by Vicki LaBrosse
Generative artificial intelligence has transformed various aspects of public relations functions, offering new possibilities for communication and engagement. ChatGPT, an advanced language model, has emerged as a powerful tool for automating PR tasks. While ChatGPT can streamline processes and improve the efficiency of certain functions, it is important to consider that its most recent training data is already nearly two years old (a lifetime in the tech industry) and that human interaction and skills remain central to PR purposes.
Relationship Building and Personal Connection
Media relations rely heavily on relationship building and establishing personal connections with various stakeholders, including journalists, influencers and the public. Generative AI tools can help provide information and respond to queries; however, they lack the ability to build genuine connections. Human interaction brings empathy, emotional intelligence and the ability to connect on a personal level, which are vital for fostering trust and credibility in PR efforts.
Crisis Management and Reputation Protection
In times of crisis, effective PR relies on swift and thoughtful response management. While ChatGPT can handle routine inquiries, it may struggle to address complex or sensitive issues. A PR partner who knows your company becomes crucial during crises as they possess the experience, judgment and ethical understanding necessary to navigate delicate situations, protect the organization’s reputation and communicate effectively with the media and the public.
Adaptability and Flexibility
ChatGPT operates based on predefined algorithms and responses. However, PR situations often require quick thinking, improvisation and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. PR professionals are able to respond appropriately to unforeseen events, adjust messaging strategies and effectively manage evolving PR campaigns.
Ethical Considerations and Decision-Making
Public relations professionals are bound by ethical guidelines and must make informed decisions when interacting with the media and the public. Generative AI lacks the moral compass and ethical judgment required to parse complex ethical dilemmas. PR pros have the ability to make nuanced ethical decisions, considering various factors such as transparency, accountability and stakeholder interests.
Brand Voice and Identity
Maintaining a consistent brand voice and identity is vital in PR efforts. While ChatGPT can be trained to mimic a specific brand’s tone, it may still lack the depth of understanding required to fully embody the brand’s essence. Marketing and communication specialists have the talent to infuse the brand’s personality, value, and vision into all communications, ensuring a cohesive and authentic representation.
Creativity and Strategic Thinking
PR often involves creative thinking, strategic planning and out-of-the-box ideas. Generative AI can provide factual information and respond to specific queries, but it lacks the creative capacity to generate innovative PR strategies. A PR team can brainstorm ideas, develop unique campaigns and leverage their creative and strategic thinking to make a lasting impact.
While ChatGPT offers undeniable advantages in streamlining PR processes, it is crucial to recognize the indispensable role of human interaction in public relations. PR professionals bring contextual understanding, personal connection, crisis management skills, adaptability, ethical decision-making and creative thinking to PR efforts. Combining the strengths of ChatGPT with human expertise allows organizations to leverage the efficiency of generative AI while maintaining the essential human involvement.
About the Author
Vicki LaBrosse, director of global public relations for Edge Marketing, works with clients to develop and execute comprehensive PR and marketing strategies that will help grow their business.