Reflecting on AI in PR: Insights from PRmoment’s Masterclass

July 9th, 2024

Jonny Bentwood speaking at PRMoment's Masterclass Jonny Bentwood speaking at PRMoment's Masterclass

By Jonny Bentwood, President, Global Data and Analytics 

This week, I had the opportunity to both attend and contribute to Ben Smith’s event, centered around the role of AI in PR. The discourse was rich with informed perspectives, and I’d like to share some distilled thoughts:

The Paradox of Adoption: There’s a palpable tension in the air—senior PR leaders are like deer caught in headlights, recognizing the need for rapid AI adoption but struggling to integrate it into the daily workflow. Meanwhile, junior staff are ready to embrace AI but find themselves adrift without proper direction or training.

Understanding AI’s Scope: AI isn’t a silver bullet. Its utility is bounded by its access to data; without APIs feeding it real-time media and social updates, its capacity to analyze is hamstrung. Therefore I will continue to use an AI that sits on top of a social listening tool rather than instead of it.

Experience Over Access: The barrier to AI adoption isn’t about tool availability—it’s about user experience. Many have been disillusioned by poor outcomes, often stemming from posing the wrong questions or mismatching tasks to AI capabilities. I recommend Structured Prompt for helping ask the right question, and Julius over Claude/Copilot for any excel query.

Early Days of AI: We’re at the dawn of AI’s potential. The demand for structured training is high, as professionals seek guidance rather than being left to their own devices.

AI’s Ascent in Human Potential: Emily McDaid offers a compelling analogy: if the Empire State Building represents the full spectrum of human abilities, AI is currently on the 15th floor. It’s capable of providing profound insights, yet it’s not all-encompassing.

The Future of AI in the Workforce: The looming question is whether AI will replace jobs. The reality is stark: adapt to AI or risk obsolescence. Just as we’ve moved beyond the abacus and quill, we must integrate AI into our professional toolkit.

AI Litigation: What is the commonality between all AI companies? According to Andrew Bruce Smith, they are all being sued so be cautious about where you invest.