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  • Riley Murr

How artificial intelligence has been transforming public relations

Updated: Dec 6, 2022


The first step to understanding how artificial intelligence can transform public relations is understanding what AI is. According to Cooper Brown, a computer science major at Cornell University, ”Artificial intelligence is any system that is designed to possess or exceed the capabilities of a human.”


According to Forbes, AI will “help PR companies process their data rapidly, improving how PR companies perform their services.” By using AI, we, as PR practitioners, can go through an incredible amount of data in a short amount of time that previously would have taken up too much of our time. We can use this data to understand trends and information better and make necessary decisions for our clients.


By using artificial intelligence, we can use digital DNA, which is someone’s digital footprint. It’s a collection of people’s likes and dislikes, what kind of websites they enjoy, posts they like, and other personal characteristics. Putting all this information together can give us a better idea of what people want to see and make jobs easier.


By using and understanding this digital DNA, we can fine-tune our messages for their specific audience. Therefore, we can optimize our advertising and offers to particular customers in real time. This means all messages sent will be relevant to that specific consumer. This unique way of advertising can lead to better sales and better engagement in the long run. Instead of seeing content they may not be interested in or find annoying, consumers will only be shown ads and deals that are specific to them. This can make them more likely to engage in the offer or advertisement.


According to the Institute for Public Relations, there exists a “significant misunderstanding” about AI technology and its application to the industry. As a result, many practitioners are worried about AI doing their jobs for them and making them obsolete. While some jobs could no longer be required, the implications of how it can help outweigh the losses of these positions. According to AI marketing expert Christopher Penn in an article written by Manuelita Maldonado for the Institute for Public Relations, there are three main benefits of AI for PR practitioners: automation, acceleration, and accuracy.


Automation: PR professionals can use AI to automate tasks that usually consume a lot of time, like tracking media coverage


Acceleration: We can “obtain insights from the digital world in real-time.” When things happen quickly, AI can help us get and sort information without reading through every post.


Accuracy: PR practitioners can “accurately quantify people’s feelings and opinions about a brand." We can use this information to better target our audiences with unique ads and offers.


Public relations practitioners should not fear artificial intelligence. They should welcome it. It is the next step in PR, and we need to understand and use it to make a difference in how we do our jobs. This is the next step in the world of PR, and it can drastically improve how we do our jobs.


By Riley Murr


Riley Murr is a senior at SDSU and will graduate in 2023 with a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. She was born and raised in Orange County, California, and moved to San Diego in 2021 to pursue her degree at San Diego State.


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