Why AI Cannot Replace PR

We are seeing more companies use AI and robots to replace people in the workplace. There are coffee shops that use robots to make and serve coffee, like Cafe X in San Francisco. There are also restaurants relying on robots to cook, rather than having employees, including CaliBurger in Pasadena, California. Slowly but surely, in the near future, we will see many more restaurants of this nature. Afterall, even self-driving cars will soon be tested more and more. We see robots and AI slowly taking jobs away from people, but one thing is for sure. AI cannot replace PR and Communications professionals, and here’s why:

Think About Siri…

Siri can be great. If you ask the right question it's programmed to answer. Have you ever asked Siri a question and not received the answer you were looking for? Did Siri just pull up a wikipedia page for you to click on? That’s because it can’t answer something that isn’t within the code she is programmed for. Something you would imagine Siri being programmed to answer are questions about the Iphone you have. Ask Siri if your phone is waterproof. It won't have the answer. As PR and Communications professionals, we have answers that Siri doesn’t have.

AI Is Programmed

The world around us is constantly changing. Think back to a week, month and year ago. Things are different now with the new political and environmental/health climate. Change is a natural process in life; However, AI cannot adapt like humans can. Was there a huge disaster you wanted to find data on, while simultaneously searching for data on unemployment? AI won’t focus on which one you find more important or which one is more prevalent within the area you are in at that moment. Rather, it will build data in the order you put it in the computer. This is because it doesn’t know the difference between what’s urgent and what is not. It also likely won’t find the data at the same time. You can’t build a strategy on programming because the world is constantly changing and you need to pivot with it - as we’re all learning from COVID and the Black Lives Matter protests circling the globe. 

AI Doesn’t Know Who To Reach

So much of PR and communications jobs are building relationships with reporters and other journalists. For this to be successful, you have to know what each individual reporter and journalist's niche is and when the right time is to reach out. In this article, Forbes discusses the importance of being able to turnover stories quickly and efficiently, while also adding a creative spin to it. While AI and robots may be able to pick up keywords in an interview or story, it cannot dive deeper into the meaning and how to respond based solely on this. 

AI lacks emotion

AI stands for artificial intelligence, not emotional intelligence. Part of PR and Communications jobs is that human to human connection. How do you build that connection looking at a screen? You can’t. According to PR Weekly, “The fact is that data is emotionally driven. Buzzy phrases like "data-driven decisions" only reinforce the misapprehension, if not the false ideology, that the best way to make decisions is rationally and devoid of emotion.”

What does this mean? It means that the data, which AI can produce, isn’t the full answer, because it is data and numbers driven. However, true data has an emotional side to it. Making decisions means being able to think rationally and logically, which AI simply cannot do. Therefore, in PR humans are an absolute necessity. Now that doesn’t mean AI can’t help improve what we do and can’t be used simultaneously. It means that we, as humans, are designed to be more agile than computers but we should still work on updating “our own systems” with constant learning and professional development so we don’t outdate ourselves the way computers and AI do.

Beginning To Switch From Working From Home Back To The Office

Transitioning from being in the office to working from home may not have been easy. It was likely something you had never experienced before. It happened quickly, but was necessary to keep everyone safe and healthy. Providing the tools for your employees to be able to do their work from home was and still is essential. Providing the same tools as people begin to return to work is even more necessary. As more news continues to come out about COVID-19, the future is unclear. Will you be able to come back to work within the next couple of months? By the end of the year? There are many unknowns, but here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding to make that switch.

Be Transparent
No one wants to be in limbo, but that is kind of how life is right now for everyone. Being transparent is the best thing you can do with your company. At this point in time, you probably don’t know when everyone will be back in the office. Be honest and upfront about that. A simple email to the staff saying you don’t have an update yet will be helpful. Even though you may not know, the rest of the office doesn’t know what you’re thinking. This will keep everyone up to date on what is going on, so they know to keep looking out for a future update.

