Thursday, January 16, 2020

AI in PR Management

I am very sorry not to be at the CIPR Big Data Conference today, because I am unsure how acceptable my thinking could be.  My thinking threatens PR practice as we know it.

We will soon move to a capability that can predict the nature of client relationships as they morph and change.

Hocus Pocus I hear you say.

Let me explain.

It is possible to collect data from search activity from Google, user activity in Facebook and Twitter, new and changed content in Website and much much more.

It can be collected about an organisation, its competitors and industry and national and local content and much, much more.

we can match this information to time, dates, authors, and followers. I leave it to your imagination as the many sources that can be used.

This is PR Big Data.

In no time at all, it becomes too big to maintain on a PR consultancy PC and has to be kept in 'in the cloud'. in a form that allows for heavy-duty computing. A resource like this is available from Google and  IBM and many more.

The first activity is to apply Big Data Analytics to clean the data and get shot of spam etc.

Now, with clean data, we can start to process the content for use in PR.

We need to identify who the contributors are, what subject area do they focus on, how often, when and where from etc. Are these contributors regular contributors or, from responses do they have a particular interest or focus on the subject being written about the organisation (re-tweets etc).

From their contributions, we can identify their attitude to the client industry sector, social issue, political leaning and much more (and such capabilities already are in use today).

This so far is simple deep data mining and not Artificial Intelligence.

But now comes the interesting part.

We can now start using AI.

AI analysis will evidence who leads the conversation and about who and what aspects of the discussion is about the client and competitors. It will map the history of subject interest and who clusters around this subject and who leads the conversation.

This can be offered in time sequence and thus a picture will emerge of the Client Relationships, the nature of the relationships and which relationships need to be addressed because of opportunity or misunderstanding.

In addition, the data will show how fast issues that affect relationships are developing and is this relationship improving or declining. Additionally, the analysis will show the rate of change in the up until today by month, week, day, hour and minute.

Now comes the clever bit.

Because there is a history emerging from there data (and there is by now a ton of it), it is possible to predict what will happen next and to asses the likely hood of such predictions coming to pass.

In addition, the Consultancy response to such activity will emerge and the AI programme will begin to predict what the usual response (social media, conference, event, meeting all the tools we know about) for each movement in the database. AI will then begin to offer advice based on the historic activity and its effect (AI is very good at identifying actions and effects over time).

There is also a very big role in issues and crisis management.

Stop there. How on earth does the practitioner cope with all this information. A spreadsheet of such content would be a dazzling array of meaningless numbers.

We need the means to create a visual display because we can process visual clues faster than numbers and can process more information.

Here is where Virtual Reality comes into its own. It can show the data and how relationships have been developing over time. In addition, it can show what is probably going to happen (with a prediction of certainty) and, of course, it can offer a solution based on past practice. It will show such content as it were in a galaxy of stars that presents a picture of the organisation's (changing) relationships.

Now, the strategic PR person can draw up plans and employ the Communications Agency (call it marketing if you like)  to implement the plan.

Big data and AI changes PR.

What of the consequences?

The sentient Consultant with this kind of capability will be of a different order to most other Agencies and practitioners without such tools will be at a competitive disadvantage and so too will their clients.

Things like monitoring, evaluation, landscaping etc all become subsumed into an AI form of practice.

Welcome to today!

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