Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A development that could 'do' Public Relations automatically




Deep Mind is the 13th single by the Japanese band Buono and it is also the name of a Google subsidiary based in London using techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general‑purpose learning algorithms.

Two years ago, IBM demonstrated a computer chip that was inspired by the function, low power, and compact volume of the brain. These chips provide the building blocks for computers that can emulate and extend the brain’s ability to respond to biological sensors and analyse vast amounts of data from many sources at once.


However, these chips require a very different kind of programming model from the one used in computers today – which is still derived from FORTRAN, a programming language developed in the 1950s for ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer - the software is on its way.

DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman gave a rare insight into the work he and his team are doing within Google during a machine learning conference in London in 2015. He leads research at the company.

Google DeepMind is an artificial intelligence division within Google that created after Google bought Oxford University spinout, DeepMind, in January 2014.

The division, which employs around 140 researchers at its lab in a new building at Kings Cross, London, is on a mission to solve general intelligence and make machines capable of learning things for themselves.

Suleyman explains:

'These are systems that learn automatically. They’re not pre-programmed, they’re not handcrafted features. We try to provide a large-a-set of raw information to our algorithms as possible so that the systems themselves can learn the very best representations to use those for action or classification or predictions.'


'The systems we design are inherently general. This means that the very same system should be able to operate across a wide range of tasks.'

 'AI has largely been about pre-programming tools for specific tasks: in these kinds of systems, the intelligence of the system lies mostly in the smart human who programmed all of the intelligence into the smart system and subsequently these are of course rigid and brittle and don’t really handle novelty very well or adapt to new settings and our fundamentally very limited as a result.'

'We characterise AGI as systems and tools that are flexible and adaptive and that learn.'

‘We use the reinforcement learning architecture that is largely a design approach to characterise the way we develop our systems. This begins with an agent which has a goal or policy that governs the way it interacts with some environment. This environment could be a small physics domain, it could be a trading environment, it could be a real world robotics environment or it could be an Atari environment.The agent says it wants to take actions in this environment and it gets feedback from the environment in the form of observations and it uses these observations to update its policy of behaviour or its model of the world.’

What he is explaining is common among humans. We are programmed to learn, and we focus our learning based on a reward system at our mother’s breast.

In PR, we did not really notice the application of Deep Mind. We are impressed with the capability of Google to find images from search instructions described in English in ‘Google Images’. It is just one example of the application of Deep Mind automation.

Automation is already at work in helping practitioners. What is not well established is the nature and benefit of these developments in day to day PR work.

Such developments have not been introduced especially for PR practice. It is right we know about such developments and use it, and it is important that the PR industry can recognise the real thing and the scams.

Also, there is a good case for the industry to seek out developments that will enhance practice (and increase productivity and competitive edge).

Furthermore, the PR industry also need to be driving and rewarding useful development to aid practitioners.


These considerations are important for the PR sector and if it were to take them further could be a significant exemplar for the UK government's initiative, the: ‘Digital Transformation Plan’, 2015. It is an initiative that will set out the actions the government will take to support the adoption of digital technologies across the UK economy including, one hopes, Public Relations.



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Marketing and the Media is Changing

A future in which you identify the nature of the sector (culture) and in which your client operates is changed.

The professional in this arena now has to:


  • Identify the sector (culture)
  • Identify the key descriptors (concepts) common to, and unique to the sector (culture)
  • Identity changes and the rate of change
  • Identify the media of most significance to the culture e.g. Newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, digitally enabled channels (from Netflix to Twitter).
  • Develop capability to affect the culture.
  • Deliver
  • Evaluate.
  • There is very little future for the practitioner who does not have such skills. The reason is simple. Traditional media has a problem.



The money that once drove most media is now shrinking. The effect of the traditional media as an advertising medium is flagging badly and even the journalists who once enjoyed the services of the PR industry has now turned to Twitter (among other media) to be able to perform well.

There is a lot of evidence.
The revenues of news channels is disappearing.

In the USA, Advertising Age said that measured-media spending fell by 1.8% over the year to June 2015.

In July 2015 both the Pew Research Center and the Knight Foundation found that Facebook and Twitter users across all demographics were increasingly using the social networks as news sources. They are however seeking out different types of news content on each platform.

