Crafting a Robust PR Strategy to Maneuver Through AI’s Uncertain Terrain
By Ryan Jones, OggaDoon Digital Marketing and PR
Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands as a beacon of innovation, reshaping industries and infiltrating our daily lives. Yet, amidst this era of boundless potential, a cloud of uncertainty and scepticism looms. How can businesses skillfully shape public perception of AI? The answer lies within the realm of Public Relations (PR). In the age of AI’s uncertain future, learn how to leverage its power to establish a resilient brand presence.
What Are the Current Views on AI?
AI seems limitless with its applications, ranging from autonomous vehicles to customer service software, to design and development. However, the public’s perception of AI is mixed, largely down to the range of applications. While some embrace AI for its potential to drive efficiency and innovation, others are concerned about job security and availability, data privacy, and the ethical implications of AI decision making. Just over half of Britons believe they understand what AI is, and slightly fewer claim to know the issues surrounding AI, meaning more Britons are pessimistic than optimistic. According to YouGov, the pessimism comes from a lack of confidence in tech companies and the government to develop AI responsibly and effectively regulate it. These concerns make a difficult landscape that AI companies must navigate.
What Is Digital PR?
Digital PR is integral in modern public relations, focusing on utilising digital platforms and strategies to enhance brand visibility and reputation. Digital PR is a useful tool for AI companies as it can create compelling narratives that highlight the benefits of AI whilst transparently addressing concerns. Digital PR is about engaging with the audiences where they are — online — and encouraging meaningful conversations.
The value of digital PR is often seen in brand awareness and through the perception of the company, but some may feel that digital PR should have a strong ROI. There are many ways to calculate the value of your PR, and you can find out more here.
How Can a PR Strategy Help Grow an AI Brand?
A strong PR strategy isn’t just about having the right story, it’s also about reaching the right audiences through the right channels and publications. To educate your audience, you need to know where they are and how to reach them. There are different methods of PR outreach that can fit in to a PR strategy:
Education and Awareness
A PR strategy focused on educating your audience on AI and raising awareness of its positive uses can be really engaging, building trust and developing constructive discussion. This involves breaking down complex concepts into relatable terms and showcasing real-world use cases that resonate with everyday experiences.
Establishing your AI company as a thought leader can instil confidence and credibility. Through opinion pieces, interviews, and speaking at events, these experts can contribute to industry discussions, shaping a positive narrative around AI and building the brand as the go-to company for insight.
Stories are powerful tools for humanising technology and evoking emotion. Sharing stories of how AI has positively impacted individuals, businesses, or communities can create an emotional connection, to both AI and your brand.
Engagement and Feedback
Digital platforms give the opportunity for direct engagement with audiences. Listening to concerns, answering questions, and incorporating feedback demonstrate a commitment to transparency and improvement whilst building a strong customer relationship.
Delivering an AI PR Campaign
Delivering a successful AI PR campaign requires a strategic approach that can be adaptable but is also fully focused on the campaign goal. The way to establish a plan is to work backwards from your goal and to fill in the steps of how to reach that goal
Define the clear objectives of your campaign. Whether it’s building trust in your brand, addressing concerns of AI in your industry, or launching a new AI product — the goals of your campaign should be clear.
Know Your Audience
Segmenting your audience and tailoring the messaging to resonate with them will see the strongest results. You must then also find out how to reach each segment and know where to best find them.
Craft Compelling Content
The content you create will depend on your goals. Developing content that educates, entertains, or empowers will be engaging no matter the goal. This can include blog posts, infographics, videos, and more. Whenever delivering a PR campaign, it is always essential to have the supplementary content so that your audience can continue their customer journey and further their research.
Digital PR often has strong links to influencers and utilising sponsored content. Collaborating with industry influencers can lend credibility to your brand and expand your reach to current and new audiences.
Monitor and Adjust
Tracking the performance of your campaign metrics and being ready to adapt your strategy based on the insights you gather will keep your campaign fully optimised.
How to Recognise When Crisis PR Is Needed
While a proactive PR strategy is essential, a crisis can arise unexpectedly. Here’s how to spot the signs and recognise when crisis PR is needed:
Negative Public Sentiment
A sudden influx of negative comments, reviews, or media coverage can indicate a brewing crisis that needs addressing. Depending on how loyal your current audience is, public sentiment may start being addressed by them in support of your brand. However, the focus should be on how to address a potential crisis.
When false information about your AI technology or AI in general gains traction, it’s crucial to address it promptly to stop it from negatively impacting your brand. Sometimes it is better to not directly engage in the conversation as discussion can rapidly develop and expand negatively. Addressing the misinformation through crisis PR can show expert opinion that indirectly responds to quash the false information early.
Legal or Ethical Concerns
Legal disputes or ethical dilemmas seem to be one of the biggest concerns with AI technology. Addressing these concerns requires transparent communication to maintain public trust.
If a new AI feature or application faces significant public backlash, consider it a warning sign. Your brand may want to hold off on the feature until public opinion is more accepting, or you may want to address concerns and launch the feature will a full PR campaign. Addressing fears can disperse a crisis, but having an adaptable and speedy PR team will mean a crisis PR campaign can quickly roll out.
In conclusion, AI is a transformative force that presents both opportunities and challenges. Navigating the uncertainties surrounding AI requires a strategic PR approach that focuses on education, transparency, and engagement. By employing digital PR tactics, crafting compelling narratives, and effectively managing crises, AI companies can build trust, enhance their brand’s reputation, and create a positive impact on society. Find out how PR can help your AI company today, and find out how our crisis communications can build a positive reputation.