Future of public relations: 10+ best AI tools
How to work with the robots, not against them.
AI isn't going anywhere.
Not only is it not going anywhere, but it's also slated to change PR whether we're ready or not. And contrary to popular belief, AI isn't just chatbots and image generators (though it is definitely also chatbots and image generators). There are tons of extremely powerful and useful software and services that take advantage of artificial intelligence in public relations to make our lives easier.
We know that the average PR professional is busy. Fortunately, you can leverage the power of AI through new (and not-so-new) tools that are only getting stronger all the time. Here are our top AI tools for PR professionals and agencies.
We're adding more tools to this list all the time, so for the latest updates on AI in public relations, sign up to our occasional content newsletter!
⚠️ A quick but important note about using artificial intelligence in PR: The internet is still catching up with the awesome power of AI. There are still many major privacy, data, and ethical issues around what AI is, and isn't, capable of. Consult with your manager or clients before inputting their intellectual property into any AI software or publishing AI content on behalf of their brand.
Well, AI differs from regular computer coding in a few ways:
- It sounds human. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is made to be used by us mere mortals. While traditional code needs programmers to translate, digest, and create things that the rest of us can use, AI is made to take orders (and give information, however nebulous its credibility) that real people can understand
- Machine learning. An AI program can adapt and gather more data over time to eventually get smarter and more powerful until it takes over the whole world (FACT)
- Pattern adaptation. AI can recognize and adapt to recognized patterns, making it increasingly efficient over time, whereas traditional software just follows the exact instructions it was initially given
In layman's terms, AI is just really, really advanced computing that can take orders, process them, and return results in a way that isn't just unhelpful beeps and boops. I imagine all of the programmers are screaming and shouting at the screen for this very reductionist explanation of AI, but it is what it is.
AI can make PR more efficient by assisting with tasks like:
- Media monitoring
- Creating press release outlines
- Sentiment analysis
- Generating visuals
- Summarizing copy
- Drafting translations
Automating some of the less thought-intensive tasks in your repertoire can help PR professionals save time and make more data-driven decisions.
Now without further ado, here are our best AI tools for PR professionals.
Yes, this one is overhyped. But it's also pretty dang useful.
ChatGPT is a chatbot tool from OpenAI. All you have to do is input a prompt and let it do its thing. You can even have a light, breezy conversation with ChatGPT and ask it any manner of questions, but it isn't as friendly nor as fun as the original chatbot, SmarterChild.
Anyway, back to ChatGPT. With ChatGPT, you can ask it to do pretty much anything, and it will certainly do its best based on the information it has available to it.
You can use ChatGPT to:
- Create first drafts of standard text
- Shorten or refine your copy
- Brainstorm ideas
- Do some preliminary research
- Automate boring, routine tasks
Many comms professionals are finding that ChatGPT gives their workday a boost and saves a bit of time on routine tasks.
Need a hyper-specific image for a PR campaign, don't want to pay someone to paint it, and need it to be at least 68% accurate? Meet Midjourney.
Midjourney is a text-to-image tool managed through the platform Discord where you can give it a detailed prompt, and it will give you something resembling what you asked for. Midjourney is still quite hit-or-miss, but when it's good, it's really good. That's because it's been fed on gazillions of images from the internet, including a lot of original artist content for which said original artists were not reimbursed in any way whatsoever. But that's ok – artists are famous for having way too much food and money, so really there's no harm done.
(For a less tongue-in-cheek commentary on the ethics of using Midjourney, I recommend doing your own research and deciding for yourself and within your brand where you want to stand on the finer points of AI-generated art.)
Technically speaking, you can use Midjourney to conceptualize images for campaigns or get rough drafts of logos, icons, or even entire websites. This tech still has a ways to go, as often Midjourney can produce some… questionable results.
Morally speaking, it's up to you. Some people refuse to use tools like Midjourney altogether in solidarity with the artists whose livelihoods feed the business that owns the tool, while others, like author John Scalzi, have decided it's a fun toy to use for personal projects, but draw the line at using the images for profit.
If media monitoring for your clients is important (and I imagine that it is), Brandwatch is your social listening AI tool. Brandwatch uses the power of artificial intelligence to track, analyze, and monitor not only text mentions of your brand but also images of company logos and products.
