The rise of AI in public relations: a new path to an even more technological future

26 April 2024, By Dianne Vegas, Head of Consumer

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has burst into the Public Relations (PR) scene, transforming communication practices and strategies to become one of the industry’s trends in 2024. This is reflected in the growing adoption of tools such as ChatGPT and Midjourney in everyday tasks. Yet they are only the tip of the iceberg in the vast ocean of the possibilities of AI applied to PR.

In general, the public relations industry has embraced the advent of artificial intelligence. A report by the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) found that 74% of PR professionals have improved the quality of their work and 89% are able to complete projects faster thanks to AI.

Efficiency and time saving are the most notable benefits, as AI enables the automation of tasks such as media tracking and content generation. It also offers greater accuracy and capability in data analysis and sentiment analysis, making it easier to measure a brand’s reputation and impact.

Other popular uses of artificial intelligence in public relations include managing advertising campaigns with strategic insights, personalising content and messages, or using chatbots to manage press areas around the clock.

Disinformation and the digital gap, unresolved issues

Despite the benefits it offers, the adoption of AI in PR also raises important ethical, regulatory and employment issues. The European Union has pioneered the adoption of the first artificial intelligence law to avoid infringements of fundamental rights due to aspects such as biases in algorithms, which can also affect the conception and execution of marketing campaigns.

On the other hand, concerns about AI-driven disinformation raise the need for more advanced verification tools and stronger controls to combat fake news and unauthorised use of personal images. And third, AI threatens the future of increasingly specialised jobs (even replacing media staff), which has implications for the labour market.

We must also be aware that all these tools have a learning curve and rapid evolution, which requires constant training and retraining. Otherwise, there will be a digital divide between professionals who have been able to adapt to these new tools and those who continue to work in the old way.

How can PR agencies adapt?

A report by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), which identifies more than 5.000 tools already in use in the sector, highlights the need to understand the applications and limitations of artificial intelligence in public relations to avoid “sleepwalking into a technological future”. In other words, it is as dangerous to resist this technological revolution as it is to embrace it without thinking through the consequences.

For example, at Canela we have a working group dedicated to exploring all the functionalities that AI can offer us to be more efficient in our day-to-day work within the agency, and thus be able to offer a better service to our clients. On the other hand, we take the confidentiality of the information we handle very seriously, and that is why we have launched the development of an internal manual on the treatment of information in AI-based platforms and applications.


Experts studying this phenomenon also want to send a reassuring message.

While AI offers clear advantages in terms of analytical capabilities, it can never replace the strategic acumen and relational skills of PR experts. Artificial intelligence is more efficient at handling data, but human intelligence remains essential for tasks that require empathy, sensitivity and creativity.

The real value of this technological revolution therefore comes from combining the analytical strengths of AI with human relational and emotional strengths. This will allow campaigns to be managed more effectively, leaving more time to nurture creativity and relationships with customers, media, journalists and influencers. 

Ultimately, the ability of AI to revolutionise the PR industry depends not so much on the development of new and increasingly advanced tools capable of taking on complex tasks, but rather on our willingness to adapt and innovate.

What AI tools do you use in your daily work? Tell us on social media!


Dianne Vegas is Head of Consumer


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