The fall and winter holiday season is upon us. Along with Trick or Treaters, Thanksgiving feasts, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa, the season offers additional opportunities for PR.
Whether your company serves the business to business or consumer markets, there are many ways to leverage holidays and special events/observances for PR.
Some things to think about:
- Do your products or services relate to holiday buying? If so, there are many holiday gift buying guides and articles still underway, from Black Friday buying to last minute holiday gifts.
- Does your announcement tie in or is relevant to upcoming holidays or special observances? Timing your announcement around one of these (and referencing it in your press release or media outreach) can expand your PR outreach.
- What other ways can your upcoming news, products or services tie in with upcoming holidays or special observances?
Regardless of whether you are offering products or services for the consumer or business markets, using holidays and special observances are yet another way to make your PR stand out from the competition!
AI holds great promise in revolutionizing business. However, before you think about using AI to generate press releases and other PR writing, you need to consider the copyright.
Copyright laws regarding AI generated writing vary from country to country. In the U.S. the general guidelines refer to AI assisted versus AI generated. For example, if you use AI to research your document or even create an outline, but do the writing yourself, that is AI assisted writing and is protected by copyright law. However, if you use AI to write; i.e. generate, the document, typically it is not protected by copyright law. So that press release, website text, blog or article that is AI written, versus AI assisted, probably can’t be copyrighted. Because it isn’t protected by copyright law, anyone - including your competition - can copy and use it as if it were their own.
Before using AI to generate your business documents, think about how it is going to be used. AI can be of great benefit in routine internal documents as an example. But if it is going out to the media or published on your website, you probably want to have an expert create it for you. After all, you don’t want to see your blog, press release or website published by your competitor as if it is their own.
When a new conversational artificial intelligence tool was released a few months ago, we wanted to do an experiment and came up with a blog post using two keywords; public relations and artificial intelligence. As you can see below, this one-sided result isn’t something we would want to use. Not only can you not copyright anything AI produces (even if you edit it with your own words), it doesn’t lend any sort of insight to the pros and cons of AI in the Public Relations sector. In fact, it sounds like a sales pitch or textbook excerpt.
See for yourself below.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the public relations (PR) industry. AI-powered tools are helping PR professionals to automate tasks, improve efficiency, and generate more effective content.
Here are some of the ways that AI is being used in PR:
Here are some of the benefits of using AI in PR:
Our client, Cyemptive Technologies, an award-winning provider of preemptive cybersecurity solutions for business and government, has been busy with its series of strategic actions to scale up the company for the next level of growth! These include several announcements of new positions within the company, including the addition of industry veteran and senior risk management/insurance executive Jim Fasone as Chief Risk Officer and former Hitachi senior executive Ray McCay as Chief Revenue Officer.
Headquartered in Snohomish, WA, Cyemptive has been on a mission to make large organizations cyber safe since 2014. Today, Cyemptive’s award-winning software, services and support are used by businesses and government entities worldwide. It is the winner of the Department of Homeland Security’s Border Security Technology Consortium (BSTC) competition for most innovative border security-related solution in the market, as well as 10 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards from American Security Today at the 2022 competition alone - more than any other company in the history of the awards. More information about Cyemptive Technologies and the team is available at www.cyemptive.com.
BYPR Founder Belinda Young to Speak on “Building an Effective PR Strategy” at TiE Seattle Entrepreneur Institute Webinar
Public relations can be one of the most impactful and cost-effective tools that startups can utilize. On June 28, 2023, BYPR founder Belinda Young will help startups and would-be startups learn more about how PR can help them with her webinar on “Building an Effective PR Strategy” at TiE Seattle Entrepreneur Institute.
The TiE Entrepreneur Institute, presented by the Seattle chapter of the world’s largest entrepreneurial organization, is designed to help aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs understand the fundamentals of building and launching a startup. More details can be found here: https://hub.tie.org/e/institute-module-2.
Like many others, we’ve seen a variety of emails and posts touting the benefits of AI for generating press releases and other PR content. A company promoting its marketing platform that recently sent an email talking about how its AI solution can save you $8,000 a month by generating content for you. And a LinkedIn expert who posted an example of a great article he wrote on cybersecurity, using AI.
Except that the email for the marketing platform contained two typographical/grammatical errors in the first sentence alone - not the best first impression of the quality of their writing expertise. The AI generated article? It wasn’t very good, hard to follow, and in fact the post has since been removed - we are guessing probably because of feedback from others echoing our impression.
