Are PR robots the future?

In 1950, the Turing test, an assessment of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour was developed. Over 60 years later, there is doubt about whether any profession is safe from a robot takeover. 

By Jessica Phillips, senior account executive. 

A recent study by Oxford University found that of around 700 occupations, twelve have a 99 per cent chance of being automated in the future. While public relations executives didn’t make the list, the growing use of service robots in the industry has proven a worry for many professionals.

But what is it about public relations that means we should consider ourselves safe?

Jobs requiring human interaction and emotion will be near impossible for an artificial intelligence (AI) machine to train for. For example, it would be extremely difficult for a robot to develop social skills. At the moment, robots struggle to engage in a realistic one-on-one conversation ─ anyone who has ever received an automated reply from a Twitter bot can testify to that.

The core of public relations work is communication, whether that be with clients, journalists or colleagues. These daily exchanges, which PR professionals find easy, are not just about sharing information. We also need to consider empathy, context, social background and tone of voice, which are much more difficult to comprehend for our robot counterparts Based on this, do you think a robot could accurately promote your latest product to your target audience in the right way?

Creativity is also more difficult for a robot to master than manual, repetitive work. Imagination cannot be programmed, and PR is all about creative thinking. Humans are able to find interesting angles on events, companies or products — there’smore to it than filling out a press release template using an algorithm.

Working together

While there are aspects of public relations that are transactional and administration-based, automating these will only free up our time for advising clients and carrying out more strategic and creative elements of the job. Take MailChimp’s automated functions, for example. When Stone Junction uses this e-mail marketing software, we are able to e-mail your subscribers when they open your mail, click a particular link or request more information. You only have to write one e-mail and your contacts receive all the additional information they need. Just don’t forget to consider GDPR compliance.

For more information on Stone Junction’s creative abilities, get in touch with us today on 01785 225416. Alternatively, you can e-mail me at jessica@stonejunction.co.uk. I promise, you’ll receive a friendly, human response that answers your PR queries.

Jessica Phillips

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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