There are commercial drivers too. Jon Moeller, chief financial officer at Procter & Gamble, said at an investor conference in 2015: "In general, digital media delivers a higher return on investment than TV or print."

In 2015, the UK will become the first country in the world where half of all advertising spend goes on digital media.


Just over £16.2bn will be spent on all forms of advertising in the UK, including TV, newspapers, billboards, radio, online and on mobiles and tablets, according to eMarketer.


Digital advertising is expected to grow by 12% in 2015 to £8.1bn, making the UK the first country in which £1 in every £2 will go to digital media. The internet is expected to overtake TV to become the largest medium for advertising in 2016.

To what extent is this reflected in the activities of the CIPR, PRCA and universities?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Definition of PR


A Definition of PR
 

It is pretty important that, as we examine PR and its automation, we should be talking about the same thing.

Lots of people try to define PR. In the digital environment, it is important to be precise and not to drift into other realms of management or to confine the practice to a future of obscurity.
 
The definition being used here recognises that:
 
Public Relations is:
 
The nature of knowing and understanding cultures, (namely “the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time”) in society;
 
The ethically sound ability to change cultures to the benefit of the client.
 
This is true in consumer PR, Industry and sector PR, Corporate Affairs and HR development and all other forms of PR. 
 
It is quite a broad definition, but it also has boundaries. Being bounded by the effects of culture is useful and prevents us being drawn into the debate about advertising or marketing in that if the activity is not to affect culture, it has no place in PR. Thus, hits on a website are not necessarily an indication of cultural change but events, actions or reactions driven by such hits are cultural effects and thereby are a PR issue.
 
It is much more extensive that the Grunig and Hunt (1984), definition:


“The management of communication between an organization and its publics.”

Or the description provided by search engines:

"public relations

noun

plural noun: public relations

the professional maintenance of a favourable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.

The state of the relationship between a company or other organization or a famous person and the public.

"public relations is often looked down on by the media"

"companies justify the cost in terms of improved public relations"



There is a need to more precise because the range of influences on any individual through communication and other drivers is extensive (no wifi is an example where equanimity in message reception might be missing).



This means that, when working with the organisation or the client, PR has the reasonable authority to ask of the population affected by its presence. Then we can ask:


Do we understand the culture in which the organisation has presence and influence?
and Can we change it? 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Path Towards Automated PR

Public Relations is a profession, an art and is safe from automation, some might say. In my forthcoming book, we will see that such ideas are outdated. The machines are far too clever to be left out!


The biggest benefit of automation is that it saves labour and increases productivity. It is also used to save energy and materials and to improve quality, accuracy and precision.


It also replaces the jobs of many. In the past, this has been to the disadvantage of the inadequately educated and lackluster folk in society. No more. New developments will be a challenge to all but the most creative and capable in society.


Many people believe that automation requires human buy-in to succeed. Evidence in this book will suggest that it will often be hard to identify the application of automation in the first place. It is sneaking up on us. Buy-in will be more cultural than emotional or pragmatic.


It has to be said that all PR will NOT be automated.


Many facets and processes of PR will be fully, or partly automated. Some activities will be transferred from human delivery to the processes offered by new and evolving technologies.The profession will be changed by automation and these evolving technologies replacing PR functions, and wider environments will alter the nature of PR.


For those who hang their hat on the uniquely creative nature of PR, there will be a disappointment. They will discover that, progressively, technologies are beginning to automate many of the most creative of aspects of modern civilisation. PR will not be exempt.


The key here is whether, as in the past, external actors provide the products, services, code and Apps. The alternative is for the PR industry takes it unto itself to get involved and encourage relevant design capabilities to address the issues it faces in automating and changing the productivity of the sector.


In this book, we begin with an examination of automation and then look at the ordinary and mundane. We have to look at current capabilities such as such as automating SEO and progress to more advanced forms of activity that will replace many of the humans who work for the PR sector. After that, there is a little blue sky commentary.


An example of ordinary and elementary PR might be an activity — let’s say a new post on your blog. The first step in automation will be that it triggers an action, such as sharing that post on Twitter and Facebook. It’s a simple process. Thus, an event happens in one environment, triggering an event in another place. Such ability can be incredibly powerful when you use it to tie together over 350 apps in this way, which is a service already provided by Zapier (among many others).


