Is AI a Substitute for Public Relations Agencies?

Megan Redzia - 06/09/2023

AI can be an invaluable asset for PR experts who are playing a key role in a company’s marketing strategy, but will AI be a substitute for public relations agencies? To answer that question, we'll dive into how AI tools are transforming PR strategies.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have impacted nearly all industries, but its effect might be the strongest in marketing, communications and sales. McKinsey’s Global Institute predicts that AI could unlock as much as $2.6 trillion in business value within this sector. AI can be an invaluable asset for PR experts who are playing a key role in a company’s marketing strategy, but will AI be a substitute for public relations agencies? To answer that question, let’s dive into how AI tools are transforming PR strategies.


How Public Relations Pros are Leveraging AI

AI technology has turned the PR industry upside down, shifting many of the processes us seasoned professionals have been accustomed to, but I’d argue it’s for the better. Public relations agencies are using AI in one way or another, and their clients may not even be aware of how it’s enhanced the strategies they are implementing. Here are the top five applications of AI technology in public relations.

Transcribing Interviews and Capturing Notes

The best results in PR come from when a client sees value in having their agency partner participate in overarching company marketing and sales meetings. This gives us tremendous insight into a brand’s business objectives, new products and services, messaging, etc. AI-powered transcription tools that can convert these meetings into searchable text in real-time ensures we’ve accurately captured all key takeaways and can be referenced as strategies are developed. AI-powered technology can also turn audio/video interviews with company spokespeople into transcriptions to guarantee reporter accuracy.

Gathering Data and Social Media Insights

Public relations agencies are using a variety of AI-powered data analysis tools everyday to develop smarter campaigns that drive results. Sentiment analysis and media monitoring tools allow PR teams to track media coverage and brand perception to make strategic decisions and craft messaging. These tools also offer the ability to better show return on investment (ROI), previously something very difficult to do in our industry. Social media management tools using AI technology are also allowing agencies to create more meaningful social media strategies that move the needle by providing in-depth insights.

Streamlining Content Creation

Whether you’re developing press releases, blogs, articles or social media posts, content creation takes a great deal of time. AI writing tools can make this process more efficient by aiding in research, ideation and optimization. Of course, these tools cannot and should not replace content creators, but they can enhance productivity and content quality. They can also be used to help produce content that is highly personalized for a brand’s target audience based on data. 

Facilitating Influencer Identification

Aligning your brand with the right influencers is key to the success of any influencer marketing program. Manually sifting through thousands of potential influencers, their content, and engagement metrics can take a significant amount of time. AI-powered tools analyze factors like an influencer’s engagement rate, follower count, relevance to a brand, and overall credibility. This gives public relations teams a great starting point for influencer outreach and helps to avoid influencer fraud by diving deep into influencer profiles.

Crisis Management

The digital transformation has made it easier for brands to discover a potential crisis situation in real-time, allowing for a prompt response and a better outcome. Public relations agencies can now use AI tools to identify risks, monitor brand mentions and sentiment, and make informed decisions about response strategies. During a crisis, AI can also sift through vast amounts of data to help a PR team understand public perception about the crisis and adjust messaging accordingly.

AI Tools We Love at 3E PR

Muck Rack’s – To build media databases, facilitate media outreach, and measure the success of our PR campaigns, 3E PR uses Muck Rack. In April, Muck Rack launched a new tool in Beta called that will build a list of relevant journalists based on press release keywords to help improve pitch targeting and increase the potential for media coverage.

Sprout Social – Our cloud-based social media management software of choice, Sprout Social, uses AI-features across its platform to enhance its listening and publishing capabilities.

Canva – Web-based design platform Canva offers AI-powered design tools to help streamline the content production process. Magic Design, for example, is an AI-powered design generation tool that lets you input any media, and transforms it into customized templates that match your brand identity.

Chat GPT – this AI-assisted writing tool is a great for researching complex topics to get a stronger understanding of how to produce content for a specific target audience. It can also be used to compile survey data into an easier-to-evaluate report, allowing your team to identify key insights to be leveraged as part of your PR strategy.

Why AI Won’t Replace PR Experts

Although AI tools can automate basic public relations tasks and, in some ways, help to make a strategy more impactful, public relations is based on relationships, creativity, and problem-solving – all of which require a human being (at least for now). AI tools like Chat GPT are powerful, but they still require human intervention and a true understanding of a brand’s strategy and messaging.

As the adoption of AI tools like Chat GPT grows, PR pros who build authentic and humanized brands through their messaging and strategy are sure to stand out. Most likely, people will become accustomed to recognizing AI-generated content, similarly to how we now acknowledge sponsored posts by influencers, and it will be up to PR practitioners to help increase the quality of branded content to provide benefit to the target audience.

The best thing PR experts can do is embrace AI and figure out how it can fit within your operations, rather than allowing it to control your strategy.

Want to know more about how 3E Public Relations is leveraging AI to create efficient and effective PR strategies? Email me at

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