The PR world is constantly evolving. As consumer demands for brand engagement continue to increase, creative campaigning has become essential if competing businesses want to stay in the game.

From hyper-personalisation to segmented targeting, PR strategy continues to rely on technological innovation for its success. In fact, a whopping 59% of all PR professionals believe that technology is the key to raising brand status and will drive industry transformation.

One technology in particular that is being used frequently in the PR industry is artificial intelligence. A number of brands are using AI to streamline their workflows, expand their client base, and target leads with precision.

68% of PR teams are already using AI-powered chatbots to enhance campaign success. With this in mind, let’s have a closer look at the benefits of AI in PR and discover why leveraging smart tech could be a campaign game-changer in 2023.

Why AI?

Artificial intelligence, also known as AI, continues to disrupt a number of industries thanks to its ability to automate a number of business practices. Public relations is just one of the sectors undergoing significant innovation in response to leveraging AI as a targeting tool.

“With its automated scanning process, artificial intelligence will be able to determine the best time of day for press releases, social media posts, and other avenues of engagement with their target audience, based on when people interact with the information and which platform or means of communication receives the most interaction,” claims Keith Peterson, SEO analyst at MarxComunications.

“This will offer data that the PR business can utilise in the future to guarantee that they are reaching their target consumer in the most effective way possible,” he says.

Here are some of the key benefits associated with introducing AI to your PR campaign:

  • Improved audience segmentation and consumer insights
  • Enhanced media monitoring and sentiment analysis
  • Targeted Influencer Identification
  • Chatbot-powered campaigning
  • Accurate trend forecasting

Let’s have a closer look at how each area of your PR strategy can be improved using the powers of AI.

Audience Segmentation

AI is able to segment your target audiences based on their past browsing history, engagement behaviour and genre preferences. Not only does automating the segmentation process provide PR professionals with more time to get creative with their campaigning efforts, but AI can harvest and analyse vast amounts of data in just a few seconds, making for a much speedier and more accurate segmentation strategy.

Segmentation allows PR professionals to create campaigns that target each of the demographics in a personalised format. AI-enhanced segmentation can help PR teams deliver tailored messages to their targets in order to improve their chances of campaign engagement.

Take Netflix as an example. The broadcasting platform uses AI-powered segmentation to provide each user with their own personalised watch list.

How Netflix Uses AI Segmentation

(Image Source: Netflix)

By taking viewer data and running it through an AI program, Netlfix can ensure that the right shows and movies reach audiences most likely to engage with a particular genre/show format.

Media Monitoring

AI-powered tools are able to scan the internet in real time. This covers all social platform data, new stories and even public online discussions. This level of media monitoring can help a brand stay on top of consumer trends and in check with its own brand reputation.

AI can also perform a sentiment analysis. A sentiment analysis gauges public sentiment for a brand by monitoring branded mentions and identifying whether patterns of sentiment are positive or negative.

With up-to-date sentiment analysis, PR professionals are more prepared to tackle any negative situations promptly in order to effectively manage brand reputation.

“Every brand, at some point, will confront a crisis. In today’s digital era, a problem may quickly escalate from a single flame to a raging wildfire. However, artificial intelligence can assist public relations professionals in limiting these crisis scenarios. How?” continues Peterson.

“AI can sift through masses of incoming data, including social media postings and emotion, to figure out what’s going on and make accurate predictions about when a catastrophe is looming. Knowing this, public relations professionals can put a stop to it before it becomes a significant issue.”

Coca-Cola is known for using AI-powered media monitoring in its own PR strategy. Using AI to keep track of social media conversations and new stories in relation to their brand, they are often quick to jump on any negative press.

Coca Cola AI Media Monitoring

(Image Source: Coca Cola)

In fact, the brand even released an AI-powered ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaign that used media monitoring to identify each user’s emotions associated with different Coke products. The sentiment data gathered was then used to create personalised brand ads that resonated with the particular feeling that resonated with each consumer.

Chatbot Campaigning

AI has also allowed PR professionals to engage with their targets in real-time in the form of a chatbot-powered campaign.

“Conversational marketing is disrupting the brand playbook as consumers spend more time in messaging apps,” said Peter Friedman, chairman and CEO of LiveWorld, in a news release. “Marketers must employ two-way dialogue tactics to boost consumer engagement, be in the moment, and foster lasting customer relationships.”

Using chatbots, PR teams can target consumers individually and engage them in a customised conversation. AI chatbots can also gather data about a consumer while engaged in a live conversation, making it easier for PR teams to gain more knowledge about individual consumer preferences.

Mastercard AI Chatbots

(Image Source: Mastercard)

Take Mastercard as an example. Developing their own chatbot-powered PR campaign called ‘Priceless Surprises’, the credit card company employed AI to engage in a conversation with participating consumers in order to present each target with a personalised reward based on their answers.

Trend Forecasting

Looking to the future, AI is set to be an asset for brands operating in a fast-paced e-commerce market. As consumer trends continue to evolve, AI’s predictive analytics empowers PR teams to harness the benefits of strategic decision-making.

Utilising AI tools to forecast future trends and demographic attitudes is a great way to stay ahead of an industry curve. You’ll be more likely to make effective campaign decisions if they are based on data harvested from consumer engagement, sentiment analysis and market insights.

Ford has used predictive forecasting in the past to help adapt their own brand messages within the automotive industry.

After seeing a rise in sustainable engagement from their target audience, they have since shaped their initiatives and coloured their content green in order to evolve alongside their demographic.

Final Thoughts

Artificial intelligence is a technological wave that is not to be missed by PR professionals if brands want to stay in the game.

Whether you implement AI into your own brand strategy or outsource a digital PR team to help you enhance your targeting efforts, it’s essential that you use the power of analytics to your advantage in 2023.

“Artificial intelligence isn’t something to shy away from in PR. It is a tool to embrace to provide efficiencies in data gathering so that employees are able to focus on their clients and the creativity of their industry,” states Paul Fitzgerald, the CEO of Salt & Pepper Media.

As the online world evolves to embrace new technologies, competing brands must adapt to stay ahead of the curve.