Generative AI and the World of PR

Tara Figg
 Posted on 17, Aug 2023

Advancements in technology are changing the way we do everything. You can’t scroll through social media these days without seeing things like AI-generated art and references to Chat GPT. These are two examples of generative AI. Generative AI refers to a subset of artificial intelligence models that are capable of creating new content that is similar to content created by humans. These models can generate text, images, music, and even video by learning patterns from vast amounts of data. 

Unlike traditional AI models that produce a specific output based on a given input, generative AI can produce varied and unique outputs, drawing from the patterns it has recognized during its training. Examples include GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks) and certain language models, which have been used in art creation, content generation, and many other applications.

Will it take my job?

Nope. As many actual humans have noticed, generative AI has its limits. For example - if you scroll through TikTok, do a quick search for “AI-generated commercials”. It’s clear that AI hasn’t yet grasped the concept of how humans eat food! Or if you try AI-generated art, you’ll often notice that humanoid figures come out with bizarrely deformed hands and feet.

Same with Chat GPT - while it can be a highly useful tool (especially in PR, which we’ll discuss shortly) - it’s no replacement for a human writer. AI-generated chat is full of repetition and awkward phrasing. It’s helpful - but not human.

How prevalent is the uptake of generative AI?

According to recent findings from Emarketer, generative AI technologies, exemplified by tools like ChatGPT, are being adopted at a pace surpassing that of smartphones and tablets post-launch. Emarketer's data suggests that, within two years of ChatGPT's introduction in November 2022, the user count for generative AI will touch 77.8 million.

Salesforce reports that employees have mixed feelings about generative AI. They recognize its potential benefits but are simultaneously wary of the associated risks and the learning curve to master this fast-evolving technology.

61% of these workers are already using or have intentions to integrate generative AI into their workflows. 68% believe that generative AI will enable them to cater more effectively to their customers. Another 67% feel that generative AI will amplify the returns from other tech investments, such as AI and machine-learning algorithms. 

Yet, there's a palpable apprehension. 54% of these workers are concerned about the accuracy of generative AI outputs, while 59% fear potential biases in the outcomes. And a sizable 73% of the respondents feel that generative AI can introduce novel security vulnerabilities. Among those planning to deploy generative AI, nearly 60% are unsure about leveraging trusted data sources or guaranteeing data confidentiality. 

The research also points to a disparity in perception among business leaders. A majority of C-suite executives (83%) are confident in their capacity to use generative AI securely, contrasting starkly with a mere 29% of individual contributors sharing that confidence.

How does generative AI relate to PR?

Generative AI has fundamentally reshaped the landscape of Public Relations (PR) by offering innovative tools and methodologies to craft and distribute messages. At its core, PR is about storytelling – creating compelling narratives to influence public opinion, foster positive brand image, and engage target audiences. 

Generative AI has a vast capability to generate text, images, videos, and even voice messages. Thus it can offer PR professionals an expansive toolbox to create tailored content that resonates with diverse audiences. For instance, AI-generated content can be used to help come up with ideas for press releases, personalize email campaigns, or even simulate voice responses for interactive PR campaigns. The adaptability of generative AI allows PR strategies to be more data-driven, ensuring messages are not only compelling but also aligned with the tastes and preferences of the target demographics.

What can generative AI not do?

It’s important to remember that generative AI - like Chat GPT, Jasper, or Bard - is a tool. It is not a replacement for a human professional. You wouldn’t want to launch a press release written entirely by AI. For one thing, publication outlets typically have specific and often very strict guidelines about what they will and won’t publish. It’s difficult if not impossible - at least currently - to instruct AI of these guidelines.

AI can’t replace a person. Human PR writers and marketers understand subtle nuances that AI simply cannot. The intrinsic qualities of human emotion, intuition, cultural context, and lived experiences create a rich tapestry of understanding that a machine, no matter how advanced, cannot replicate. While AI can analyze vast amounts of data and identify patterns within milliseconds, it lacks the ability to truly "feel" or deeply empathize with human emotions and sentiments. 

Human PR professionals bring to the table their personal interactions, life experiences, and a genuine understanding of human relationships. They can read between the lines, gauge the mood of a room, and adapt their communication style based on the emotional context. And the human touch in storytelling, the crafting of genuine connections, and the ability to inspire trust are irreplaceable. While AI can be a powerful tool to aid and amplify the efforts of PR and marketing professionals, the heart, soul, and intuition of a human will always remain unmatched.

