I’ve previously written on the reasons why I believe that PR professionals won’t be replaced by robots, and it seems that recent research from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) confirms my suspicions.
The paper, Humans still needed: An analysis of skills and tools in public relations, concludes that the profession needs people to ‘think creatively and abstractly about problems to devise new and innovative strategies, test out different approaches and look to the future’.
However, unlike my own anecdotal musings on the same topic, this report clearly analyses where technology can pick up the slack – and where innately human traits are still required.
Of the 52 skills needed to practice public relations, as outlined in the Global Alliance’s Melbourne Mandate, 41% already benefit greatly from AI while 27% rely on some support from technology. However, almost a third (32%) are still deemed to need no technological assistance – and this ‘zero list’ isn’t predicted to change in the near future.
Skills such as flexibility amid constant change, mentoring, strategic thinking, honesty and accountability are at the very core of our roles. And while machines can now assist with measurement, reporting and even content creation, the real value we offer our clients comes from a level of emotional intelligence which is impossible to replicate with machines.
And even in areas where robots are successfully assisting PRs in their roles, human oversight, driven by the power of context, is still vital. In order to see the limitations of technology, you only have look at the fact that the Hemingway Editor - an AI enabled app which scores text on readability - doesn’t rate the work of the author that the platform is inspired by.
Ultimately, PR is an art, not a science. And despite the most recent forecasts from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicting that robots are set to replace 66 million jobs in the coming years, PR professionals don’t need to be looking over their shoulders just yet.
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Author: Carly Smith