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How to Leverage AI in Digital PR

A laptop displaying ChatGPT

With the rapid advancement of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) becoming the norm in marketing — and our day-to-day lives — utilising generative AI in digital PR can enhance processes, save time, and improve workflows. 

By the very end of 2023, the number of PR pros using generative AI had doubled since March 2023. This is why keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in generative AI for public relations is so crucial. If you’re relatively new to the realm of generative AI or you’re unsure of how to apply it to PR, look no further. Discover how to leverage AI in public relations to zest up your PR strategies and processes. 

Using AI in public relations

From data analysis and organisation to crafting compelling commentary, there are plenty of ways you can use AI to enhance your PR campaigns and save valuable time. 

Sense-check stats and facts

Generative AI tools have been known to “hallucinate”, meaning they can sometimes spout false information. Despite this, these tools can help you sense-check statistics and facts if you use them wisely. Firstly, it’s always best to use several AI tools to cross-examine results to ensure you’re getting the correct stuff. Secondly, you should always ask these tools to provide you with direct sources, saving you time from manually searching. Don’t take these results as gospel and always double-check and cross-reference any results produced. 

Just make sure that whatever generative AI tool you’re using is up-to-date. Google’s Gemini doesn't have a specific cut-off date for its knowledge, but it is unlikely to provide information on events that occurred just moments ago. It can, however, access and process information through Google Search and keep responses consistent with search results. 

A response from Gemini about how up-to-date the tool is.

Open AI’s ChatGPT-3.5 can only access information based on data available up until September 2021 while ChatGPT-4 is slightly more up-to-date and can access information up until April 2023. That being said, GPT can access real-time information thanks to Bing integration which allows it to retrieve the latest data and news updates via Bing search results. 

Data organisation and analysis

Data-led campaigns are a staple of digital PR and can yield massive results if executed well. Whether you’re strapped for time or struggling to organise data in a way that’s compelling, AI tools such as ChatGPT can help with data organisation, analysis, and visualisation. 

GPT can recommend the best ways to visualise your data and highlight key hooks to resonate with journalists and readers alike. It can also produce graphs, charts, and tables based on the data you feed into it. GPT can help you identify figures, patterns, trends, averages and other key insights from your dataset. This in turn will help you craft compelling headlines and newsworthy stories. 

Generative AI tools can often unveil unusual angles and offer key data points you might have missed. Just remember to provide specific instructions to get the results you want. Consider asking a variety of questions to help you investigate the dataset from multiple angles, such as: “Can you identify any correlations between columns A and B in my dataset?” or “Can you produce five key trends from the dataset provided?”. 

As an example, we recently used ChatGPT to analyse a dataset to find out which club music genres are most popular in the UK. Using Resident Advisor, a dedicated music platform designed to help people discover music and artists, we calculated the number of club music events from 1st Jan 2024 to 31st December 2024 looking at each genre to discover the most popular club music events for each city. We then copied and pasted the dataset into GPT-4 and instructed it to organise the data into a logical table displaying the most popular genres on the furthest left columns. We then transformed this data into visually exciting graphs.

An example of GPTs data analysis capability

Commentary and pitch creation

According to Muck Rack’s 2024 State of AI in PR survey, 58% of PRs use AI for research and writing press releases while 54% use AI to craft pitches. While AI can be used to generate pitches and releases, it shouldn’t be entirely depended upon. Your copy still needs the all-important human flair and should be edited in line with your preferred tone, style, and messaging. 

AI can also help you craft compelling commentary. Whether you’re putting together a comment on behalf of a client or you need a comment to perfectly reflect the messaging of the release or pitch, generative AI can give you a helping hand. You could either give a detailed prompt of what you need or provide it with the main elements of the pitch to produce a comment or quote. 

Change the tone

As PRs, we all know the importance of ensuring each pitch is personalised. To save some time and enhance your pitches, pop them into GPT or Gemini alongside the target outlet and ask it to adapt your pitch and match the tone and style of the target outlet.

Enhance ideation

It’s highly unlikely that GPT or Gemini is going to come up with a ground-breaking idea but it can give you the inspiration you need if you’re in a bit of a creative slump. Let’s say you’re working with a dog care or dog walking brand and you’re stuck for ideas, you can use GPT or Gemini to research different subjects to inspire new ideas and angles. For example, “What are some topics related to the dog walking industry?”

