As of recent years, our society is extremely technology-driven and there are new technologies emerging on a daily basis. Though scary to some, these innovations have played a significant role in the advertising and public relations sector and will continue to do so in the future. There are a number of ways that technology has impacted advertising and public relations, but the three most recent advances to look at are artificial intelligence (AI), social media and live video.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is arguably the most revolutionary development in the world today, many of whom call it a threat to human intelligence – but what does it mean for public relations? Yes, machines are already capable of performing both low-skilled, basic human tasks (shoutout Amazon Echo) as well as more complex tasks such as writing full news releases (shoutout Associated Press). AI can be used in the PR industry largely with media analytics to gather and review consumer data, form strategies and create digital content. Not only would it lessen the workload for professionals, but also allow business to perform at their maximum potential in the future.
Social media has come a long way in the last decade; such a long way , in fact, that it’s now used predominantly as a professional tool rather than for personal entertainment. In 2016, there were 2.34 billion social media users worldwide and 195 million in the U.S. alone (via Statista) and we can expect those numbers to continue to increase. If you ask me, establishing a digital presence is essential for PR professionals and programs to be successful and, as we cruise through the new year, social media platforms will dominate more than ever in the PR industry.
Last but certainly not least, live video and video streaming took the internet by storm in last year. According to a report from Cisco, mobile video traffic accounted for 60 percent of total mobile data traffic in 2016 and predicts that over 78 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2021 (Cisco, 2017). There are a number of live video streaming apps (Periscope, Facebook Live, etc.) that are used by businesses and many of these have been incorporated into traditional social media platforms as well. In public relations, video streaming helps increase brand awareness and allows you to engage in real-time with your audience – two goals that every PR professional wants to achieve.
It seemed as though 2016 was a breakout year technologically and we can expect the same to come from 2017.The advertising and public relations fields are constantly adapting to these advances in modern technology and it is crucial for professionals to do the same.