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Fayme Mohyong

From Crisis Prediction to Personalisation: AI’s Transformative Power in PR

AI as a PR Game Changer

In the ever evolving landscape of PR, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of this transformation. It is without a doubt that the benefits surrounding the use of AI in PR are boundless. From crisis prediction and task automation, to providing real-time insights on campaign performance – the opportunities for organisational efficiency and better customer engagement are evident.

But what is AI’s role in improving customer relationships and guest experiences?

Personalised guest experiences with AI

AI is revolutionising the way businesses interact with their guests. By harnessing data to profile guests and create personalised services, they can greatly elevate guest experiences. This improves customer loyalty, retention and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Because AI can leverage data such as purchase history, browsing behaviour, and past online reviews to create comprehensive profiles of guests, businesses can then anticipate their unique needs and preferences. For example, a hotel chain using AI to understand and analyse a guest’s travel habits will be able to tailor certain dining and leisure experiences, or recommend certain room types or even room service options.

Another powerful application is the recommendation engine. It is a type of data filtering tool using machine learning algorithms to recommend the most relevant items to a particular user. AI can analyse guest profiles and behaviour patterns to suggest accommodations, activities, or products that resonate with their interests. This personalised approach goes beyond generic recommendations, creating a more engaging, tailored and satisfying guest experience.

The power of foresight: AI-driven crisis prediction

The ability to anticipate a crisis can be the difference between a minor inconvenience and a reputation-damaging event. With the use of AI, we can better safeguard our brands.

Imagine this – a particularly opinionated and disgruntled customer decides their extra hot, triple foam almond milk latte was a tad too foamy, and takes to social media – unleashing a scathing review about the company’s product. By the sheer power and unpredictability of social media, the negativity escalates and reaches a tipping point. Perhaps people are posting negative reviews and comments about the product, or are recommending a competitor who gets the foam-to-latte ratio just right.

Now, picture a different scenario. A couple honeymooning at a hotel receives a recommendation for a romantic private dining experience, as well as a list of interesting places to visit during their trip, personalised  based on their past preferences. Satisfied, the lovely couple has a delightful stay and leaves a glowing online review.

These contrasting situations highlight the delicate balance of public perception in today’s digital age. To effectively traverse this landscape, PR professionals require a keen understanding of both potential threats and opportunities. This is where AI presents itself as a powerful tool for both proactive crisis prediction and management, as well as the personalisation of customer services and guest experiences.

Leveraging AI tools for crisis prediction and reputation management

One crucial aspect of AI’s crisis prediction capabilities lies in social media monitoring tools such as Meltwater and Falcon. Using AI, these tools can analyse vast amounts of social media data. It scans for negative sentiment, spikes in brand mentions, and emerging themes of customer dissatisfaction. This means PR teams are better able to identify potential issues early on, before they gain momentum. For example, if a company or brand experiences an unexpected surge in negative comments or posts about a new product launch, the source of negativity, down to the country, platform, and even post in which the negative comments have originated from can be detected with AI. As a result, PR teams can respond swiftly and gain better clarity on the cause of this negativity.

Another aspect AI tools excel at is predictive modelling. This involves analysing vast amounts of historical data, including past crises, industry trends, and competitor activity. Then, AI can identify patterns which indicates the probability and nature of potential crises. This proactive approach allows PR teams to develop crisis communication plans tailored to specific scenarios. This ensures a well-coordinated and effective response when a crisis hits.

Ethical implications of the use of AI

However, it’s important to use AI responsibly. The use of AI-driven tools in in the PR landscape also means that these companies have to adhere to ethical guidelines, and have a policy on transparency and disclosure put in place to address the  ethical implications of using AI. The use of AI raises significant ethical concerns, including the potential for spreading misinformation, propagating bias and discrimination, and the lack of transparency. For example, it is still largely unclear how some AI systems present their findings and come to their conclusions due to the complexity of how deep learning models function. 

As mentioned in a previous blog article about AI-driven influencers, it is important to note that these tools come with their own set of unique challenges, and their benefits have to be objectively weighed. From a data and privacy point of view, questions surrounding data privacy and surveillance become increasingly important as AI becomes more sophisticated and integrated into our daily lives.

AI and ESG: How ESG can influence how a company uses AI

AI holds great potential in enhancing ESG efforts. For example, It can analyse vast amounts of ESG data to identify trends, track ESG performance, and enable data-driven decision-making. This can lead to better benchmarking against industry standards to identify areas of improvement and adopt best practises – all of which helps businesses to stay head of evolving ESG trends. AI can also evaluate the potential exposure to ESG-related risks, facilitating proactive mitigation strategies. AI also streamlines compliance tasks, reducing costs and improving efficiency. By embracing AI, companies are better positioned to meet the demands of ESG while also ensuring their continued success in an evolving landscape.

In the current digital landscape where stakeholders expect transparency and adherence to ethical practices, incorporating ESG considerations into AI implementation is critical. When choosing partners or developing AI solutions, companies should prioritise those who understand the impact of AI on a company’s environmental footprint, social responsibility, and overall governance. For example, to ensure cohesion and adherence to ethical guidelines, AI-powered tools should be aligned with a brand’s core ESG commitments, ensuring that crisis prediction models respect privacy concerns. Having an upfront and responsible approach with regards to the use of AI helps strengthen brand reputation in the ESG space and also reinforces the trust and loyalty that form the basis of positive PR and guest experiences.

In the same vein, engaging with the right AI solutions partner who considers your brand’s ESG commitments and well as the holistic brand experience ensures that the partnership captures the essence of your brand identity. The right partner understands that successful execution stems from a deep understanding of your brand’s purpose and the experiences you seek to create.

Future considerations of AI and PR: Strategic partnerships

The future of PR is bright with the potential of AI. If companies are able to successfully embrace this transformative technology responsibly, the benefits are promising. From greater productivity, optimised operations and an arsenal of data-driven information and insights, AI is becoming a power tool to gain unprecedented levels of valuable insight. By embracing AI, companies can stay abreast with current trends, gain an upper hand on crisis prediction, and cultivate a loyal customer base. However, it is also important to note that AI is but an excellent tool, and ultimately the PR professional has to be the last line of defence. Various areas of PR require relationship building and the human touch – the intricate understanding of societal and contextual norms and nuances which cannot be delegated to AI.

Ultimately, AI still thrives best in the hands of skilled communications specialists. It cannot replace the insights a communications specialist or an agency brings. These specialists harness the capabilities of AI, combining it with their deep understanding of the industry, and their strategic acumen. In a landscape where authenticity and purpose matter, specialists guide you to navigate the complexities of modern PR. This ensures AI tools are being utilised in a holistic, strategic, human-centric manner.