How to Leverage AI in PR for Amazing Results

Posted by Wendy Marx

How to Leverage AI in PR for Amazing Results (1)

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is nothing new. If you've been working around PR and marketing, you no doubt already use it to some degree. But what is on the horizon for this technology -- and how should brands use AI in PR to drive results?

Artificial intelligence holds a lot of potential for B2B brands, which is why it is has been one of the leading PR trends in recent years. Yet some still view it with a healthy dose of skepticism. Let's look more closely at the technology, see what it can do for you now and in the future, and where artificial intelligence and public relations connect.

Let's get right into this by addressing what AI is doing for PR, and why it's a good thing.

The Growing Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Public Relations

Artificial intelligence has definitely been a trending, sometimes hot-button issue - with mounting fears of AI replacing PR jobs and causing problems for hardworking professionals

AI and B2B PRFirst things first, do you have to worry about AI replacing your job? For PR professionals, it's very unlikely. The reason is that AI lacks imagination and creativity, which limits it in many areas of public relations. For example, it can't craft a PR campaign or converse with the media. These limitations make it crucial to have a team of experienced PR professionals. 

If it's still a concern, there's a lot you can do to prevent AI from taking over your job. Embrace current and upcoming methods, including AI tools and technology that relate to PR. This will keep your role relevant as new technologies emerge. 

But to be honest, I want to do more than simply allay your fears. I want you to be as excited as I am about the new possibilities that AI means for public relations.

Artificial Intelligence and PR Trends: Changing the Conversation

Let's shift our focus from the more scary aspects of PR and address the exciting, even revolutionary, opportunities that AI brings to the table. It is, in fact, one of the main reasons that AI has been listed as one of the top PR trends in recent years.

Of course, we all know how  AI has already helped within the PR sphere. It takes regular, everyday tasks, like sending an email, and gives you a leg up with the best times to send it.

Artificial intelligence and PR already work well together to streamline and improve such tasks as:

  • Social posting
  • Calendar scheduling
  • Meeting note-taking
  • Email scheduling
  • Content creation
  • SEO strategy
  • Influencer marketing
  • Analytics

But the possibilities for artificial intelligence in PR go well beyond those listed above. 

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Let's check out a few areas where AI is making a big difference in B2B PR. And stay tuned at the end of the post for some AI PR tools that can help your brand get started with artificial intelligence.

AI in PR: 6 Areas Where Artificial Intelligence and PR Are Killing It

1. Data-Driven PR Campaigns

Untitled design (3)-9Brands invest a lot in B2B PR campaigns -- so it's no surprise that you'd want to ensure that those campaigns achieve the most success possible.

Each campaign a brand creates comes with mountains of data that it would take a human weeks to sift through and find usable insights. AI, on the other hand, can do this in a matter of seconds and deliver valuable insights to mold and shift future campaigns.

What kind of valuable information are we talking about? Artificial intelligence can pinpoint the perfect times to send out campaign emails and social media posts. It can help you determine the best places, such as specific social media platforms or trade publications, to promote your campaign. It can even help you know who would be the most effective influencers and bloggers to work with.

And with such speedy data analysis, PR pros can confidently and quickly make valuable decisions for their PR campaign on the fly.

2. Daily Task Automation

Using AI in PREvery brand has those day-to-day, monotonous tasks that need to get done (but that nobody likes to do). There are AI tools that can automate such tasks, leaving you and your team to focus on what matters most.

What kinds of tasks can be automated with AI tools? Calendar scheduling, note taking, posting to social media, and sending out follow-up emails are just a few of the day-to-day, mundane tasks where artificial intelligence and PR go hand in hand. This saves time and money, and allows PR professionals to focus on more important tasks.

And remember, AI is continually growing in its functionality. In recent years, artificial intelligence has been used to streamline customer support. When a customer messages a brand through social media or a messaging interface on a company site, AI is often used to recognize and answer questions. It will either provide a quick answer (i.e., a brand's business hours), or, for more complicated inquiries hand it off to a knowledgeable representative.

3. Sentiment Analysis

Using AI in PR (1)The wonderful thing about artificial intelligence and PR is that it isn't all cold, hard data. AI also has the ability to analyze data to determine sentiment.

AI PR tools can comb through digital and traditional media, including social media, to find brand mentions and determine the overall sentiment of that mention -- be it good or bad. Some tools even have the ability to detect sarcasm and irony.

With such knowledge, brands can detect what the public thinks about their brand. Knowing this, PR pros can identify problems and skillfully guide a brand around the issues. They can also use positive sentiment to know and emphasize a brand's strong points.

4. Crisis Prediction

Using AI in PR (2)Every brand faces a crisis at one point or another. In today's digital age, a crisis can go from a single flame to a roaring wildfire in a matter of moments. But artificial intelligence can help PR pros limit these crisis situations. How?

AI can sift through and analyze mountains of incoming data, including social media conversations. Then, it is able to recognize unusual patterns within those conversations and predict when a crisis is on the horizon. 

With this technology, PR pros can pinpoint when a problem is about to begin and go into prevention mode. With the ability to predict and prevent a crisis, PR pros can do a better job of maintaining a brand's reputation in the midst of today's social-media-centric world.

5. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been an exciting public relations trend in recent years. If you're not too familiar with this trend, influencers are those with a large social following who have pull with their audience, and oftentimes use that pull when working with brands.

Using AI in PR (3)The tricky thing about influencers, however, is that the veracity of their power and influence has been called into question in recent years. Whether for fake followers or lack of valuable social engagement, influencers have been put under a microscope -- with some brands abandoning this strategy entirely.

But influencers are still valuable. And you don't have to have a crystal ball to know which ones to use. AI can determine which ones are the posers and which the genuine article. 

Through intense data and content analysis, PR people can screen influencers and get predictions on whom would be the best fit for their brand. There are influencer marketing firms who have dedicated AI resources for weeding out influencer candidates and giving evidence-based recommendations.

6. Content Creation

AI and B2B PR, Content CreationContent is the power behind many of today's strategies. To be effective, though, your content needs to address the emotional needs of your audience. You could write a top-shelf how-to guide, but if your audience is hungry for an article on industry insights and trends, then your content may fall on deaf ears.

AI helps you to create content that speaks to your audience's present needs by analyzing current audience sentiments and what content is currently performing the best on social networks. Once you have these insights, create content that fits in with what your audience needs at that moment -- which will maximize your content strategy's success.

AI can also help you to create optimized content that plays well with search engines. It's no secret that your content is often at the mercy of algorithms created by such search engines as Google and Bing. AI can help you to navigate these algorithms and obtain a prime place on search engine results pages.  


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10 AI Tools That Will Empower Your Public Relations

1. Lumen5

Videos are a must-have for any PR and marketing strategy -- but video creation can be a daunting process. With the help of artificial intelligence, Lumen5 makes this a piece of cake. Lumen5 can analyze any blog post and create a video within moments, complete with visuals, audio, and text. All you have to do is a few final edits. Then it's ready to download and post to any social network.

2. MarketMuse

This cloud software is a game changer for content creation. Its powerful AI technology offers competitive analysis, SEO, and content research to make your content the best it can be. It will even analyze your site to see where gaps exist and suggests keywords you can use to improve your SEO.

3. Google Autodraw

We've all faced the struggle to find the perfect image or icon for a campaign or post. If only you could simply draw what you wanted and have someone else find it. And with Google Autodraw, that's exactly what you can do. Simply use Autodraw's artificial intelligence technology to draw what you're looking for, and it will search its icon database to give you a range of options.

4. Netbase

Netbase is a social listening tool that can be used to learn more about your audience, see what your competition is up to, and gauge sentiment about your brand. This AI software allows you to analyze social conversations for virtually any piece of data about your audience, including gender, location, behavior, sentiment and key drivers of behavior. In a matter of seconds, you can access all this data and use it to add focus to your strategy.

5. Atomic Reach

As a PR pro, there is tons of content that passes through your fingers on a daily bases. It can be tough to keep track of it all -- which is where Atomic Reach can help. This tool audits all of your content, including blogs, ads, and emails, with the goal of improving quality and relevance. It even gives you word suggestions to help the writing process move ahead unimpeded.

6. Article Forge

The level of sophistication in this content marketing AI software is impressive. Just enter your topic and Article Forge's AI technology will begin researching millions of related articles and create unique, high-quality content, complete with titles, relevant images and videos, and SEO.

7. Talkwalker

This social listening and analytics tool follows real-time conversations throughout social media, blogs, forums, and news sites in 187 languages. This tool can help you to monitor the effects of campaigns, posts, products, events, or anything else that's happening within your brand. It even has tools specific to your public relations strategy, such as crisis and risk management, finding influencers, and sentiment analysis.

8. TrendKite

TrendKite uses hundreds of data points to find influencers and manage your strategy. Find influencers who can make the biggest difference for your brand among TrendKite's vast database. Then use TrendKite's social intelligence tools to gauge what topics and trends will resonate most with your audience to guide your content and campaign strategy. Then sit back and see how audiences across social media, broadcast, print, and online platforms react to it.

9. Grammarly

Grammarly goes beyond simple spelling and grammar correction software. It has been designed to help with the tone and style of your writing, as well as a checker to prevent plagiarism. And the beauty of this software is that it's not confined to a word document program. It is designed to work wherever you do, from social media to email, to online programs like Google Docs and Salesforce.

10. AI-Writer

AI Writer, just as its name suggests, is AI article writing software. Type in a headline, subject, or keyword and it will generate an article that is designed for SEO and blogging. You can also submit an article that you've already written to reword it, essentially freshening it up. Granted, this software is not perfect. You will have to comb through it and edit it down to give it your personal touch. But it does save you time and does a lot of the leg-work for you.

In review...

6 Ways to Use AI in PR for Awesome Results

Undoubtedly, there's a place for AI in PR. From automating tasks to gaining insights, artificial intelligence is one of the fastest growing trends in public relations. Every brand needs to make AI part of its B2C or B2B PR strategy.

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Sep 1, 2019

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx is the founder and president of Marx Communications, a boutique inbound marketing and public relations agency. An award-winning B2B public relations pro, she has helped many small- & medium-sized firms (SMBs) become well-known industry brands and transform their businesses, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™.

Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets. 

View all posts by Wendy Marx