The big question for the PR sector is whether developing such capability should be part of PR sector development or third party initiative. In other words, is it possible for the PR industy to create a supporting development infrastructure for practitioners and vendors.


While this might be a PR sector activity, other actors are doing the same sort of thing from their perspective.


For example:


Google’s new ‘Knowledge Graph’ allows Google to move toward a new way of searching not for pages that match query terms but for “entities” or concepts that the words describe.


In March 2015, the President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations discovered that a robot had created a biographical note about her, including a photograph and noting her election to Institute President.  It appeared for all to see in the right-hand column of Google Search. The robot had already visited the PR profession and automatically written up a nice little column. Almost no one noticed, not even Sarah Pinch until it was pointed out to her.


imageedit_8_7994335416.png


Thus, many PR activities will be modified or usurped by new services or by organisations that have more power and capability than the PR industry can summon up to offer an alternative..


In such circumstances, the profession has to be aware of these many changes;  has to monitor what it is doing and has to be able to manage the events that are beyond the control of the PR sector. The PR industry now has to develop capabilities to identify new technologies that are relevant for the profession and has to ensure its members are fully aware and capable of both recognising such techniques and able to deploy them (whether they like it or not).


Automation goes further. It is affecting the actors that are influencing PR constituencies.


Four in five (82%) people are accessing online news in the UK, access the website or app of a traditional news brand. Of those who access news on their smartphone, half use a single source on their phone. In other words, web technologies collect, collate, re-format and publish news without a single human touching it but from established news brands. Is this automated content distribution legitimate or even ethical? Can it be a revenue source for publishers? How should the PR profession optimise this development?


Despite the benefits of such super technologies, funding them is hard work, Reuters’ did the research and found that the digital audience will not pay. Three-quarters (73%) of UK adults say they are very unlikely to pay for online news.


This is a behavioural change.


Perhaps news distribution will be saved by online advertising.


PageFair reports research with Adobe showing that in 2014 there were about 144 million active adblock users around the world and adblock usage grew by nearly 70% between June 2013 – June 2014. Wark.com reported that only half (52%) want to block all ads, according to more than 2,000 UK adults questioned by YouGov for the Internet Advertising Bureau UK. There is more to this area of development. But the essential truth is that news publishing is being changed by automation. Today, news content of the ‘broadsheets’ has to fit mobile phones and the advertising model is also changed after centuries of success.


For Public Relations, this is evidence of third party change in the PR business environment wrought by the internet and automation in other sectors. The profession needs to know of such changes, the potential effects on practice and a view of what is happening next.


So far, the changes we are experiencing are what we, mostly, see every day. There are activities that are less evident, can affect or be adopted by practitioners and point to a very different future.


We are talking about big, complicated, subtle cognitive tasks which are quickly being affected by digital agents. Some are evident in very practical applications like wikis, others are even more advanced and that’s a sign of things to come.


This is here where the PR industry has to look.


Is there software that can rationalise and describe the product manager's’ monthly statistical analysis? Can it be re-cast into a well written commentary? Can this be re-framed and offered to a wider range of interest groups in the cultural sphere of the organisation?


Take a deep breath. The answer is yes! Better still, it is an automated capability. Can it be re-formatted to serve wider and new audiences in near real time or selected times? Yes it can.


Now we are entering the domain of technologies able to usurp a number of the traditional activities of the PR sector.


This is the area where, for example, some press releases/notices can be created automatically. They can add to the transparency of organisation in addition to removing some of the more tedious work.


A minor earthquake in Los Angeles early morning in March 2014 was relatively unremarkable apart from one thing: the first news report of the event was written by a robot.


The Los Angeles Times was the first media outlet to publish news of the earthquake, putting up a news report on its site only three minutes after the first tremors were felt. The story appeared under the byline of Ken Schwencke, a journalist and programmer at the LA Times.


But the real author was an algorithm known as Quakebot.


The report said:
“A shallow magnitude 4.7 earthquake was reported Monday morning five miles from Westwood, California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 6:25 a.m. Pacific time at a depth of 5.0 miles.
According to the USGS, the epicenter was six miles from Beverly Hills, California, seven miles from Universal City, California, seven miles from Santa Monica, California and 348 miles from Sacramento, California. In the past ten days, there have been no earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.
This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service and this post was created by an algorithm written by the author.”