Be Flexible
When the time comes and people begin to work in the office again, not everyone will be ready to return. Providing your employees with the opportunity to decide for themselves when to come back will do a world of wonder not only for the work they provide, but also for their mental health. If an employee works one week in the office and decides they aren’t ready to do it again, allow them to work from home. Maybe they thought it was the right decision, but it turned out not to be. Being flexible and working with them is the best thing you can do right now.

Plan Different Scenarios In Your Head
You can never be too prepared, especially during times like these. There are many different scenarios to imagine before having everyone come back to the office. What will you do if someone seems sick at the workplace? How will everyone take their lunch break while adhering to social distancing laws? Take a look at the way your office functioned before and be realistic about how things will be different now. If you have a plan ahead of time, it will be easier when the situation ultimately arises.

Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize
It is likely that computers and printers are frequently used in your office. Make sure at the end of the work day, every computer gets sanitized. Everytime the printer is used, sanitize it. Limiting the amount of markers that are being used and having people write with their pens in their notebooks will prevent further cleaning of whiteboards and markers. Anything that is being touched should be cleaned afterwards. While it may seem like tedious work, keeping track and making sure this sanitization of appliances happens is imperative.

Samantha is a Marketing and PR Assistant at NRPR Group.

What I’ve Learned My First Month of Working in PR

Working in the midst of a global pandemic is stressful. Working from home can be stressful. Starting your first job post-college, while working from home, brings on its own set of challenges. Beginning any job comes with a learning curve. It’s natural and expected and takes time to understand the way your new company works. Here are a few things I’ve learned in my first month of working in PR at NRPR Group.

Communication is key
While I knew about the importance of communication before this job, working at NRPR has reinforced how important communication really is. Working at an agency means you need to understand the marketing strategies of each client you are working with and their underlying goals and values. Check in with other team members who have been working with the clients, they’ll be able to help you. You just need to speak up and communicate what you need or want to know. There is nothing wrong with asking for help.

Study Your Clients
Along with communicating with your team about what you need, take the time and really study your clients. Look at their social media accounts and their website. Research the CEO and higher ups of the company. Find trends in their content, colors they use, study their syntax. This way, you’ll be familiar with the clients before talking with them and understand their brand more.

An added hint? Take notes on what you find while evaluating the clients to help you notice the trends you find.

Take Notes
The transition period at a new job often means there will be countless meetings. Meetings to meet your clients, meetings with your boss. Taking notes will allow you to process all the information at your own time and pace. If you are trying to do something new, you'll be able to come back to the notes you took and see the walkthrough you learned about previously. These notes will come in handy and you’ll be glad you took them.

Give Yourself Leeway If You Don’t Get Something Right, Right Away
I know it’s easier said than done, but giving yourself space to get things wrong and do assignments incorrectly is how you learn. Maybe a project wasn’t explained fully or you have to do extra research before beginning a project or you just do something completely wrong, that’s okay. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Starting a new job can be stressful and not everything will go your way the first time around. This is part of being in the workforce.

At the end of the day, starting a new job will come with pressure. However, you should be proud of yourself for getting the position and take a moment to let that sink in. You proved yourself in the interview process, and now it’s time to prove yourself through the work you produce and submit. Make your company glad they hired you and make a difference!

Samantha is a PR and Marketing Assistant at NRPR Group.

NRPR Celebrates its 6th Anniversary

Congratulations to NRPR Group on its 6th anniversary today! It is an exciting time to be celebrating, even in the midst of a pandemic. We have seen continuous growth throughout the years, and continue to see it even given the climate of the world right now.

Looking back on the last six years, Nicole had a “five-year plan,” which has far exceeded her expectations. She states that, “I am happy to say that we have surpassed so many of the goals I originally set and continue to serve clients with new services such as video and production.” NRPR has had the opportunity to work with over 80 clients throughout the years and this number continues to grow.

