Leveraging AI tools in public relations: four tips for responsible, effective and creative implementation

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April 4, 2024

Remember watching the movies “AI” or “Terminator” for the first time, thinking how crazy and far-fetched they seem? Yet, here we are today, with AI at our fingertips. The public relations industry is witnessing a transformative shift in how we accomplish day-to-day tasks and connect with our target audiences.

The buzz and excitement around using AI tools, such as ChatGPT, in the workplace are met with an equal amount of criticism. Maybe the fear instilled by those movies still sits in the back of our minds. Or maybe that distrust started when Stephen Hawking prophesized the end of times if AI isn’t handled properly, calling it “either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity.” 

It is hard not to be skeptical of using AI as it learns to perform many tasks normally reserved for public relations professionals. However, these tools are not meant to replace human work or thought but to complement it. AI is still wildly imperfect, and it is most successful when working at the direction of real people.

At Thompson & Co. PR, we closely monitor technology trends and industry best practices to leverage them for our clients’ and the agency’s benefit. Here are some guidelines and tips for integrating AI into a workplace.

  • Transparency and authenticity. When utilizing AI tools,  upholding transparency and authenticity is essential. Communicate with teams and clients about AI, ensuring it aligns with your brand values, voice, and objectives. Maintain trust and credibility by always disclosing the involvement of AI in generating content. Having a formal AI policy in writing is a good idea, too. 
  • Revise, refine, re-iterate. View AI as a tool, not a replacement for human thinking. Provide clear guidelines and boundaries for the AI tool – the better and more detailed the prompts, the better and more accurate the output. Review and revise any AI-generated copy as a standard practice. Vigilantly check facts and verify statistics. Actively participate in training the AI models, monitor performance, and adjust accordingly. The more time and effort you put into these models, the more accurate, relevant, and effective the models will be. Remember, AI is barely a first draft, and certainly not a final draft.
  • Ethical considerations. Recognize that AI’s knowledge base comes from various web sources and human input, subjecting it to potential biases and even gross inaccuracies. Always ask for sources and be aware of potential biases. Another ethical consideration is data and client privacy. AI tools are not secure and often share data. Never use confidential information when entering prompts.
  • Creativity, innovation, and curiosity. Embrace the changing PR landscape and be open to updating your strategy. Stay informed about the latest trends and advancements in the industry—approach AI with curiosity, and make sure you understand its capabilities and limitations. Let AI enhance and inspire your creativity by using it as a brainstorming tool. Explore its potential to generate innovative ideas and solutions.

The opportunities with AI tools are endless and only continue to grow. By following these guidelines and tips for responsible, effective, and creative incorporation of AI, PR professionals can utilize AI while maintaining professionalism, integrity, and a human-centric approach to communication.

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