Everyone agrees, this is not the greatest prose ever written but the computers are still learning.


Minutes after Apple released its record-breaking quarterly earnings in January 2014, the Associated Press published (by way of CNBC, Yahoo, and others): "Apple tops Street 1Q forecasts." It is the headline followed by a 200 word financial story written and published by an automated system well-versed in the AP Style Guide. The Yahoo post scripts says “This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on AAPL at http://www.zacks.com/ap/AAPL”


This AP implemented system now publishes 3,000 such stories every quarter — and that number is poised to grow.


Quarterly earnings are a necessity for business reporting — and it can be both monotonous and stressful, demanding a combination of accuracy and speed. That's one of the reasons why last summer the AP partnered with Automated Insights to begin automating quarterly earnings reports using their Wordsmith platform.


According to Automated Insights  public relations manager, James Kotecki, the Wordsmith platform generates millions of articles per week; other partners include Allstate, Comcast, and Yahoo, whose fantasy football reports are automated. Kotecki estimates the company's system can produce 2,000 articles per second if need be.


To get some idea of the range of organisations being reported by this system, a news search for "This story was generated by Automated Insights" will show how pervasive this form of media relations has already come (over 30,000 reports at time of going to print).


This is now getting close to some day-to-day media relations PR work. It is not very sophisticated and is based on an algorithm and application of semantics. It offers a potential revolution for much work in a Financial PR division of a big company.


Perhaps it is time to introduce ‘Deep Mind’.


DeepMind co founder Mustafa Suleyman gave a rare insight into the work he and his team are doing within Google during a machine learning conference in London in 2015. He leads research at the company.


Google DeepMind is an artificial intelligence division within Google that was created after Google bought Oxford University spinout, DeepMind, in January 2014.


The division, which employs around 140 researchers at its lab in a new building at Kings Cross, London, is on a mission to solve general intelligence and make machines capable of learning things for themselves.


Suleyman explains:


'These are systems that learn automatically. They’re not pre-programmed, they’re not handcrafted features. We try to provide a large-a-set of raw information to our algorithms as possible so that the systems themselves can learn the very best representations in order to use those for action or classification or predictions.'


'The systems we design are inherently general. This means that the very same system should be able to operate across a wide range of tasks.'


'AI has largely been about pre-programming tools for specific tasks: in these kinds of systems, the intelligence of the system lies mostly in the smart human who programmed all of the intelligence into the smart system and subsequently these are of course rigid and brittle and don’t really handle novelty very well or adapt to new settings and our fundamentally very limited as a result.'


'We characterise AGI as systems and tools which are flexible and adaptive and that learn.'  


‘We use the reinforcement learning architecture which is largely a design approach to characterise the way we develop our systems. This begins with an agent which has a goal or policy that governs the way it interacts with some environment. This environment could be a small physics domain, it could be a trading environment, it could be a real world robotics environment or it could be a Aatari environment.The agent says it wants to take actions in this environment and it gets feedback from the environment in the form of observations and it uses these observations to update its policy of behaviour or its model of the world.’


What he is explaining is common among humans. We are programmed to learn and we focus our learning based on a reward system at our mother’s breast.


In PR we did not really notice the application of Deep Mind. We are impressed with the capability of Google to find images from search instructions described in English in ‘Google Images’. It is just one example of the application of Deep Mind automation .


Automation is already at work in helping practitioners. What is not well established is the nature and benefit of these developments in day to day PR work.


Such developments have not been introduced especially for PR practice. It is right we know about such developments and use it and it is important that the PR industry can recognise the real thing and the scams.


In addition, there is a good case for the industry to seek out developments that will enhance practice (and increase productivity and competitive edge).


Furthermore the PR industry also need to be driving and rewarding useful development to aid practitioners.

These considerations are important for the PR sector and if it were to take them further could be a significant exemplar for the UK government trailed plans to publish a ‘Digital Transformation Plan’, in 2015,. It is an initiative which will set out the actions the government will take to support the adoption of digital technologies across the UK economy including, we hope, Public Relations.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Automation of PR - Part 1



I am writing a new book.
It is about the automation of public relations.
I will be publishing some chapters here in the hope of constructive criticism.
There is even a definition of PR here!!!!

