Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential of changing the PR and IR world as we know it today. In the field of biotech, life sciences, and medical technology where effective communication is crucial for disseminating complex information, clinical results, promoting advancements, and building trust, AI may aid us in our craft. However, it also presents certain challenges and potential drawbacks. Let’s explore the pros and cons of AI in our sector.
- Improved Media Monitoring: AI-powered tools have been around for some time and can help to efficiently monitor and analyze vast amounts of online media data, including news articles, social media posts, and public sentiment. This enables PR professionals to stay updated on relevant industry trends, identify emerging issues, and proactively address them, ensuring timely and accurate responses. Communications professionals need to have a key eye for industry nuances and possible misinterpretations to ensure accuracy and proper insights/analysis.
- Targeted Audience Engagement: AI algorithms can analyze audience data and behavior to create targeted communication strategies. This allows life science PR teams to personalize their messaging, ensuring it reaches the right audiences through the most effective channels. By tailoring content to specific interests and needs, AI-powered systems can enhance engagement and strengthen relationships with stakeholders. In the investor relations world, institutional investors use predictive analytics to inform them about trends and patterns, providing them with investment risk assessment. AI can help companies predict how investors are likely to respond to different communications strategies. Nonetheless, this will not substitute for human judgement by experienced professionals in the craft.
- Content Creation and Curation: AI can automate content creation and curation processes, saving time and effort for PR and communications professionals. While the Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms can generate press releases, blog posts, and social media content, communications professionals need to ensure that confidential, non-public information is not used in a public database, putting the company at risk for market leaks.
- Data-Driven Decision Making: AI’s ability to process and analyze large datasets provides valuable insights for PR campaigns. By analyzing audience demographics, preferences, and engagement metrics, AI tools can guide decision-making processes. These insights help PR professionals develop data-driven strategies, refine messaging, and optimize communication efforts to achieve better results.
- Lack of Human Touch: While AI can automate and optimize processes, it lacks the human touch that is essential for building authentic relationships. Personalized interactions, empathy, and intuition are crucial, and communicators must create credible, compelling narratives that build trust. Digital tools including video, KOL events, briefings and earned media remain critical to a steady hand.
- Potential for Misinterpretation with Complex Information: AI tools, especially those utilizing natural language processing, may not always grasp the nuances and context of complex topics accurately. This can result in misinterpretation or miscommunication of complex scientific information, leading to potential inaccuracies or confusion among target audiences.
- Ethical and Disclosure Considerations: AI systems must be developed and implemented with ethical considerations in mind. Issues such as bias, fairness, disclosure, and privacy can arise when using AI in PR. Biased algorithms may inadvertently perpetuate existing biases or create unintended consequences. It is essential to address and mitigate these ethical challenges to maintain trust and integrity in health and science communications.
- Dependence on Quality Data: Companies and their medical and scientific teams have deep knowledge, judgement, and insights to communicate complex information with their communications partners. AI relies on high-quality and diverse datasets to generate meaningful insights. In health and science, where data may be limited, incomplete, or proprietary, AI’s effectiveness can be hindered. Access to accurate and comprehensive data is crucial to ensure reliable outcomes from AI-driven PR strategies.
AI offers significant advantages for health and science PR, such as improved media monitoring, targeted audience engagement, efficient content creation, and data-driven decision making. However, it is important to balance the benefits of AI with the human touch, ethical and disclosure considerations, and the potential limitations of the technology. By leveraging AI as a tool alongside human expertise and oversight, health and science communications professionals can harness its power to enhance communication strategies, build trust, and promote medical advancements effectively and without risk.