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Ethics at the Heart of PR's AI Adoption: A duty, not a choice


Do you believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the future? You are wrong. AI is not what’s coming next, AI is happening now. We are in the age of AI and it’s only going to get bigger.  

According to a Bloomberg Intelligence report, the influx of consumer generative AI (Gen AI) programs – like Google’s Bard and OpenAI’s ChatGPT – has triggered a big boom with the generative AI market set to grow to $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years from a market size of just $40 billion in 2022.

Brave New World

The Public Relations (PR) industry is also crackling with AI energy as Gen AI emerges as a potentially groundbreaking tool in the PR and communication ecosystem.

Gen AI can automate the process of content creation and generating written material like press releases, blog posts and social media updates, saving significant time and effort and allowing us to focus on strategic planning and higher-value tasks. Moreover, Gen AI can analyze vast amounts of data and generate hyper-personalized messages for specific audience segments or even individual customers, leading to higher conversion rates and stronger brand loyalty.

Mind the Gap

However, like any shiny, new, and exciting tech, AI is a potential minefield that can aggravate the risks that PR practitioners are always wary about.

To begin with, Gen AI does raise ethical concerns regarding content ownership, plagiarism, and the potential for spreading misinformation. These challenges present clear risks to a brand’s reputation and credibility.

To make matters worse, there are chances that generating content with AI could result in privacy breaches through training data, and instances like unintentional exposure of sensitive information, improper data retention and storage practices, and sharing of data with third-party providers.

This means that as PR professionals, helping brands build trust with customers, it is our responsibility to be aware and alert in the adoption of AI in our workflow.

A Stitch in Time

In order to prioritize ethics in AI adoption, we need to focus on measures that can help ensure credibility, trust, and authenticity in this AI-driven landscape.

·       Awareness:Training programmes and workshops can be organized to educate PR teams about the latest AI technologies, their limitations, and potential ethical implications. PR specialists can also work on building resources for greater AI adoption awareness. Partnerships like the one between the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) can be leveraged to drive conversations around and promote ethical adoption of AI in PR and communications.

·       Audits:PR organizations should consider commissioning external audits to evaluate their AI-powered tools and practices for security and privacy compliance, transparency, and bias elimination. This can help identify potential issues and nip them in the bud.

·       Guidelines:PR associations could also consider coming together to develop and adhere to a framework of ethical AI practices and guidelines. These frameworks should cover the whole gamut of aspects such as fairness, transparency, privacy, and accountability.

·       Safety: PR and communications firms that adopt AI tools for work need to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect sensitive information, such as customer data, intellectual property, and proprietary strategies.


As we grow and innovate with AI at our side, trying to find the right balance between cutting-edge technology and human creativity, ethical AI adoption is not a choice but an imperative for us. After all, as PR consultants and experts, we are the gatekeepers of the relationship between our clients and their customers. The smallest slip could cost our clients their credibility.

By prioritizing security measures, implementing safeguards, and continuously educating ourselves we can continue to leverage AI responsibly. Only then can we really reap the benefits of a brave new world made simpler and smarter by the power of AI.