Media relations has changed a lot in the past decade. Shrinking newsrooms and more flexible definitions of what a journalist is (and does). Access to global news as it happens has made pitching more challenging, and much more competitive. And 'coverage' can mean anything from big banner news publications to popular social channels.
However big or small, getting your story on the radar isn't what it used to be. So is there a way to keep your media relations momentum without shelling out tens of thousands for paid PR and agency strategies?
Enter AI. Artificial Intelligence has become an increasingly impactful way of enhancing PR and media relations efforts over the past year. From data and trend analysis, to identifying hooks and personalising pitches, the tech can amplify the coverage you secure and the journalist network you build. And it could be time for you to tap into its potential.
As part of our ongoing series exploring the potential and impact of AI across the marketing mix, here's what the tech can do for your media relations activity, and why it's more than a fleeting trend.
Use it for… strategy
The foundation to a successful PR campaign or media relations activity is a well-defined strategy. One that presents a great hook, strong messaging, relevant titles, industry relevance - all backed up with the right insights and data. Suffice to say, that can take serious time and resources.
Data-led tools can help make this process faster, smoother, and more accurate - and with the help of AI, they’re becoming more and more sophisticated every day. Tools like Google Analytics, Vuelio and Cision can extrapolate and analyse vast amounts of data (think industry trends, share of voice, coverage performance etc.) and present them to you in an easily digestible format of your choosing.
Not only will you gain a strong picture of your brand and the market, but you'll be in a better position to build out a more informed PR strategy because of it. Plus, it can be used in a similar way at the close of a campaign or project to demonstrate impact and ROI.
Use it for… pitching
Ah, the media pitch. Too long and no one will read it. Too short and it doesn't give the right information. A generic angle and it's too dull. A niche angle and it's not relatable. Truly the Goldilocks of PR, knowing how to get a pitch just right can be a struggle for even the most seasoned of PR pros.
The likes of Copy.ai and Jasper can rapidly enhance how you're pitching. With the right cues, AI-powered tools can produce strong drafts for you to develop, as well as personalised pitches using tailored messaging. Some tools can even use sentiment analysis (more on this below) to determine how a journalist is perceiving your brand - and if you should adjust your approach.
It's an imperfect software (at least for now), so we wouldn't recommend using AI to produce your pitches without a second thought. But using it for inspiration, initial drafts, and even fine-tuning can help you perfect your pitching skills, and ultimately support your media relations in the long run.
Use it for… brand perception
Brand perception and authority are often amongst the top goals for any PR strategy and media relations activity, but it's not the simplest of tasks. Building a well-recognised brand with strong market value, a loyal following, and accurate representation can take time. A lot of it.
Building great perception starts with where you are. AI-driven platforms like Brand24 and TalkWalker use sentiment analysis to monitor how your brand is being talked about across public channels. Enabling you to interrogate your current status in the market directly through your target audience's views and opinions - leaving you to find the best strategies to improve or enhance it.
This also doubles as a barometer check. As you rollout PR tactics, and work closely on enhancing your brand authority, AI software can continue to pull these insights and monitor if and how those sentiments might be evolving. Any good strategy knows when to stay the course, and when to shift.
Will AI determine the new PR landscape?
For all the buzz around AI, particularly in the marketing mix, we can't shy away from the fact that the tech is followed by a degree of uncertainty.
For PR and media relations, we've seen such radical change over the past decade since the rise of social media and globalisation that it's almost hard to see where it will go from here. And whether AI technology will play an intrinsic role in setting a new industry standard.
What we do know is its capabilities in the here and now - and predict how it might evolve in the next 12-18 months. AI provides ample opportunity to remain ahead of the curve. The tech can help teams, professionals and entire businesses adapt a more innovative and agile model in a changeable market. It can help us work smarter, enhance our skills, and perfect how we strategize.
Not something to sniff at.
Ready to accelerate your media relations? We recently co-hosted a panel event alongside PRCA and Independent Consultants Groups all about engaging the press, and securing the coverage you need to achieve your business objectives.
Watch the recording to gain valuable insights from our experts, and amplify your PR efforts today.
Discover how to build constructive conversations and relationships with the press, the types of stories they're looking for, and key trends in the landscape. Register today.