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Is Generative AI the Game-Changer PR Professionals Need?

Michele Szczypka

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Cowritten with Angela Klinske.

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) has undoubtedly made its mark on various sectors, transforming how businesses operate and communicate. While the roots of AI trace back decades, its impact is undeniable as it explodes in the world of strategic communications and public relations.

From chatbots facilitating customer service interactions to personalized recommendations on streaming platforms, AI permeates our daily activities. In business, it powers financial projections, healthcare management, and even content creation. In communications, it helps organizations plan and manage crises, develop content for blogs and media, and helps them understand audience sentiment. The list of tools and platforms to help us do our jobs better goes on, ad nauseam. 

And these tools are getting smarter every day. They’re allowing communicators to free up time spent on building out lists, monitoring coverage and spray-and-pray approaches to PR so they can fine-tune messages, optimize content, and engage with segmented audiences more definitively. 

Despite these undeniable benefits, ethical considerations remain paramount. PR professionals must uphold their steadfast commitment to professionalism, accuracy, and ethics—even more so in the responsible use of AI. PR pros must constantly verify content accuracy and uphold ethical standards when employing AI, all while preserving human creativity and empathy. While AI enhances efficiency, it cannot replace the genuine human connection essential in effective PR strategies.

As the digital landscape evolves, PR practitioners must embrace AI while staying vigilant of its potential risks. By employing AI responsibly and ethically, PR professionals can leverage its profound potential to elevate their craft and drive meaningful engagement with their audiences.

The Public Relations Society of America’s recent report, Promise & Pitfalls: The Ethical Use of AI for Public Relations Practitioners, complements an extensive list of resources PRSA has curated over the past several years to educate members and communications practitioners on emerging AI technologies, tools, and services. You may want to bookmark the page as a resource. 

Below are highlights gleaned from the report as well as from our own experiences as public relations professionals and content creators:

  • AI streamlines editing but risks misinformation. Fact-checking remains essential.
  • Verify sources rigorously to avoid plagiarism and ethical breaches.
  • Address bias and diversity; AI won’t do it for you.
  • Use AI for checking work but be cautious with data input. Whatever you put into the tool, including financial and personal data, stays there forever and can be used in countless ways.
  • AI enhances creativity but doesn’t replace human ingenuity.

Even if utilized correctly, AI will not replace the powerful PR pro. Today’s AI tools are excellent ways to spark ideas, develop a structure for your content, and experiment with different voices and styles. It should not replace your brain – original ideas and content and engaging in meaningful dialogue with your specific audience. 

Just as we continually refine our communication skills, it’s crucial to approach the integration of AI into our roles with the same level of diligence, professionalism, and attention.

To learn more about building powerful PR programs, connect with Michele at Stamats.

Related reading: 5 Signs Your Brand is Ready for a Refresh