March of the machines in PR
Thanks to everyone involved in the CIPR’s #AIinPR panel this year. Here’s a summary of our work presented to the Council today.
I returned to the CIPR today to present a summary of the work of the #AIinPR panel to the Council. It was set up this year to make sense of the impact of artificial intelligence on PR.
The group has tackled three projects this year: a crowdsourced tool databased, a review of the impact of AI on skills; and a literature review.
Crowdsourced tool database
Technology is enabling us to work smarter and more efficiently. In my day job at Ketchum we routinely use tools such as Brandwatch for social media listening and insight; Traackr for identifying stakeholders; and Quid for natural language analysis.
We identified more than 120 tools that are routinely used in practice, and classified each tool by function and AI sophistication using a five point scale.
We’re in the process of building an app and website to make the information accessible. You can check out the skeleton for yourself.
Benchmarking PR skills versus tools
Jean Valin led a group of researchers that explored the impact of tools in on a competency framework for public relations defined by the Global Alliance. We’re grateful to Catherine Arrow for allowing the adaption of her work.
Jean concluded that 12% of skills can currently be supported or undertaken by machines, and that this may rise to 38% in five years. Law, ethics, professional standards, leadership and personal skills appear to be protected areas.
Literature review exploring impact of AI on professions
The panel’s final project led by Anne Gregory is a crowdsourced literature review that seeks to take a broader view of the impact of AI on professions. We’d welcome your contribution.
Show me a body of knowledge, and I’ll show you a machine that can be coded to apply that knowledge.
Anne’s work raises important questions about the impact on entrants to the professions, governance and ethics.
The CIPR Council was keen to discuss the application of data sets in PR, the impact of a reduction in labour on society, education, and the impact of algorithms. These are important areas to be explored in the future.
The work of this small group of practitioners is slowly gathering national and international attention.
Kerry Sheehan has organised events for the CIPR in London and Newcastle.
Alastair McCapra spoke at the World PR Forum in Oslo in April.
Anne Gregory and Sharon O’Dea spoke at the IABC Fusion 18 Conference in Melborne in September, and I joined Measurement Days 2018 in Copenhagen.
Jean Valin is due to speak at the International Public Relations Summit in Bali in November.
My thanks to everyone involved in the panel. In addition to those already mention I’d like to recognise the contribution of Chris Dolan, Matt Silver, Andrew Smith, Maria Loupa, Ben Verinder, and Dr Jon White.