Karan Bhandari
Apr 04, 2024

How AI, technology, and digitisation are collectively transforming the landscape of PR

The future of PR lies in the fusion of technological expertise and creative human insight, as professionals in communications navigate the growing impact of AI and beyond, opines Karan Bhandari of Weber Shandwick.

How AI, technology, and digitisation are collectively transforming the landscape of PR

In the ever-changing world of public relations, professionals have long grappled with challenges like inadequate information, vague data insights, imprecise targeting, and generic messaging. However, a new era has dawned with the advent of Artificial Intelligence, technology, and digitisation.

Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT and Google Gemini, combined with a host of data sourcing and visualisation tools are revolutionising this space. Not only do these tools make for potent discourses on hypothesis as well as data-crunching, they are increasingly assisting us in providing clearer insights and enabling personalised communication strategies.

This integration of AI, technology, and digitisation is reshaping the PR landscape, offering professionals the tools they need to navigate modern communication complexities with ease.

Deep insights

With AI-driven analytics, PR professionals can delve into the intricate nuances of audience behaviour, unlocking a deeper understanding of their preferences and interests. For example, tools like ChatGPT, Quid and Talkwalker can help gather and analyse large volumes of data from social media, online forums, and other digital platforms—offering a holistic understanding of target demographics.

These insights pave the way for more meaningful consumer engagement, empowering practitioners to formulate strategies with precision and finesse. For instance, by analysing large data across various mediums one cannot just arrive at opinions on sentiments and messaging, but also look at predictive trends which can help brands tailor communication plans accordingly (with a regional focus).

With such data-driven insights, campaigns can be strategised more effectively, tailored with precision to align seamlessly with the audience, ensuring maximum relevance and impact.

Personalised communication

In the era of AI and technology, personalised communication has transcended its traditional limitations, becoming more accessible and impactful than ever before. AI powered tools and LLMs have become indispensable in this regard, enabling PR professionals to curate content that resonates deeply with their target audiences.

Through AI-powered content curation, vast amounts of data can be analysed to deliver tailored content recommendations, ensuring that audiences receive information that aligns perfectly with their interests and preferences. This approach goes beyond mere communication; it establishes genuine connections with audiences, driving stronger engagement and fostering brand loyalty.

For instance, by analysing large datasets of influencer content and engagement, we can help clients craft narratives that flow into authentic content, fostering genuine connections with audiences. As a result, brands can truly speak the language of their customers, creating campaigns that not only resonate but also inspire action, setting new standards for personalised communication in the digital age.

Effective measurement

Accurate measurement of PR efforts is paramount in assessing campaign performance and optimising strategies for success. Thanks to AI and digitisation, real-time tracking and analysis have become standard practices. Tool stacks which weave through variety of listening data, audience consumption data as well as cultural insights are being applied with a rigor that is transforming the PR world.

This transformation is backed by the fact that communication outreach programs are being measured with a scientific approach that goes far beyond vanity metrics. It tracks and measures outcomes linked to business success by streamlining media tracking, gauges public perception, and forecasts trends, aiding crisis anticipation and strategy optimisation. By leveraging AI algorithms, PR professionals can gain deeper insights into audience sentiment, competitor activities, and emerging trends, allowing them to refine their strategies for maximum impact.

Enhanced productivity

Contrary to the initial concerns about the impact of automation on creativity, AI has become a catalyst for innovation. Some notable and practical example is the use of AI tools like Midjourney, Microsoft Design and even Adobe. Midjourney, for instance, employs AI algorithms to analyse vast amounts of data and generate design concepts that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also highly effective in communicating brand messages. We use Adobe for simply reducing the amount of time the design team takes to design elements or for repetitive tasks—we want to focus more on the creative aspects and the craft.

Our AI toolbox, for instance, streamlines document comparison, matches tone of voice, and analyses large datasets to derive actionable insights. Far from replacing human input, these technologies save significant time, empower PR professionals to do more, and do it better. Just as the calculator and computer didn’t take away any accountant’s job; it served to make them do more and much better.

It's evident that AI, technology, and digitisation are revolutionising PR, addressing longstanding obstacles, and opening new horizons. With AI-driven insights and personalised communication tools, campaigns are becoming more authentic and engaging, connecting with audiences on a deeper level. It's clear that the future of PR belongs to those who blend technological prowess with human creativity, fostering genuine connections and driving impactful outcomes in the ever-evolving world of communication. As we navigate this new landscape, we are no longer just adapting; we are pioneering.

Karan Bhandari is the managing director for Digital & Integrated Media Strategy at Weber Shandwick.

Campaign India

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