What can generative AI do?

Say you are crafting a series of articles for a marketing campaign. You’re a PR professional whose client is a small business owner. They own multiple short-term rentals (STRs) and they’d like to purchase more properties, so they’re seeking investors, and they also want to promote the properties to travelers. They’d like to publish articles on various platforms to promote their new offerings. But you’re in a time crunch and need ideas, pronto!

This is where generative AI can be helpful. You can feed in relevant information to a chat generator and ask it for ideas for articles, like topics and outline suggestions; and even ask it to do minor research for you in a pinch. For example, Chat GPT can answer basic questions like “what is a short-term rental?” or offer a simplistic explanation of how a small business can attract potential investors. This should be followed up by more in-depth research, but it definitely gives you a place to start. When you’re racing to beat the clock and turn out a quality marketing campaign in a short timeframe, this can be all you need to get the creative process started.

Okay, so it’s an idea booster - what else can it do?

Generative AI offers a multitude of ways to assist PR professionals in refining their strategies, increasing efficiency, and delivering more personalized content. Here are some notable ways in which generative AI can be beneficial:

  • Content Creation: As we mentioned, AI can generate ideas for press releases, social media posts, or other promotional materials. This speeds up the content creation process and allows PR professionals to fine-tune messages.

  • Personalization at Scale: Generative AI can create customized messages for different audience segments. For instance, tailoring email campaigns to individual preferences or previous interactions can increase engagement rates. Again, this should always be honed by a human touch!

  • Crisis Management: AI can analyze vast amounts of digital content rapidly to detect potential PR crises in real-time, enabling professionals to respond quickly.

  • Media Monitoring: AI can scan news articles, blogs, and social media to provide insights into how a brand or individual is being perceived in real-time. This helps PR teams adjust their strategies accordingly.

  • Predictive Analysis: Using historical data, AI can forecast trends and public reactions, helping PR professionals to anticipate and shape narratives proactively.

  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: These AI-driven tools can manage routine inquiries, direct users to relevant resources, or provide immediate responses, ensuring consistent engagement with stakeholders.

  • Visual Content: Generative AI isn't limited to text. It can also create or modify images, videos, or infographics, assisting PR teams in developing compelling visual narratives.

  • Language Translation: For global campaigns, AI can provide quick translations, ensuring that messages resonate across different cultures and regions.

  • Speech Generation: Advanced AI can simulate human-like voices, which can be used in interactive campaigns or virtual events, making them more engaging.

  • Data Analysis and Reporting: AI can analyze the effectiveness of PR campaigns, track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and provide actionable insights for optimization.

While the potential of generative AI in the PR sector is vast, it's essential for professionals to use these tools judiciously, ensuring that authenticity and ethical considerations are at the forefront of their strategies.

What about ethical considerations?

The interplay between generative AI and PR definitely poses ethical considerations. Yes, AI can enhance the efficiency and customization of PR campaigns; but there’s a potential risk of misinformation or the creation of inauthentic narratives. 

Over-reliance on AI might lead to messages that lack human touch or sensitivity, especially in crisis communications where empathy and authenticity are paramount. As such, the PR industry must navigate this new terrain with caution. It’s absolutely fine to utilize the benefits of generative AI, but PR pros know that they need to maintain the trustworthiness and integrity that are foundational to effective public relations.

So … to AI or not to AI?

That is the question. Like any industry, PR is evolving along with technology. Times change; and so the way we do things changes. The integration of generative AI offers immense potential for efficiency, precision, and personalization. 

But the crux of effective PR lies in authentic human connections, intuitive understanding, and emotional resonance, elements that no machine can fully replicate. As PR professionals harness the power of AI, it is imperative to strike a balance. Generative AI should be viewed as a supplementary tool, enhancing human capabilities rather than replacing them. 

Using AI responsibly, marketing teams and other PR pros can benefit from its data-driven insights and automation capabilities. But the heart of every PR campaign should remain the genuine narratives, stories, and emotions that only humans can craft and convey. The balance lies in intertwining AI's prowess with the irreplaceable human touch. PR teams can set a gold standard in communication by prioritizing authenticity, empathy, and trust in every interaction.

Imperium Group is an American public relations and marketing consultancy firm. Founded in 2016, it specializes in guaranteed placements, creating utmost transparency for its clients. Imperium Group generates over 15M impressions a month for its clients. Its team is based out of New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles.

For more information about Imperium Group, please see


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