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PR pros want to change the future of their field—how AI can improve journalist relationships

by | Sep 21, 2022 | Public Relations

New research from AI-driven PR pitch platform PRophet reveals that the vast majority of public relations professionals (94 percent) want to be a part of changing the future of their field—and over nine in 10 (92 percent) believe AI has the potential to transform the way PR is conducted.

The study, which was conducted online by The Harris Poll this summer asked PR professionals to identify and assess modern-day challenges in public relations such as lagging technology investment and maintaining relationships with journalists, while considering the efficiencies AI can offer to become more productive and performative in their roles. Ninety percent of respondents said they believe AI will make it possible for them to spend more time on higher value tasks. The survey also asked PR professionals to identify common hurdles they face when seeking earned media coverage from journalists as well as their views on data privacy in PR.

PR pros want to change the future of their field—how AI can improve journalist relationships

Key insights from the research include:

  • 92 percent of PR professionals say they believe AI is worth exploring.
  • 89 percent of PR pros say personal relationships with journalists are more important than ever, yet 53 percent declared they feel like they do not have the capacity to maintain these connections.
  • 72 percent say they rely more on their gut than they should have to when pitching content.
  • 84 percent shared that data privacy is a concern when sharing pitch materials with a PR tech platform.

“Countless industries around the world are already reaping the vast benefits AI can provide to improve how they do business, so why not public relations?” said Aaron Kwittken, founder and CEO of PRophet, in a news release.

PR pros want to change the future of their field—how AI can improve journalist relationships

The survey also asked respondents to share what they rely on to help improve their pitches. The majority reported relying on experience (75 percent), established relationships with journalists (66%), or research conducted by a fellow team member (63 percent). Fifty-four percent said they rely on a PR tech platform to support their pitches, and nearly half (47 percent) feel they have no true strategy at all when writing pitches.

“Today’s research from PRophet and The Harris Poll shows that earned media professionals are open and ready for AI to play a critical role in the future of their work. They recognize that technology can be complementary to their skills and gives them space to focus on what matters,” said Erica Parker, managing director of the Media Communications Research Practice at The Harris Poll, in the release.

PR pros want to change the future of their field—how AI can improve journalist relationships

Download an executive summary of the research here.

This survey was conducted online primarily in the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of PRophet from June 17 to July 11, 2022, among 127 public relations professionals. Respondents were recruited from research panels, an open web survey link posted on PR-related social media, and a list of PR professionals provided by PRophet. Raw data were not weighted and are therefore only representative of the individuals who completed the survey.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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