At best, AI in its current iteration produces average to mediocre content - the complete opposite of the goal of PR. Public relations is all about making a company stand out, to discover what is newsworthy about its products and its story, and then promoting that to the media and its target audiences. And as with any industry, not all PR professionals or writers are the same, or get the same results. It is the value and expertise each one brings to the table.
If I had a hammer - it wouldn’t make me a journeyman carpenter. Just because you have AI to help generate content doesn’t make you a writer, or that your news release, story pitch or article will stand out to attract the interest of the media. There is more to a press release, for example, than hammering out the words - the actual writing is the final step in a whole process of identifying messaging, target audiences and objectives that AI doesn’t encompass.
AI is not a replacement for the expertise of a PR professional - including their experience in knowing what works and doesn’t work with the media. AI generated content poses a very real risk of an exponential amount of not very good content flooding the news media, with the result of making it even harder for companies to attract the attention of the media.
AI is being touted as a game changer in many industries, including public relations. While we think there are many benefits to PR from AI, writing is most likely not one of them.
Why? For several reasons. Uniqueness (including creating a news hook that makes you stand out from the competition). AI is very good at making you sound like everyone else, but not necessarily in creating the unique angle that will interest the media. The possibility of plagiarism is another example. We’ve tested several tools, and have found the results to be remarkably similar – in fact too similar - to other writing we’ve reviewed. Not good if you are trying to attract positive attention from the media, and a good way to attract unwanted (legal) attention.
We plan to continue to test various AI writing tools in the upcoming months, and share our professional opinions. But the bottom line is – there is no replacement for the “nose for news.” The unique angle that a good journalist or PR professional brings to the table. If you want to fill space with words, perhaps AI is a good tool. But if you want to make yourself stand out to the media and to tell a good news story, AI might not be the best writing tool for you.
Recently, AI has been touted as a tool for PR, including content creation such as press releases. While AI has beneficial uses for PR, content creation isn’t one of them and here’s why.
Because, just like journalism, you need a nose for the news. Or, more simply put, you need to have the instinct (and skills) to move the media and your other target audiences, such as investors and customers, with your writing. This type of storytelling cannot be created with AI; it is a talent.
The same is true with PR agencies. While all agencies say they can write a press release or contributed article, the results can be wildly divergent. We’ve seen this happen time and again. It is not just a matter of “writing” a release; it is a knowledge and understanding of what works (or doesn’t work) with the media, along with the talent, to tell the client’s story. Not all journalists are the same; not all of them have the skills to write for The Wall Street Journal or report for the national TV networks. Similarly, not all PR agencies have the same skill sets to make a news release or article stand out. You may get something that is competently written perhaps; but it might not be what stands out.
AI offers great potential in many situations for PR. However, with press releases, articles and other PR content creation, AI can’t replace humans and the unique “nose for news” that good PR practitioners can bring to the table.
There’s no question about it, inflation is hitting businesses of all sizes hard.
In particular, startups, small businesses and venture-backed companies are cutting back on expenses to navigate these fiscally challenging times. Even so, PR still remains one of the least expensive and most cost-effective ways they can promote their business and gain exposure with their various target audiences, from customers to investors.
PR builds brands and increases credibility. It also helps with SEO, by getting your story out on media platforms. We’ve had clients dramatically increase the number of times their company name or product comes up in online searches, simply by engaging in a proactive PR program. And if the investment community is important to you, PR can help you reach that audience too, even prior to launching your product.
At BYPR, we work extensively with startups and small businesses, with several budget-friendly flat rate packages tailored with them in mind, including a free initial consultation. If you would like to schedule a free consultation on how PR might help your business grow during these challenging times, feel free to contact us here.
BYPR Founder Belinda Young to Present “Building an Effective PR Strategy” at TiE Seattle Entrepreneur Institute
Belinda Young, founder of BYPR, will present “Building an Effective PR Strategy” at the TiE Seattle Entrepreneur Institute on Wednesday, June 22.
This online presentation is the fourth in a series of webinars presented by TiE Seattle, the Seattle chapter of the world’s largest entrepreneur organization, to help aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs understand the fundamentals of building and launching a startup.
“Building and Effective PR Strategy” will cover the basics entrepreneurs and startups need to know about PR, from developing a compelling PR strategy to selecting a PR firm appropriate to their sector. The session also includes a fireside chat with Taylor Soper, managing editor of Geekwire, who will discuss what kind of news stories captures its attention.