Apr 25, 2024 - Business

PR firms race to launch internal AI tools

Illustration of a zero and a one balancing on the tip of a pencil

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

As part of the AI hype wave, many communications and advisory firms are rolling out their own proprietary AI tools to peddle to clients.

Why it matters: The effectiveness of the tools and the ability for firms to quickly upskill its workforce remains to be seen.

State of play: Advisory firms like BCW and Teneo are using AI to monitor global trends and for predictive measures, like treating AI as a proxy for a very specific audience and then message testing against it.

  • Edelman has woven its Trust Barometer data into a proprietary AI tool called Archie, which tracks how trust is moving and provides real-time recommendations to improve trust.
    • So far, 50 of Edelman's client teams are actively using the platform, Brian Buchwald, global chair of AI and product, told Axios.
  • Communications consultancy MikeWorldWide recently launched AI-powered products Perspectives and ProfileLift to improve how the agency uses data to predict, craft and analyze the performance of specific content or messaging.
  • Gregory FCA was quick to roll out a free AI press release generator in early 2023 and since then has created personalized GPTs for media monitoring, media training and finessing or editing content.
  • Meanwhile, professional services firm PwC has invested $1 billion in AI upskilling for its workforce and Accenture has invested in genAI tool Writer while also working to train Adobe Firefly on its proprietary data and brand guidelines.

Public relations agency SixEastern is getting super tactical by partnering with its client Perplexity.ai to embed the "answer-engine" into its PR offerings.

  • The firm, founded by Emilie Gerber, is currently using Perplexity to help craft briefing docs, conduct media and industry research and brainstorm creative concepts.
  • Gerber says it will soon use Perplexity for news monitoring through "daily news reports" — which could change the way PR firms engage with costly media monitoring platforms and research tools.

What to watch: How these AI-supported PR efforts are communicated internally and to clients is a work in progress.

  • According to a Seven Letter insight survey, only half of communication professionals report having internal policies and reporting requirements for AI use.
  • Meanwhile, roughly 9 in 10 communicators want clear records of how firms are using generative AI in their client work.

Go deeper: The public relations field grapples with AI

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