Global Alliance: The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has practically transformed the way we live, work, and communicate. In the Public Relations industry, it has also created opportunities and challenges for practitioners — with many saying that AI could soon replace some of the work and tasks of people in various sectors, including in the PR industry.
So, how can it impact the workforce landscape of the PR industry, and how can we prepare for such change?
These questions and a whole lot more were the main points of discussion that speakers tried to address at this year’s “Student and Young Practitioner Month. Unlike in the previous editions, this year’s webinar series had panelists from the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, South Asia, Africa and Europe, as well as Latin and North America sharing their thoughts and exchanging ideas on the topic. The sessions were also held for three consecutive days and with different speakers from October 24 to 27.
Organized by the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, the Student and Young Practitioner Month aims to share timely and relevant knowledge that could benefit students and young practitioners who are keen on advancing their communications practice. It forms part of the professional development activities of Global Alliance. It is arranged in line with the alliance’s ongoing “Know Movement” campaign, which is designed to help allay the PR practitioner’s worries about having no movement in their careers.
Among the activities lined up during the webinar was Career Day, a career orientation seminar where panelists were asked to relate their own success stories and share tips about choosing a career in the PR industry. The speakers also shared the findings of the latest report from CIPR dubbed “Humans needed more than ever,” which revealed the impact that technology has (particularly AI) on PR and its impact on skills in the profession in the next five years.
The report found that 12% of a public relations practitioner’s total skills (out of 52 skills) could be complemented or replaced by AI today, with a prediction that this could climb to 38% within the next five years. However, fundamental human traits such as empathy, trust, humor, and relationship building still can’t be automated so “humans remain needed in the profession.”
At the end of the session, after all the panelists had shared their thoughts on the results of the survey, it was agreed that AI really has a significant impact on the PR industry — it enables them to analyze large amounts of data quickly, which aids greatly in developing targeted messaging campaigns. However, its use also raises ethical considerations around privacy, data protection, and bias. In the end, practitioners should encourage creativity and innovation in PR strategies and campaigns, but avoid overreliance on AI-powered tools and technologies.
Another activity was Jobs Fair, where industry experts were asked to share their experiences while working in PR-related fields like investor relations, marketing, and crisis management, among others.
There were also Deep Talk sessions whose main goal was to create a community of like-minded individuals talking about certain topics like PR agency work, and with members sharing or exchanging views on how to get better.
It began with the moderator sharing the results of a survey conducted by the alliance entitled “PR and Communications Insight from Around the World.”
The survey revealed that in terms of gender diversity, more women PR practitioners (as high as 91% in Finland) than men work in the PR industry globally and that there are still a number of countries that give weight to maturity and experience (in Canada, 31% belong to the 45 – 54 age bracket). It was also revealed that among the threats facing PR companies and the profession as a whole, mis/disinformation, fake news, AI, and deep fakes remain among the most common.
Through these online initiatives, the alliance hoped to give PR students and young practitioners access to activities that can help expand their knowledge and networks while also helping them develop a greater appreciation of the profession and gain a deeper understanding of the vital role that they will play once they join the industry.
Both the Career World and Jobs World discussions were streamed live via Zoom and had more than 2,000 students and young practitioner participants combined, in attendance.
The webinar series culminated with an announcement from Ana Pista, the chairperson of this year’s Student and Young Practitioner Month and also the founder and CEO of ArdentComm, that postings for job hiring requirements and internship opportunities in member institutions will soon be posted on the Global Alliance’s website this November so watch out for it.
For more details, check out their website: https://www.globalalliancepr.org/student-young-practitioner-month