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  • Writer's pictureEmily Emanuelsen

AI and its role in press releases: A fireside chat discussion

AOE fireside chats are where marketing and communication specialists discuss helpful or interesting topics in the world of business and marketing. Recently, Elec Izenson, AOE’s Certified AI Marketing Consultant, talked with Kimberly Kayler, AOE President, and Kristen Dispenza, the leader of AOE’s PR Practice Group, about the role of AI when it comes to press releases (Listen to it here). The main takeaway was that AI can be very helpful when it comes to writing, but that writers should take care when using AI to write press releases. There are great benefits to taking advantage of AI tools, but there are risks too.

On one hand, AI can generate press releases more quickly than a human can write, which allows an organization to share news and other information quickly. It can also match a press release’s tone and style to that of the rest of the organization’s content. This is beneficial because keeping a consistent tone in marketing and PR material keeps an organization’s image and voice consistent which can aid in showing the organization to be more credible and professional.

However, using AI to write press releases comes with unique challenges that are important to consider. First, the information that is entered into the message box in the web application is retained in the AI’s online database and is used to continually teach the AI, according to this article. This can be a confidentiality issue for an organization if the information entered into the chatbot was not meant to be released to the public yet. Press releases often debut new information from an organization and therefore, when and how the information is released is critically important. When AI is used to construct press releases, that information is made public the moment it is entered into the chatbot message box rather than the time the organization decided.

Another issue that AI can cause when being used to write press releases is the issue of accuracy. AI does not consider whether the information it provides is accurate or if the information is full or complete. This can be a problem when it is being tasked with writing about complex or sensitive issues. Without careful review by a human marketing or communications specialist, an organization may inadvertently spread misinformation. All the information an organization shares with the public should be vetted and authenticated.

Another complication when using AI to write a press release is the issue of authenticity. Readers and listeners expect a press release to be authentic, meaningful and to include a human connection. They expect to hear a real person’s point of view on a subject, not a synthetic opinion created by AI. If a reader or listener discovers that a press release was written by AI, their opinion of the organization may change and the organization’s rapport with its audience may be damaged.

However, there are ways to mitigate the risks of AI and take advantage of what AI has to offer. First, writers should have a collaborative mindset. AI should not replace human writers but instead should be used as a tool to assist with repetitive or time-consuming tasks. While AI can produce text or helpful questions, it should only be used as an aid to the writing process rather than a replacement for it. Second, everything an AI generates should be verified and given proper citation. AI does not guarantee that the information it shares is accurate, and most AI programs do not provide citation for the statements it makes. Because of this, human writers need to verify everything AI produces. Finally, whatever is created by AI should be edited, customized, and adapted to the context and situation it has been written for. Only human writers can determine the goals they have for the material they are sharing and therefore it is up to them to optimize their message to achieve those goals.

So, can AI be used to write press releases? The answer is yes but with extreme caution. AI can be used to aid in the creation process, but the information that will be used in the press release should not be shared directly with the AI program. AI can brainstorm ideas of how to make an engaging press release and it can ask questions to guide what kind of information should be included in the press release to make it the most engaging and impactful to the audience. Ultimately, AI can be a helpful tool when crafting a press release, but human writers should be highly involved in every step of the process.

AOE has several team members with deep expertise using AI for marketing programs to include PR activities. Reach out today to discuss your projects!


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