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Spin Machines: Why PR is no longer safe from automation

Posted by Alex Warren on 11th February 2022

This week I’m excited to announce the launch of my new book, Spin Machines: Robots, revolutions, and the future of the PR agency.

As an industry built on creativity and human relationships, it’s easy to assume that PR is somehow exempt from the coming tidal wave of automation.

We like to pretend it’s only factory workers, lorry drivers and repetitive blue-collar jobs that machines can replace.

But not us. Not the middle-class creative types. Not the people sitting on bean bags brainstorming new ways to get in The Guardian.

Our work is far too unique, too clever, and too creative to ever be palmed off on an algorithm. Right?

Sadly not. At the rate AI is evolving it’s exactly these types of unstructured, creative jobs that will be at risk over the next 10 years.

Already, we’re seeing the development of artificial intelligence that can monitor the media, research new concepts, write copy and even brainstorm ideas.

At the same time, AI is also disrupting the media landscape, changing the way journalists research, streamlining newsrooms, and encouraging the adoption of more automated, advertorial-based business models.

If PR agencies and consultants want to adapt to these changes, they need to start thinking about the things that will be most valuable when this future arrives.

What are the skills, tools and services that will prove most beneficial after automation takes hold? What are the areas where we can still add value to our clients and their brands?

These are the questions that agency owners and directors will need to start asking if they want to protect their businesses.

They’re also the questions that new PR consultants, executives and graduates should be asking to futureproof their careers.

To answer these questions, we need to look at the data. We need to understand the real-life examples, the technology, and the creative industries where AI has taken hold.

This is the task that I wanted to take on in Spin Machines. In that effort, I hope it provides a valuable resource for agencies and a roadmap for PR professionals everywhere to prepare for an increasingly automated future.

Spin Machines: Robots, revolutions, and the future of the PR agency is available in paperback and on Amazon Kindle.

Alex Warren

Alex Warren is an expert in AI and marketing technologies. He has published two books, Spin Machines, and Technoutopia and is regularly quoted in PR, marketing and technology media. In his role as a Senior Account Director at Wildfire he helps tech brands build creative strategies that deliver results and cut through the marketing BS.