After entering this prompt into GPT, this was the result:

“The dog walking industry encompasses a variety of topics that reflect its multifaceted nature. Here are some key areas of interest:

  1. Business and Entrepreneurship:

  • Starting a dog walking business

  • Business plans and models for dog walking services

  • Licensing and legal requirements

  • Marketing strategies for dog walking businesses

  • Pricing structures and payment methods

  • Scaling and expanding a dog walking business

2. Training and Skills:

  • Dog handling and training techniques

  • Understanding dog behavior and body language

  • Safety protocols for walkers and dogs

  • First aid and emergency care for dogs

  • Certification and professional development for dog walkers

3. Health and Wellness:

  • Physical benefits of regular dog walking

  • Mental and emotional health benefits for dogs

  • Proper nutrition and hydration for active dogs

  • Addressing common health issues in dogs

  • Seasonal considerations (heat, cold, rain, etc.)

4. Technology and Innovation:

  • Dog walking apps and platforms

  • GPS tracking and monitoring tools

  • Wearable technology for dogs

  • Innovative products for dog walking (leashes, harnesses, etc.)

5. Community and Social Aspects:

  • Building a client base and community relations

  • Organizing group walks and social events for dogs

  • Volunteer dog walking for shelters and rescues

  • Networking and partnerships with other pet services (groomers, vets, etc.)

6. Environmental and Ethical Concerns:

  • Eco-friendly and sustainable practices in dog walking

  • Ethical considerations and treatment of animals

  • Impact of dog walking on urban and natural environments

  • Policies and regulations regarding dogs in public spaces

7. Economics and Market Trends:

  • Industry growth and market analysis

  • Consumer trends and demands in pet services

  • Economic impact of the dog walking industry

  • Competitive landscape and key players in the market

8. Legal and Regulatory Issues:

  • Insurance and liability for dog walkers

  • Local and national regulations regarding pet care businesses

  • Legal rights and responsibilities of dog walkers and owners

Each of these topics can be further explored to understand the dynamics and intricacies of the dog walking industry, providing valuable insights for those involved or interested in this field.”

As you can see, GPT has created a list of sub-topics to inspire new ideas and angles you might not have considered. 

Social post creation

MuckRack’s survey also revealed that 64% of PRs use AI to write social copy. This is no surprise as social copy creation across multiple platforms can be time-consuming. If you use social amplification as part of your overarching PR strategy, AI can help you save time and resources by repurposing content across multiple platforms. For example, suppose you’ve recently launched a PR campaign and you’re looking to amplify your efforts and reach audiences on multiple social media platforms. In that case, you can use Gemini or GPT to repurpose the copy by providing it with context and detailed prompts. 

Benefits of using AI for PR

There are a plethora of benefits of using generative AI for PR, including:

  • Enhanced efficiency: Many of the practices above save you time, allowing you to spend time on more important tasks like actively pitching and strategic planning.

  • Automated research: While there is still a degree of manual research and sense-checking, AI tools can aid the research stage and provide you with sources. 

  • Personalised pitching: As discussed above, generative AI can help analyse the style and tone of pitches, general copy, and web pages. This can help personalise and enhance your pitches without taking up too much time. 

  • Enhance ideation: AI tools can help you conquer creative blocks by providing you with different ideas and angles. 

  • Enhanced data-led campaigns: Through data analysis, organisation, and visualisation capabilities, AI can help you produce more data-driven insights and enhance data-led PR campaigns. 

Key things to consider when using generative AI

While there are plenty of benefits of using AI in PR, like humans, it can make mistakes. Firstly, and most importantly, never rely on AI. While it can be very useful, it’s far from perfect which means you must always sense-check, fact-check, and proofread anything generative AI produces. Here are a few key things you should keep in mind when using AI in digital PR:

  • Be super-specific: When instructing generative AI tools, you should always be very specific and include as much detail as you can in order to produce the desired result.

  • Fix Americanisms: Some chatbots and virtual assistants like ChatGPT use American English which means that any written content it produces will be in US English. 

  • Proofread: While some generative AI has the capability to proofread work, it’s not always correct. You must always proofread your work to prevent any mistakes, no matter how minor.

  • Cross-check: Rather than rely on one AI tool, you should cross-check information with other generative AI tools to ensure you’re receiving the most accurate information. 

  • Expect it to be wrong: Whenever you’re using AI, expect it to be wrong. As generative AI tools have been known to “hallucinate”, you should always be diligent and fact-check results. 

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