What’s the Future for PR: Digital Automation or Human Emotion?

January 9, 2019

The world of big-data and artificial intelligence can be daunting for someone in the realm of communications. On the surface, it can be difficult to understand how artificial intelligence has anything to do with communications because communicators are most likely to understand their consumers, right?

With consumer preferences constantly changing, it is difficult for communicators to stay proactive in meeting consumer needs as they are not gaining the insights needed in real-time. When communicators integrate the use of artificial intelligence into their approach, they can understand the demands of their consumers and proactively deliver content in a targeted manner. Tools like AI allow communicators to miss nothing, and with that, seize greater opportunities. What needs to be understood is that artificial intelligence cannot exist without humans, but PR will not keep up with the industry without artificial intelligence, meaning the future of PR will be the coexistence of human emotion and digital automation.

Consumers now value user experience more than anything, and the more personalized the experience can be, the better. A recent Business Insider article introduces Getty Images’ use of Panels, a cloud-based image optimization platform that optimizes research by pulling from extensive sources to match the best visual content for consumers. This makes it easier for content creators to find the visuals they need. Much like the Getty Images example, communicators can train artificial intelligence systems the narrative of their brand, and the artificial intelligence systems have the capability to understand consumer preferences in real-time. This combination creates the optimal approach in catering to consumers.

The unpopular fact of artificial intelligence is that it obliterates the need for certain jobs in the industry, but those particular jobs are inefficient and repetitive to the industry as noted by an article in Entrepreneur. While these jobs are no longer necessary, there is now a great demand for people to train the artificial intelligence systems, opening the job market to a new line of design, training and analyst jobs.

In the next few years, the communications industry will see the transition towards the coexistence of human communicators and artificial intelligence systems to make the most targeted and successful campaigns the industry has seen. Together, human communications and artificial intelligence systems will revolutionize the way consumers experience media.

Imad Lahad is head of APCO’s AI Comms Lab

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