Is ChatGPT a Threat to Public Relations Professionals?

is ChatGPT a threat to PR professionals?

While Artificial Intelligence is not new, Generative Artificial Intelligence is a fairly new offshoot of AI that has captured the public’s imagination in recent weeks.

Released only two months ago, ChatGPT—which stands for “chat generative pre-trained transformer”—is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that engages in human-like dialogue based on whatever prompt it is provided with. Its capabilities are vast, and its applications seem endless.

With its unique ability to solve complex mathematical problems, explain and write code, give relationship advice, create customized cover letters and resumes, and even write a 500-word essay in just under 2 minutes, it’s no surprise that ChatGPT continues to capture the public’s imagination.

As interest in ChatGPT has ballooned, some in the PR industry have asked: Is ChatGPT a threat to public relations professionals? If ChatGPT can write a reasonably accurate essay over any prompt in just a few minutes, why shouldn’t it be able to create a press release or a pitch on behalf of a client?

ChatGPT can in fact do many of these things, but in a fashion that represents the bare minimum. In other words, the results are adequate, but the quality is simply not the same as if it were coming from a real-life PR professional. This tool can provide PR professionals with a great starting point in laying the foundation for a press release or pitch, for example, but it most certainly should not be considered the final draft. It lacks the nuance, human touch, and brand awareness crucial to success in this profession. Because these elements are not present within AI, ChatGPT alone cannot replace PR professionals.

Let’s look at an example. When given the following prompt—“write a PR pitch to a reporter about Nike releasing their new running shoes coming out next month”—ChatGPT responds with the following:

“Dear [Reporter’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to bring your attention to the exciting new launch from Nike, the world-renowned sportswear company. Next month, Nike will be releasing its latest running shoes, designed to revolutionize the way people run.

The new shoes are equipped with the latest technology, including [insert technology/feature]. This not only enhances the performance of the shoes, but also provides a more comfortable experience for the wearer. Runners will appreciate the improved support, cushioning, and stability that the new shoes offer.

In addition to its performance-enhancing features, the new shoes also boast a sleek and stylish design, making them a must-have for both serious runners and fitness enthusiasts.

We believe that this launch will be of great interest to your readers, and we would love to provide you with more information about the new shoes, as well as arrange for you to speak with a Nike representative.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.


[Your Name]
[Company/Organization Name]
[Contact Information]”

We can certainly see how it provides nice starting point, but the output lacks brand voice and personality, something that can only be added with a deep understanding of the brands and companies that PR pros work with. Where is the attention grabber that differentiates this pitch from the fifty others that the reporter receives daily? Put simply, ChatGPT pays no attention to the subtlety and sensitivity required when crafting messages to diverse stakeholders.

And, as we all know, PR encompasses much more than just writing. PR professionals are also responsible for building and maintaining relationships with media outlets, stakeholders, and ultimately the public—all things that AI cannot do.

So while ChatGPT is not set to replace us anytime soon, it can certainly be used as an assistant in tasks such as writing and editing. So, instead of viewing ChatGPT as a possible threat, consider it as a possible aid. After all, it has proven itself to be quite efficient and effective in a variety of ways, just like other AI technologies. Would you have known the graphic at the top of this post was made entirely by DALL-E, another AI tool? AI is all here to stay, so why not use it to our benefit rather than deny its benefits.

In sum, AI will not replace PR professionals. But PR professionals who don’t leverage AI may be replaced by those who do.

This article was researched by our intern Chloe Willig-Friedrich.

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