The advent of disruptive technology like Artificial Intelligence is transforming various industries, and Public Relations is no exception. In this episode, PR veteran and successful agency owner, Stephen Waddington, takes us through this complex terrain, offering invaluable insights on surviving economic challenges and exploring the ethical implications of AI in PR.

Waddington, who has over 29 years of experience in the industry with many of those spent at agencies, emphasises the importance of remaining loyal to clients, fiscal management, and how delivering exceptional work is key for agencies to navigate through tough times.

We cover:

  • How to be disruptive in communications
  • Lessons from running agencies 
  • Impact of AI in communications
  • Ethical concerns of AI
  • Agencies and pitching – being paid to pitch

Looking to the future

The game-changing potential of AI in the PR industry is indisputable. Especially generative AI, which has the alarming capacity to fabricate convincing content, raising the possibility of destructive disinformation campaigns in years to come. It stresses the importance of establishing trust and implementing safeguards when using AI in PR – most likely creating a tug-of-war between product teams and ethics teams.

In the realm of economics, the industry is facing a very tough time, with marketing budgets being stretched and PR budgets slashed. Highlighting the significance of value and the worrisome trend of short-termism, PRs need to make sure they’re following regulations and adding value when it comes to their campaigns.

Have you been ‘ghosted’ before? It’s a phrase very common in the client community. During this tough economic time, you want to make sure you’re putting in more effort pitching to the right clients that are going to bring in revenue. Make sure you’re considering these key factors when deciding to pursue a pitch; clear objectives, reasonable timescales, and visibility of the budget.

This comprehensive episode shares the transformative impact of AI on PR, while also highlighting the economic and ethical challenges involved. As we navigate through this era of disruption, conversations like these are fundamental in learning how to maximise AI, fostering understanding, and (safely) guiding us forward.

For more updates, make sure to subscribe! In our next episode, we’re speaking with Paul Sutton, CIPRs Practitioner of the Year and PRCAs Digital Journalist of the Year, who provides independent strategic consultancy and digital strategy training. We speak all about the loss of his first business and how that’s worked out for the best – which he’s never spoken about before!

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