Fad or future: The pros and cons of generative AI

In the third in SE10’s series of blog posts on the impact of generative AI in Public Relations, the team examines the future possibilities of the marriage between genAI and PR and what it may mean for the industry, highlighting both anticipated drawbacks and benefits. 

Generative AI has made content creation easy for everyone but there’s a caveat: it solely relies on the data it is trained on. If this content is used without any editing, it could flood platforms with generic, unoriginal text. It could even lead to the harmful spread of misinformation or prejudice. Quantity could overshadow quality, a scenario detrimental to brands striving for effective marketing and we’re already seeing the emergence of tools for filtering out AI-generated content. This is going to make well-researched and accurately sourced material, sharing genuine insights and opinions from real people, crucial for cutting through the noise, demonstrating authority, and providing value.  

Hannah Kitchener, Associate Director, UK 

Advanced personalisation, voice search, and AI assistants and hyper-targeted advertising are key discussion points in the future of AI in digital marketing. Hyper-targeted advertising will have the ability to further improve ad targeting, ensuring that messaging is delivered to the right audience at the right time, across multiple channels. This is an exciting focus for the future of campaign work and the ability to get messaging and content in front of our ideal audience to maximise brand awareness and improve lead generation for our clients through the integration of AI targeting. 

Yasmin Abraham, Digital Marketing Manager, UK

It’s important to remember that, while generative AI appears on a basic level to hold all the answers, we don’t know where those answers come from and perhaps more importantly, where those questions go. The information arriving from an unclear source has implications for accuracy, authority, bias, and copyright if utilised blindly. As PR professionals, we still need to do our own research using more traditional methods to ensure the quality, legality, and ethics of content. Our best practice is to omit the names of brands, products, and individuals, along with any other potentially sensitive information, in any prompts submitted. 

Ben Shaw, CEO 

I would say to be incredibly careful with sharing any privy information about clients and businesses as we do not yet know where this data goes and does run risks of data leaks. I would say any brand names or sensitive information should be omitted from prompts. If we are going to structure copy, it should be done very carefully. Adding to Rosie’s point above, I think it is important to stress also, as PR professionals, copying and pasting information or publishing a fully generated copy is something we would never consider doing! If we are using these tools and are being open about it, we should reassure clients that we are doing so with the best practices and ethics. 

Salmah El Haissane, Account Manager, Singapore 

In terms of sustainability, there is a hidden cost to generative AI. Though some platforms may well offer a free, universal tool advancing mankind, there is inevitable residue. AI models are hosted in data centers storing computational servers utilise energy, and huge amounts of water are used on-site to keep temperatures at a constant across the entire infrastructure. A recent article by Forbes found that one particular genAI model consumes over half a million kilowatts of electricity each day, the equivalent consumption of 180,000 households, and that a single conversation between user and interface is estimated to use about fifty centilitres of water, enough to fill a small plastic bottle. As more industries look to reduce their environmental footprint, it’s important to see where next we’re stepping. 

Jack Porter, Account Executive, UK 

In the fourth part of the SE10 blog series on generative AI, we explain why generative AI isn’t ultimately an alternative to an experienced PR professional.
Jack Porter

By Jack Porter

Account Executive

About the author

Jack is an account executive based in London, UK, who joined SE10 in 2022, assisting with media coverage and campaign management for European accounts. Arriving from a background in sports writing and video content production, thoughtfulness and consideration in presentation, and networking and building strong client relationships are key skills that have transitioned easily into PR. Jack has extensive experience in interviewing knowledgeable subjects and conveying received information to a wider readership in an understandable, relatable tone.