Introduction



Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, recently predicted that within 20 years most jobs will be automated. PR commentator Tom Foremski explored the idea and came up with some controversial  thoughts.


“Public relations has been pulled into the modern world  (complaining about the extra work of social) but not much has really changed. It’s still very much a hand-crafted, artisanal business, its use of technology is a Twitter hashtag and a dashboard of likes and shares.
But without a significant tech component PR is at a big disadvantage because it can’t scale, it can’t grow without growing more people. Which is also why valuations of PR firms are low compared to their revenues.
And it makes PR firms vulnerable to competitors outside of their field that can figure out and automate technologies of promotion.”
Tom Foremski


Why are PR jobs so special that some of the work won’t be automated?


Well, there is nothing stopping us, we can automate. That is what this book is about. But the warning that if PR does not do it, someone else will is not a hollow statement in Tom’s article. Since he wrote it AP Dow has started to write articles automatically - up to 3000 each quarter!.
When we begin to look more closely, we find that there are other instances of automation. For example anyone can use a wiki to learn how to organise and event (http://www.wikihow.com/Organise-an-Event) and there is software online to help automate the process (e.g. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/l/event-planning-software/, https://www.planningpod.com/ etc) and this means that anyone can run events and automate much of the process.


There are commercial drivers too: Jon Moeller, chief financial officer at Procter & Gamble, who said at an investor conference in 2015: "In general, digital media delivers a higher return on investment than TV or print."


In the USA  Advertising Age said that measured-media spending fell by 1.8% over the year while that on other forms of marketing – estimates by the Ad Age Datacenter of spending on other digital advertising formats along with promotions, experiential and direct marketing – increased 6.5%.


This puts pressure on PR now and it would seem there is a need to look to the future as well.


The list is long.


The purpose of this book is to explore existing and developing capabilities to automate what we do. Much as one would like a comprehensive 'How to Automate PR' book, it is impossible to write .... and that is a jolly good job. But a lot of what we do and will do will be part or fully automated in the coming months. New areas of practice, indeed, new and hybrid cultures will emerge. The stick-in-the-mud practitioners will find it harder to achieve the results they should be getting and the clued up will be disappointed because all this automation is not delivering magic margins.


It is not that PR is hard to define. The nature of knowing and understanding the culture (“the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time”) of elements of society is the starting point. For example, customers and the benefits they seek, the supply chain, employees and supporting communities that form cultures is a basic requirement for all PR. PR's role is in changing such cultures to benefit the client and is what practitioners do. This is true in consumer PR, Industry and sector PR, Corporate Affairs and HR development and all other forms of PR.


A survey by Cision in 2014 showed 54% of journalists who responded couldn’t carry out their work without social media (up from 43% in 2013 and 28% in 2012) Fifty eight percent also say social media has improved their productivity (up from 54% in 2013 and 39% in 2012).


If the survey is representative, this means a majority of UK journalists are open to a form of communication that is very different to the traditional press release.


To be able to interact with various cultures, it has always been important to use the forms for communication of most use and value to the communities involved.


Practitioners from a variety of fields use media, and are progressively using more of what can generally be described as CMC (Computer Mediated Communications). Some take a sociopsychological approach to CMC by examining how humans use "computers" to manage interpersonal interaction, form impressions and form and maintain relationships.


These practices have often focused on the differences between online and offline interactions, though contemporary research is moving towards the view that CMC should be studied as embedded in everyday life .


Furthermore, there is the use of paralinguistic features such as emoticons, pragmatic rules and various styles, or terminology (even slang) specific to these environments. The study of language in these contexts is typically based on text-based forms of CMC, and is sometimes referred to as "computer-mediated discourse analysis"


The way humans communicate in professional, social, and educational settings varies widely, depending upon not only the environment but also the method of communication in which the communication occurs, which in this case is through computers or other information and communication technologies (ICTs).


We shall examine the more popular media and how it is being automated, evolving technologies and evident current trends.


Of course, PR has a lot of new things to work on.It has to examine a range of different and evolving forms of communication.


The significance of visual communication from SnapChat to YouTube is a trend that is now very evident and has some high powered commercial applications.


