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By Angela Baldwin March 8, 2018 Reading time: 3 minutes


Industry leaders discuss how artificial intelligence is changing the way we work

Last week, AirPR hosted the webinar “How AI Will Be a PR Pro’s Dream Come True” with industry leaders Wendy Marx, President of Marx Communications, Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, CEO of AirPR Software, and Heidi Sullivan, President of HKSully Consulting. They discussed how AI is already impacting the PR industry, how AI will impact the role of PR and content marketing professionals, and how to leverage this evolution to drive business impact and success.

How AI is already impacting the PR industry

Heidi began the webinar by talking about what has fueled the growth in AI by citing that “more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire history of the human race” (SINTEF ITC). This big data explosion means that PR pros now need to rise above the noise of more content than ever, in addition to managing brand reputation with more contacts than ever.

AI helps PR pros make sense of these massive quantities of data and surface the insights that matter. She quoted Columbia University’s Professor of Mechanical Engineering Hod Lipson: “Data is the fuel and the algorithm is the engine.” Machine learning and AI can already help us examine Power of Voice, spot trends, find new voices that resonate with your audience, identify conversations in real-time and see the topics that matter to your audience.

How AI will impact the role of PR and content marketing professionals

Wendy provided a few wake-up stats for PR professionals about AI:

  • 45% of paid activities could be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies. (McKinsey & Company)
  • $2 trillion in US annual wages could be wiped out via automation. (McKinsey & Company)
  • Meanwhile, 1.9% of annual revenue spent by PR firms on technology vs. 5.2% for other industries. (Gould & Partners Survey)

She then highlighted areas of PR that are ripe for AI:

  • Automating your day
  • Taking the guesswork out of PR campaigns
  • Taking the crisis out of crisis communications
  • Taking the guesswork out of customer personas

However, for those fearful that AI will replace their jobs, Wendy discusses how soft skills become more important: qualitative, non-formulaic press releases, relationship building, creative strategy development, creative storytelling and trust building. AI can help power our productivity in these more creative capacities.

How to leverage this evolution to drive business impact and success

Taking the next step, Sharam discussed the new world of Growth PR. Our old goal was to measure PR, but that is shifting to the need to drive business impact. He highlighted that to drive business impact, we need to use AI to identify business indicators and funnel acceleration to truly measure how our efforts are impacting the bottom line.

Sharam mentioned ways that AI can now help communicators in every aspect of their strategy and campaign cycle. PR pros can now:

  • Cut noise to be a thought leader
  • Quantify the buzz
  • Properly attribute revenue
  • Know which tactics are working
  • Spot brand & revenue indicators
  • Identify PR funnel accelerators

As a case study, Sharam highlighted how AirPR’s solution uses AI today to help users identify trends, influencer, audience and topics that matter and provide AI-driven insights that create measurement, reporting and attribution that truly measures business impact.

Click here to listen to the full webinar on demand.