and exciting, it still requires a strong human hand to ensure outputs are readable, and appropriate. AI’s intelligence is characterized as “artificial” for a reason.
Still, AI’s permeation into marketing and PR is inevitable. The industry will be radically reshaped by its arrival just as it was by the internet, and social media. Communication professionals who survived these sea changes, adapting and evolving right alongside them, will do the same in an environment where AI is a fact of life.
But those who go above and beyond mere content development and actually leverage the incredible power of AI won’t just adapt, they’ll thrive.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paula Phelan, COO at Intelligent Relations
Paula Phelan is a technology and public relations leader with over 30 years of experience. She is passionate about innovation and has expertise in cybersecurity, quantum computing, and AI. Paula is Intelligent Relations’ COO, an AI startup that is helping companies of all sizes build stronger relationships with top tier media in the most cost effective way possible. Paula’s visionary thinking, strategic guidance, and relentless pursuit of excellence have earned her recognition as a trusted leader and mentor.