A new report from PwC suggests that robotics and artificial intelligence could affect almost a third of UK jobs by the 2030s. However, while the rise of technology is increasing impacting the way that organisations hire – PR professionals won’t be replaced by robots.
A recent blog on PR Daily highlights the four crucial skills that PR professionals will always need (and our blog post last week discusses the skills a PR professional would be unsuccessful without). These are writing, research, project management and presentation.
Looking at writing ability specifically, the ability to craft copy to create impact is essential at a time when content can no longer demand attention. Despite the fact that computer scientists have developed an algorithm which can predict with accuracy whether a novel will be a commercial success, sticky web content requires those who draft it to tap into public consciousness quickly. In a world where audiences are drowning in information and attention spans are short, success relies on originality – something which is intrinsically at odds with machine learning.
The aforementioned blog also highlights another crucial attribute – curiosity. Yes, machines can be programmed to automate processes, spot patterns and even mimic human behaviour, but without a curious mind, innovation is impossible. And at a time when audience behaviour is constantly shifting in response to media fragmentation, this innately human trait is more important than ever before for PR professionals.
This perhaps explains why, according to a BBC tool which predicts what jobs are likely to be lost to robots in the future, advertising and public relations directors are some of the least likely professionals to be replaced. The data, which is supplied by Oxford University’s Martin School, suggests there is just a 3% chance of such roles being automated thanks to a need to negotiate and come up with original ideas.
The world of work is undoubtedly changing but the role of the PR practitioner is safe… for now.
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Author: Carly Smith