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The impact of AI tools on Digital PR: benefits and pitfalls


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Sam Cobden
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In the rapidly evolving world of digital public relations, AI-powered tools and ChatGPT are making waves. They offer exciting possibilities for enhancing PR campaigns, but there are also potential downsides to consider. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of AI use in PR and how it can affect your brand, your clients, and your agency’s reputation.

The impact of AI in PR

AI tools have gained popularity for their ability to generate content quickly and efficiently. They can provide instant responses and insights, which is a boon for time-sensitive PR campaigns. However, let’s delve into the potential drawbacks.

1. Accuracy and ethical concerns

One significant concern with AI-generated content is its accuracy. While AI can provide answers in a flash, these responses aren’t always foolproof. Some answers can be unconventional or even outright incorrect, which can lead to real-world consequences. Recall the instance when Alexa suggested it was okay to put a penny in a plug socket – a far-from-ideal scenario.

This raises ethical questions, especially when using AI to generate expert commentary in areas where misinformation can have serious repercussions. Sharing questionable content that isn’t verified by experts is a risky proposition that should be approached with caution.

2. Brand and reputation risk

In the digital PR landscape, a brand’s reputation is paramount. Visibility and sentiment are key metrics for measuring success. AI-generated content has the potential to harm a client’s brand and reputation if not handled carefully. Even a single misstep can erode trust and damage the hard-earned reputation of a brand.

3. Risk to your agency

Building positive relationships with journalists is vital in PR. However, relying on AI to create content can lead to bad practices that quickly become apparent to journalists. Sending out questionable content can land your agency on the dreaded blacklist, making it challenging to regain trust and credibility.

It’s crucial to base your agency’s relationships on best practices and ethical content creation to safeguard your reputation.

4. Journalists can spot AI-generated content

Journalists are astute professionals who can detect AI-generated content. With time constraints, many are turning to detection platforms to identify and filter out automated content. Some platforms even warn against using AI-generated materials. Sending such content can damage your relationships with journalists, which can be hard to mend.

5. Threat to HARO and journalist requests

HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and general journalist requests are essential resources for digital PR professionals. They provide opportunities to secure coverage in reputable publications. However, these platforms are highly competitive, and speed is of the essence.

AI-generated expert commentary requests, if used aggressively, can spam these platforms and discourage journalists from using them altogether. It’s incumbent upon PR professionals to ensure that the content they contribute is genuine and adds value to your digital PR.


In conclusion, AI tools undoubtedly offer immense potential for digital PR campaigns. They can save time and provide valuable insights. However, it’s essential to use them responsibly and ethically. AI-generated content should complement, not replace, expert commentary. By maintaining high standards and adhering to best practices, PR professionals can harness the benefits of AI without risking their brand, client relationships, or agency’s reputation.

As the PR landscape continues to evolve, staying informed and adapting to new technologies will be crucial for success. So, while AI tools are a valuable addition to your PR toolkit, proceed with caution and always prioritise quality and ethics.

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