TUESDAY 18 APR 2023 9:06 AM


Sam Patchett, client director at Profile communications agency, has cautioned agencies to be transparent over their use of AI technology.

As use of AI tools soars across industries, Sam Patchett, client director at Profile communications agency, has cautioned PR agencies to be transparent with clients over their use of the new technology. In a recent report, Profile disclosed its own AI application across strategic positioning, media monitoring, press releases, blog posts, opinion pieces and SEO articles.

Obscurity around the issue risks clients being “short-changed”, Patchett claimed. His comments follow the publishing last month of an open letter, signed by 1,000 experts, warning of the risks of human-competitive AI.

"Agencies have an obligation to tell clients when they use ChatGPT and should commit to publishing an AI disclaimer," Patchett advised. “AI can assist with many of the more mundane tasks such as media monitoring and audio transcribing, but its growing capability means it can also support more complex tasks such as writing social media posts or generating video content.

“However, there’s a risk clients could be seriously over-charged if agencies are charging standard rates for services carried out using AI capabilities, which could seriously undermine trust in the industry.”

Profile’s report suggests core principles to follow when using the technology, advising that AI only plays a supporting role - not a leading one - and that its use should be incremental to ensure its impact can be measured and evaluated.

Patchett doesn’t believe the technology poses a serious job threat, however: “AI won’t replace jobs in the PR sector. It enables agencies to designate more time, investment and energy to value-add endeavours such as increased collaboration on projects, proactive media engagement and creative content production.”