Here is NRPR throughout the years:

NRPR Group launched in 2014 and slowly began celebrating new and exciting milestones. The first one being in 2015 with the win of the “Gold in the Bulldog Reporter” Award in the New Agency of the Year Category. Following this win in 2016, NRPR received a “Silver Video of the Year award” for its PRactical Guide to Publicity video series, hosted by our CEO, Nicole Rodrigues. It was also featured on YouTube as an 11-part series, created to teach CEOs and CMOs the true benefits of strategic Public Relations.

2017 came and went with more exciting news. NRPR saw continuous success, which was emphasized through being honored with a “Beverly Hills Small Business Excellence” Award for Public Relations. This was the second year in a row that NRPR had won this award. Two years of continuous recognition for the impact the company was making on the PR industry.

As 2018 rolled around, the team was expanding and NRPR opened an office in Las Vegas. This was a strategic decision as NRPR wanted to be closer to tech companies, in addition to increasing awareness of the Young Dreamers Foundation within schools in other states. This foundation is to reach young adults and give them the tools needed for success in the future.

WIth the continued goal of making a difference, the Beverly Hills brand was launched in 2019. This brand was meant to help build excitement around the release of Nicole’s book, Beverly Hills Boss. The book was released in February of 2020. Simultaneously, NRPR specialized in branded content, launched commercials, corporate videos, and a YouTube series.

NRPR group is excited to see more growth and change over the next 6+ years. It will continue making a difference in the PR world and help our clients get to where they want to be.

Why Twitter is a Good Corporate Role Model for Doing Good

There are many different ways for a company to perform good corporate social responsibility (CSR). The benefits of good CSR programs can drive a company to do well while also doing good for its community or in the world. This “good” includes helping people through community involvement or helping the planet through environmental action. Ideally, this CSR will come through philantropoies, engaging in community building activities and responding to social issues both locally and globally.

Now, more than ever, journalists are looking for companies using their platform for good. Twitter is one to look out for. Below you will find a list of how they are performing good CSR during the times of a global pandemic.

Partnering with Organizations
Twitter partnered with The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) to support the #RecoveryMovement. With the Shelter in Place and places around the world closed, individuals in recovery or currently battling substance abuse are taking a hard hit during these times. This hashtag shows solidarity with those facing this internal battle and provides resources to help them get past this hard time.

Twitter also partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 7, 2020, to help answer the questions people were posing on Twitter. According to their tweet, over six million questions had been tweeted within a few weeks about the Coronavirus. To answer these questions, they retweeted an answer from the WHO Twitter page and wrote the question associated with it.

Donating to Affected Organizations
Twitter said it best. “Right now, every journalist is a COVID-19 journalist.” Twitter donated one million dollars to the “Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation.” As the economic distress of the country continues to worsen, Twitter’s hope with this donation is to help the employees of this organization stay employed. It is also helping to advocate for journalists during this time. “Their shared efforts to advocate for the rights of vulnerable reporters and to guarantee an equal share of voice for women in the industry has never been more relevant or important,” Twitter states.

Matching Donations
Not only is Twitter making donations to organizations, but it is also encouraging its employees to do the same. Twitter started a “COVID-19 campaign” which stated that every employee who donates to an organization relating to COVID-19 effort, would be matched up to $2,000 per donation, per employee. There are approximately 4,900 employees of Twitter, which means if every employee donated $2,000, the employees themselves would be donating approximately $9,800,000. With Twitter's COVID-19 campaign, they would be donating up to $19,600,000 as a company.

Keeping Employees Safe
Twitter recently announced that employees will no longer have to return to the office to work after their offices open. Working from home permanently will be an option. They are quickly adapting to the times and are the first company to make this kind of change. Even when their offices reopen, it will be up to the individual employee whether or not they want to return. In addition to this, they have announced that all offices will be closed until at least September 2020 and no company events will be held for the rest of the year.

Samantha is a Marketing and PR Assistant at NRPR Group.