While the concept of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) still sounds like a science fiction topic to some, recent breakthroughs are proof that the future is already here.
With market growth expected to reach more than four billion dollars in 2018, and thousands of companies looking to incorporate AI into their strategy, this technology is already a major industry disrupter for further innovation.
But how does this pertain to the communications world?
Public relations is all about proper communication and branding strategy.
Everything, in this regard, moves at lightning speed.
While AI is certainly, well, intelligent, can it make a difference in how communications professionals operate today?
The answer, of course, is yes.
Many current PR and marketing efforts are vastly improving thanks to machine learning and big data.
So the real question is, “Where do human communications pros fit into AI-based strategies?”
Predictions tell us AI will replace seven percent of jobs in the U.S. by 2025, but which areas will become obsolete?
How will they remain relevant in the changing landscape?
Using AI and Public Relations to Build the Perfect Team
Smart AI tools are becoming more advanced every day.
But the “human” factor is still very necessary when it comes to things that require common sense and situational judgment.
Even though AI systems can help guide humans to more informed decisions, they can’t always understand the implications.
This is why it’s critical to build teams with strong, capable professionals from the start.
In essence, PR is a very “human” industry.
Assembling the perfect mix of skill sets and personalities will determine success above all else.
For this purpose, AI can be incredibly helpful in finding the best possible talent.
For example, Harver is a data-based recruiting program.
We use AI-based matching technology to pair candidates with available positions based on skill and personality assessments.
The algorithm optimizes the hiring process by statistically breaking down whether or not an applicant would be a beneficial choice for the role.
Customer-care intensive organizations such as Vodafone, Netflix, and Zappos are already customizing AI to identify the most suitable candidates for their services.
The combination of human intelligence with AI capabilities is a great pairing.
And it’s one that can lead to more informed decisions in all aspects of business.
It’s important that AI and public relations be integrated for better preparation.
AI offers you a smarter tool to help improve outcomes, especially when it comes to building a winning team from the start.
Let the Bots Do it for You
As a communications pro, answering mundane emails, checking the calendar, and formulating reports are all necessary menial tasks which can eat up hours of valuable time.
One study found that managers spend up to two days each week on administrative tasks alone.
Not everyone can hire a personal assistant to manage these distracting and time-consuming duties.
Enter AI and public relations.
Many bots and programs can automate these tasks.
There are even virtual assistants such as Amy, which can schedule meetings for you.
Conversica is another program that is perfect for sending automatic sales responses to initiate better audience engagement.
One of the greatest potential benefits of AI and public relations is that it could mean you never have to complete a monotonous task ever again.
Many communications firms have already started to use AI for things such as content analysis and automated social media responses.
By outsourcing these tasks, workers free up valuable hours to focus on accomplishing more important tasks.
Use AI to Help Prepare for Disaster (or Opportunity)
Social media and PR go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Using an AI-driven monitoring program means teams can gauge reactions, brand sentiment, marketing results, and much more.
Businesses can also use these capabilities to manage issues before they turn into full-blown disasters.
Monitoring and engaging in online conversations could save you from negative media, something JetBlue has famously done on many occasions via Twitter.
The tweet this potentially disgruntled customer sent could have caused a negative buzz, but JetBlue quickly responded and resolved the issue.
As you can see, they turned a frustrated customer into an overjoyed brand advocate!
Monitoring programs can track chatter, alert brands about negative mentions, and even identify patterns that communications pros can use to build better engagement strategies.
Karna is a great tool that uses big data to provide accurate sentiment analysis reports by breaking down language and measuring the engagement metrics of each interaction.
Social listening is a huge deal for communications teams.
It can signal both impending disasters and the potential for tremendous opportunities for your brand.
Even though social media and PR have become intertwined, most professionals simply don’t have time to read every single tweet or article.
But thanks to AI technology, checking on topics or brands which are buzzing online is easier than ever.
Don’t Fear the Robots
As of now, communications professionals certainly have no reason to fear robots are going to take their jobs.
In fact, machine learning tools will only make things easier.
They’ll handle mundane responsibilities while providing better insights and data for better-informed decision making.
If we want to remain relevant in the quickly changing communications industry, we must be ready to embrace all AI has to offer.