New Research From Stagwell’s (STGW) Prophet and the Harris Poll Shows PR Pros Wish To transform Their Business, and AI Might Help

September 14, 2022
New Research From Stagwell’s (STGW) Prophet and the Harris Poll Shows PR Pros Wish To transform Their Business, and AI Might Help
The vast majority of public relations (PR) professionals (94%) want to be a part of changing the future of their field, with over nine in 10 (92%) believing AI has the potential to transform the way PR is conducted.

The vast majority of public relations (PR) professionals (94%) want to be a part of changing the future of their field, with over nine in 10 (92%) believing AI has the potential to transform the way PR is conducted, according to new research commissioned by Stagwell’s (NASDAQ: STGW) PRophet, the first-ever AI-driven PR pitch platform built by and for PR professionals that predicts media interest and sentiment.

The study, which was conducted online by The Harris Poll this summer, also part of the Stagwell network, asked PR professionals to identify and assess modern-day challenges in public relations such as lagging technology investment and maintaining relationships with journalists, while considering the efficiencies AI can offer to become more productive and performative in their roles. Ninety percent of respondents said they believe AI will make it possible for them to spend more time on higher value tasks. The survey also asked PR professionals to identify common hurdles they face when seeking earned media coverage from journalists as well as their views on data privacy in PR.

Key insights from the PRophet/Harris Poll research include:

  • 92% of PR professionals say they believe AI is worth exploring.
  • 89% of PR pros say personal relationships with journalists are more important than ever, yet 53% declared they feel like they do not have the capacity to maintain these connections.
  • 72% say they rely more on their gut than they should have to when pitching content.
  • 84% shared that data privacy is a concern when sharing pitch materials with a PR tech platform.

“Countless industries around the world are already reaping the vast benefits AI can provide to improve how they do business, so why not public relations?” said Aaron Kwittken, founder and CEO of PRophet. “Our research with The Harris Poll shines a light on the large appetite brand teams and agencies alike have to leverage AI in ways that not only save them time and money, but allow them to better source and target the right journalists at the right time with the right story.”

The survey also asked respondents to share what they rely on to help improve their pitches. The majority reported relying on experience (75%), established relationships with journalists (66%), or research conducted by a fellow team member (63%). Fifty-four percent said they rely on a PR tech platform to support their pitches, and nearly half (47%) feel they have no true strategy at all when writing pitches.

“Today’s research from PRophet and The Harris Poll shows that earned media professionals are open and ready for AI to play a critical role in the future of their work. They recognize that technology can be complementary to their skills and gives them space to focus on what matters,” said Erica Parker, managing director of the Media Communications Research Practice at The Harris Poll.

Agency and brand representatives interested in taking advantage of AI and learning how PRophet can dramatically improve performance of their media relations efforts, can reach out to sales@prprophet.ai to learn about monthly and annual subscription options and to request a demo. 

Survey Method

This survey was conducted online primarily in the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of PRophet from June 17 to July 11, 2022, among 127 public relations professionals. Respondents were recruited from research panels, an open web survey link posted on PR-related social media, and a list of PR professionals provided by PRophet. Raw data were not weighted and are therefore only representative of the individuals who completed the survey.

The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within ±8.6 percentage points using a 95% confidence level.