How AI Will Impact PR

This is a guest post by Curtis Sparrer, principal at Bospar.

This is a guest post by Curtis Sparrer, principal at Bospar.

Artificial intelligence: it’s everywhere.

In our movies, in our homes. It’s running our thermostats and our online radio stations—not to mention thousands of different business applications we use every day without realizing it.

In many ways, it is making our lives better and jobs easier. Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg, and there is a building anxiety about how AI will affect said jobs.

I decided to get some insight into how AI will likely affect the PR industry. I turned to John Bara, president and CMO of Mintigo, a leading predictive marketing technology company. His view is that AI is and will continue to be a huge ally to PR professionals. Here’s what he had to say about it.

AI already runs our newsfeeds

“What many people don’t know is that artificial intelligence is already affecting what news we are served via our Facebook feeds and news recommendations,” says Bara. “For example, many were blown away when Donald Trump won the presidential election because the news they were being served—based on machine learning of their likes and dislikes—all showed pieces that catered to their individual point of view. If someone had a strong distaste for Trump, it would reflect in the news they were being served, leading them to believe that no one liked him. The reality is that the news we are getting is becoming tailored to us, and, therefore, we have a less balanced perspective.”

AI will enable more targeted messaging

“At the core, the art of PR is to match the message to the audience and generate economic benefits through advertising, subscriptions, etc. Big data and AI will continue to help the PR industry better understand a readership’s core attributes,” explained Bara. “Think of it as digital DNA, not unlike 23andMe for human DNA. By better understanding the digital DNA, the message can be tuned to the audience, and advertising and offers can be optimized specifically to an individual consumer in real time.”

AI will enable us to pitch more effectively

“If publicists aren’t getting a true read on what the overall trends are, they will pitch the journalist population ineffectively,” says Bara. “Savvy publicists will use AI to their advantage by zeroing in on very specific journalists. Rather than doing a napalm strike of pitching, the effective publicist will use these technologies to find the right journalists, at the right time, on the right channel.”

AI can help keep messaging on point

“PR professionals should harness the power of Big Data and AI to match messages to the appropriate audiences,” concludes Bara. “The technology already exists—it’s just a matter of putting it to use effectively.”

Curtis_Sparrer_1Curtis Sparrer is a principal at Bospar. He was one of Business Insider’s “50 Best Public Relations People In The Tech Industry,” and has led PR campaigns for startups and big names including 1010data, Apigee, Ebates and PayPal.

You can find Curtis on Twitter and LinkedIn.