Ever since the introduction of ChatGPT over a year ago, AI has become mainstream and more integrated within our daily working lives, with many companies implementing it within their apps, websites and processes, from AI chatbots to modes of content generation.  

With new AI tools launching on an almost daily basis, it can be hard to keep track of which apps to explore, and which ones to ignore. We’ve taken at look at some of the newest AI trends, and what they mean for the PR industry. 

Multimodal AI 

Multimodal AI systems combine multiple modes of input including video, audio, image and texts within a prompt, to generate outputs which incorporate all information given, as well as a multimedia response. 

In PR, multimodal AI has the potential to transform content generation, from blogs to social media posts, harnessing the power of both generative AI (content generation) and predictive AI (predictions made based on historical data).  

Google has recently released its own multimodal AI system, Gemini, which it says: “can help make sense of complex written and visual information”. 

Multimodal AI is also useful for social media monitoring, as it is able to analyse both text and image posts to understand consumer response to products and events. 

In PR, this will aid in crisis communication responses, where social media monitoring is a vital, but often time-consuming, process for planning next steps and assessing an audiences’ reactions. 

AI-powered search 

AI search engines, such as Google’s Search Labs and Microsoft’s Copilot enable users to uncover multiple insights from one search query, from recipe ideas to holiday planning. 

Users can receive an answer to their queries created with the help of generative AI and receive prompts to help explore topics further. 

These new AI search capabilities will revolutionise the future of SEO, with enhanced search algorithms making search results more personalised and relevant to the user

SEO is already a big part of PR and marketing, and AI can help advance SEO’s worth. AI-tools can be used to assist in keyword research, enabling communications agencies to quickly identify the most relevant keywords to target, and automating an otherwise lengthy process. 

AI legislation 

AI is a powerful tool, and when in the wrong hands, it can become dangerous. X had to block people from searching Taylor Swift’s name on its platform after users started sharing AI-generated explicit images. 

This sparked calls for the US to bring in legislation to stop the non-consensual creation and sharing of deep-fake images – the term given to images or videos digitally manipulated to represent someone’s likeness

In the UK, the sharing of deep-fake pornography became illegal as part of the online safety bill, passed in October 2023. Meanwhile, China has also brought in laws to regulate generative AI, restricting what training data companies providing AI services can use, as well as the outputs they produce. 

PR agencies will need to remain vigilant when using AI and ensure that any automation is always overseen by a human. 

In the future, some companies may also have to disclose if content has been generated by AI, with the EU planning to bring in a comprehensive AI act covering all AI systems

Upskilling in AI 

Whilst the rise of AI may be seen as a threat to jobs in some sectors, many employers value the skill of using AI and see it as a tool to improving efficiency and productivity in the workplace  

Learning to adapt and co-exist alongside new technology, and developing AI prompting skills will benefit those working in PR. AI might not have the ability to write a fully-fledged, high-quality press release or pitch just yet, but it can provide a good starting point. 

By staying up to date with the newest AI trends, PR agencies can ensure that they don’t get left behind due to hesitancy over new technology.  

The UK Government recently published new guidance on how businesses can unlock the benefits of AI, with an aim to help employers and their employees to understand their AI upskilling needs. 

Want to learn more about the newest industry trends? Check out our blog

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Ellie Howorth