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Is AI causing PR job loss in India

Earlier this year, ChatGPT changed the world. For the PR industry, quite naturally, the focus was on how AI will change their work and the potential impact of AI on PR jobs in India.

Industry insiders are predicting that the impact on PR jobs will be high, both on the corp comm and agency side. This includes both the need for speedy up-skilling and potential job losses.

Impact on PR Jobs: Job loss  

Tarunjeet Rattan, Nucleus PR

Tarunjeet Rattan, managing partner, of Bengaluru-based boutique PR firm, Nucleus PR says, "Empirical data suggests that AI is replacing the jobs of professionals who wanted to finish familiar. Till a formal study is done, I will rely on the increasing number of calls, emails, and conversations that I have been pulled into recently for job searches by senior professionals and fresh graduates who are afraid that their degree might not help them cope with the speed of transition that the industry is going through today."

Tilak Chowdhury, associate director – client relations & communications, at business DPNC Global, says on a optimistic note, "I don’t think the AI tools have yet made a significant impact on the PR sector to create or lose jobs. They are more like a tool that the PR professionals are playing with and getting some help."

Tilak Chowdhury

Chowdhury adds, "However, the areas where I think AI will impact the most are – content, research, CRM and project management. These are areas where the specialists need to first master the AI tools and then use their own ingenuity to take our craft to the next level. I always feel that AI if used properly can be a huge boost to productivity however, if badly managed could become a complete nightmare for the whole industry."

Up-skilling PR 

Rattan is blunt when talking about the impact PR will have on PR jobs. 

She says, "AI has amplified longstanding skillset gaps in the communication ecosystem which included weak writing, non-readers, lack of critical thinking, and poor networking. These have been a concern for some time with no real move towards addressing them.

Professionals who lack these skills do more damage to the reputation of the industry than aid it. Surprisingly, all these skills are free and don’t need any special training to obtain other than the will to learn and up-skill."

Rattan adds, "AI has put a glaring focus on the gaps that exist and is fast filling up for them obliterating entire departments. On the other end, AI-generated content is just that-content. Context and concept must be analysed by the human brain. In the PR industry, while brand and PR teams are fast replacing content teams with AI generative tools, the skill set that is now becoming increasingly essential is analytical thinking, relevant prompts, and sharp editing."

Chowdhury agrees saying, "The PR professionals in today’s changing environment need to be a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Houdini – someone who is comfortable connecting clues & making sense of it and someone who is able to pull a trick with the data in a very short time just like magic. 

On a serious note, PR professionals today need to have a keen understanding of technology, human psychology, global current affairs and the ability to narrate interesting stories with the help of data.

Which verticals will be impacted by AI within PR?

According to Rattan, AI has brought in three significant transformations that AI has brought in the PR industry:

  • Content teams now have to add speed with precision to their delivery while contesting with AI teams on both the brand and agency end.
  • Boutique firms who can now add another vertical to their offering with minimal human hires on a level playing field made possible by AI.
  • Account teams who now have to restructure costs to re-evaluate profits as SOW and deliveries change yet again for PR.

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