Lucie Buchan, Account Executive, Technology
Cognitive and Augmented Intelligence (AI) are some of today’s hottest technologies and are quickly becoming the market differentiator for companies, enabling a whole new level of intelligence about customer engagement and experience.
In the past, AI was a tool solely for highly resourced technology companies. Now, the rise of big data and cloud technology has enabled AI to become so much more accessible.
But how does AI technology and innovation shape our role as communicators? Will PR agencies soon be run by bots? Should we be scared?
Unlike the popular dystopian and sci-fi visions of the future that Stephen King and The Terminator’s Skynet depict, AI systems won’t replicate the full scope of human intelligence. Rather, they will enhance human capabilities.
While AI is transforming industries such as healthcare and finance, as well as redefining how we learn and live as consumers, the communication industry hasn’t adopted AI innovations with the same volume and velocity – though we are starting to get there. Just recently Upbeat PR in the US raised $1.5 million to launch its cloud-based PR platform that uses data science and technology to do PR better.
Whether we like it or not, AI is changing everything we do, from the way we consume news and search the internet to how we listen to music. Just look at the power of AI at work in Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, along with personalised content recommendations from Netflix, Facebook and Spotify.
Communicators who can harness the power of AI will be able to do more with less. AI will enable PR companies to make sense of data at a rapid speed, and content can be optimised specifically to an individual consumer in real-time, producing higher results due to messaging being relevant for the consumer.
AI can deliver deeper insights into consumer trends, enable us to create more personalised campaigns and content, and track and optimise that content to make more informed decisions for our clients. Did the consumer buy more? Tweet or Instagram the product? Which influencers engaged with our client’s content on social?
Our daily interactions with journalist will change. AI can match pitches to journalists with algorithms, considering data from a number of sources including past articles, tweets and each writer’s past interactions with its other pitches. AI will provide the best-how-to-guide for journalists ever.
The ability to effectively measure PR continues to be one of the biggest challenges to the industry and now, armed with AI, we can collate and analyse multiple data streams from a range of smart devices, creating actionable, unique profiles that facilitate better audience segmentation and more personalised, accurate ad targeting.
We are living in the era of digital business and tomorrow’s disrupters will be the brands that can converge their business with new digital intelligence – the same applies for PR agencies. Our Brands in Motion concept is testament to this- if your brand isn’t harnessing the motion that drives it, all the positioning in the world can’t save you.
While the industry is still in its early adoption phase with AI, as an agency we’re already integrating social listening and analytics, channel management and influencer engagement into our everyday work. We’re also continuing to develop our Insights and Analytics offering to help clients better understand where they fit in the constantly cluttered communication landscape.
We need to adapt to the change and that means both working slightly differently as well as making sure our clients are aware of trends and developments. Adopting and building predictive analytics into our own work is going to be an important part of how we continue to evolve.