Their advanced language processing can also determine if a brand mention is positive, negative, or neutral, and helps you track all of these metrics in a user-friendly way.
Cleanup.Pictures uses the power of AI to analyze and retouch photos. You can remove unwanted elements (like an ex, for example), change up the style of a product photo, remove text, and so much more.
Create an entire customized brand identity using Looka. Give Looka a few details, some color preferences, and the general "vibe" of your brand, and watch it do its magic.
While Looka likely won't be replacing a dedicated professional designer anytime soon, it's a nice way to visualize and conceptualize different brand and campaign styles using the flexible power of AI.
Canva, yes, your aunt's favorite graphics tool, is now powered (at least in part) by AI. Canva now uses AI to create a somewhat clunky text-to-image generator and can help you get the literary ball rolling in their new Documents feature.
You can even input your image into Canva, and it'll create a series of helpful templates to get you started.
Canva has one of the most applicable use cases for AI integration into commonly used software, and we're interested to see what they come up with next.
If you're in PR, you're probably busy. Way too busy. So busy that ongoing education and continual learning is a nice idea, but who has the time?
The AI service TLDR This is here to help. It can take long, wordy text and summarize it in just a few clicks of a button. It even uses the URL link of the article, so you don't have to copy and paste a bunch of text (though it does have that option, too).
Scribbl is a tool that records, transcribes, and creates meeting notes all by itself. This can be an incredible time-saver for whoever is tasked with taking notes and generating meeting minutes (and we all know PR is, like, 50% meetings). Plus, it frees everyone up to engage and share ideas with their full attention.
Right now, it only works with Google Meet, but Scribbl assures us that Zoom and Teams are coming soon.
Hints AI is sort of like Siri, if Siri was actually helpful.
Hints AI integrates into your other software and services, like Notion, WhatsApp, and Slack, to help you with tasks, kind of like a virtual assistant. The best part? It's speech-to-text, so you can save your fingers for more important things (like video games and creating memes).
If you plan on reaching multiple countries across multiple languages, DeepL is bound to be your new bestie. DeepL uses the power of AI to translate text quickly and accurately.
While it won't fully replace an actual human translation, it can get you 90% of the way there, which is bound to save your team tons of time translating lengthy press releases and emails across multiple languages. DeepL can even translate entire documents, including PDFs. We really are living in the future.
Speaking of multiple languages, did you know Prezly's newsrooms allow you to work across multiple languages? 👀 We love a good, seamless self-promo in the middle of an innocuous list article.
Want to manage your media contacts, monitor coverage, and track analytics with an AI twist? Check out Propel PRM. Not only will their AI assistant help you write pitch emails, but it can also help you create media lists and manage contacts. If that isn't cool, I don't know what is!
Otter takes the awesome power of AI and makes it so you never have to type out a transcript ever again. The Otter meeting assistant will distill all the important details from your VIM (Very Important Meeting) and send you the key takeaways. Plus, they have a free plan so you can try it out and see if it's a game-changer.
Use this powerful AI assistant to create beautiful and useful presentations, infographics, and more. Gone are the days when we have to endlessly edit PowerPoint presentations.
Fireflies makes transcribing and distilling interviews into just the juicy bits a heck of a lot simpler. Plug it into your Zoom call, Google Meet, or wherever you're calling from, and it will take meeting notes for the entire call and even give you a summary of salient points at the end.
Like with all of these robot solutions, it isn't perfect, but it will save you heaps of time if you do a lot of your information gathering verbally. It has a wide range of integrations available, as well as an API, so chances are you'll find one that works for you. There's a limited free plan available if you want to try it out.
Have I tried this one? No. Does it sound too good to be true? Absolutely. Does it work? There's only one way to find out.
PRophet is an AI PR tool that promises to help you make content that wins earned media and generates positive sentiment (what we in the business know as "good vibes"). It purportedly does this by analyzing your pitch against journalist profiles, and redrafts it to best fit that particular journalist's appetite.
If you've given PRophet a go and want – nay, need – others to know about your experience, get in touch and we'll see about getting your POV in here :)
This AI in PR fad is here to stay, and these tools are sure to superpower your PR workflow. While they still can't do your whole job for you, AI tools are certainly valuable digital assistants.
Did we miss any amazing AI tools for PR pros? Let us know! Give us a shout on Twitter, or send one of your AI robots to do it for you. 🤖