Mastering the Art of AI PR

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by Erin Lovett, Account Director

Over the past 18 months, we have seen an explosion in AI product launches and user adoption. Naturally, this has meant a dramatic increase in AI-focused content and media relations. Despite its nascence it is already a crowded space, making effective external communications challenging.

So how can you ensure you’re landing your key messages? Or building relationships with the right journalists to stand out and show credibility?

Be bold - but not outrageous

Making interesting predictions about how AI will impact the world, for example in specific job roles or industries, is a clear route into top tier publications. Journalists are looking for fresh takes; the more tangible your predictions are, the better.

That said, it is important to maintain credibility by avoiding exaggerated claims or making unrealistic promises. Be bold in highlighting the potential of AI, but stay grounded in reality and present factual information.

Demonstrate expertise – but stay in your lane

Position yourself as an authority by showcasing your expertise and knowledge. Articulate the benefits and limitations of AI and how it applies to your specific domain. Avoid making assumptions about areas outside your expertise – external communications is an opportunity to own an area of AI that is relevant to your business and offering. If you want to go broader, consider collaborating with other experts from different fields to provide a comprehensive viewpoint of AI's potential impact. 

Make yourself available

The speed with which generative AI in particular has taken the world by storm means that many journalists are embarking on a steep learning curve. This presents an opportunity to those already in the know to position themselves as a valuable educational resource to their target media.

To establish and build relationships with reporters covering AI, leaders need to be accessible. The news cycle moves fast, so if you are offering interviews on a breaking news story, you must be flexible with your schedule. If you aren’t, you can be confident that one of your competitors will be!

We saw this work in practice recently when the AI Safety Summit was announced. One of our AI clients not only had a strong view on what should be on the agenda and why, but their CEO was willing to invest time in sharing his views that morning. This meant we were able to offer his comments to the right journalists immediately, which led to him being quoted in CNBC’s coverage of the story.

Understand the value of a background briefing

In line with the above, it’s important to invest in journalist relationships without expecting immediate pay-off. Offering background briefings, i.e. interviews that increase their understanding of a topic without the expectation of immediate coverage, is an excellent relationship-builder.

Offering your time to journalists positions you as a helpful resource to explain complex AI concepts and provide insights into ongoing projects and rolling news stories. These briefings allow journalists to gather information and build a better understanding of AI-related topics, leading to more nuanced and accurate reporting – as well as giving you the opportunity to shape the narrative. Most importantly, journalists will appreciate your time and effort, leading to a more meaningful and fruitful relationship that ultimately results in impactful coverage.

Bring it all back to people’s everyday lives

Journalists are looking for angles that will resonate with their readers. This should always be front of mind when being interviewed on AI. Provide concrete examples of how AI can improve people's lives, such as enhancing healthcare, optimising transportation, or enabling more efficient customer service. As with any breakthrough technology, connecting AI advancements to people's everyday experiences will help to demystify it and garner public support, as well as increase the likelihood of your comments being included in features.

Similarly, avoid using technical jargon. Use easily understandable language to explain the benefits of AI in solving real-world problems.

By following these best practices, you can effectively promote the benefits and potential of AI, including your own solutions, while building meaningful media relationships and maintaining credibility.

Get in touch with Missive to learn more about how your AI business or product can break through the noise.  

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