The use of life size hologrammes for conference presentation has been well received and is now being used in healthcare, biotechnology and big pharma to bring scale to the speakers’ audiences and reach to many locations (national and international) on the big and small screens.


Speaker can be ‘present’, as a HumaGram, in multiple places at once, with the ability to fully interact as a human being would.


In other areas, communication is evolving by using the newer technologies.


The BBC reported that hospitals that have long relied on pagers to alert doctors to an emergency. But that the technology now looks embarrassingly primitive.


So some healthcare establishments are looking at ways to improve how doctors and nurses communicate, care for patients and manage treatments. One vendor is an Irish start-up which has developed a secure messaging app for hospital staff - like a version of group messaging platform WhatsApp (www.whatsapp.com). It is said to save ¾ hour per day - a major productivity enhancement.


The person in most organisations with communication responsibilities is often the PR person. She now has to be informed about opportunities to upgrade communication; can be very creative and change the organisation with technologies in common use today.


Thus, This book examines what is possible and evidently evolving today.


In addition, the second half of this book lifts the curtain to see what is about to be significant in the near future.


One could wish it was comprehensive but that would be a tome and out of date the day it was written. This is a fast moving development.


Where to start is a big problem. I have opted to follow route of the practitioner and begin with that discipline that examines the cultural landscape relevant to the client interests, its opinion formers and their interests and drivers.


Such an approach speaks to our agenda. As we shall see, most of such research can be conducted using internet based resources which are already rich and getting more comprehensive by the hour. As we go through these developments for this very diverse profession, it is obvious, there is work to be done. This is a great opportunity for the reader. Being first in this race offers great riches. The alternative is also true. As with the great industrial revolution, we will need to offer social and economic support to the practitioners who can’t keep up.


As I have assembled content, it has become obvious that I am only scratching the surface of what is now available and that you will find it is controversial enough.


We will see that the big issues of the day are are transient and that there are much bigger issues just over the horizon to be considered. The worries of practitioners on: how to measure the value of social media and online automation investment; integrating the new content and communication environment to the organisation all pales into insignificance as automation optimises culture shifting activities.


Later we will get to the sexy stuff such as Big Data PR with capability to create new dimensions for life and living. How on earth we create a strategy which are now uppermost in practitioners minds will fade as we explore automation further.


Now to consider the very thought of ‘Automating’ PT.


The thought of automating Public Relations is crossed between a joke, a possibility and a certain fearful prospect for most practitioners.


Long in the tooth consultants and senior practitioners are well aware of the range and creative capabilities needed in PR practice day to day.


They have creative and professional capability in campaigns and issues management as well as an ability to bring calm and insights to top managers and interest groups such as journalists.


“You can’t automate it! It’s creative!” They cry.


The majority of respondents to the 2015 CIPR survey (76%) revealed that they spend some or most of their time working on media relations. In addition, digital knowledge and skills were the weakest competencies among survey respondents – particularly among in-house and senior practitioners.


The reality is, advertising, SEO and social media marketing agencies are combining their ‘paid for’ strengths in with the ‘earned’ capabilities traditionally considered the unique domain of the PR sector and, progressively, more technologies are usurping press relations activities. As we will see, a lot of press relations is being usurped by computers.


This is not all.  Some social media activities are strangely programmable and are not a long term saviour for the PR profession.


In this book I aim to introduce readers to a wide range of capabilities that are wholly or in part automated or automatable.


These will be the capabilities that those long in the tooth practitioners will need to out compete and react in a manner to match the emerging lifestyle of people.


They go far beyond Facebook, G+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Search Engine Optimisation.


Most of what I offer is already working or about to enter the mainstream.
Automated PR is very close. Lots of people use some of its advantages already. The new users of these capabilities are emerging and by-passing existing practitioners and agencies.


This book looks at how far technologies are etching away at past practice and extending it in so many ways. It is a book that presents many developments which will or can transform practice. It is not a ‘How To’ book but points to where the expertise may be found.


I don’t claim that PR is to be fully automated any time soon, but it is here that I begin to explore the many intrusions now taking over which, in time will automate most of the practices we now undertake and more.


It is in this book that I can point to developments and evolution. It is here where the PR institutions, educators and practitioners can start out on the road of change that is gaining so much momentum.

We face change and a growing pace of change. It is a huge opportunity and a dark threat.