Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere these days -- from our phones and cars to advertising and healthcare. There have also been ongoing debates regarding AI taking over journalism, making newsrooms around the world leaner than they already are.
The field of public relations has also been targeted by AI, but like with journalism, there is a larger debate around the lines between artificial intelligence and human intelligence. While data continues to be a larger contributor to the stories being told (earnings, growth, etc), one critical element to all stories is the human perspective. AI is getting incredibly impressive. Sure, computers can quickly spit out sports scores and write up a brief article on the most recent economic numbers. And Alexa certainly can have a sassy sense of humor at times but it is going to be a while before the human element -- the emotions of a story -- can truly be conveyed by a computer.
Until that time, we will still need journalists and PR professionals to wade through the numbers and dig into the human intelligence and emotion of the stories that need to be told.
"And I think both the left and the right should celebrate people who have different opinions, and disagree with them, and argue with them, and differ with them, but don't just try to shut them up." -- Roger Ebert
While the op-ed as we know it has been around for nearly a century, the formats in which people can voice their opinions are rapidly changing.
If you have a point of view on a particular topic, you don't have to wait to publish in the daily newspaper. Rather, you can leverage a whole slew of other channels. Most industry publications accept contributed content (although that is starting to change as well), sites like LinkedIn and Medium offer quick and easy ways to distribute your perspective to the masses, or you can always start your own blog using the likes of Weebly, Squarespace, Wordpress or Wix (like we have here).
While all articles, whether editorial or opinion, should be well researched and based on facts, opinion pieces are just that -- opinions. Not everyone is going to agree with the author's perspective. That's not only good, that's healthy. We need to have differing opinions on important industry topics in order to keep things balanced.
Unless there is a blatant and verifiable inaccuracy that wasn't found prior to publication, there should never been a correction made to an opinion piece. Of course, all industry publications need to protect themselves and should include some sort of note saying that the views of the author may not reflect the perspective of the publication, but the whole point of accepting contributed articles from outside experts is to be able to provide readers with a variety of opinions.
If you don't like what was written, write a rebuttal opinion piece. Share your perspective and the facts that back up your argument on the topic. But to ask a publisher for a retraction or a correction, is inappropriate and unfair to the original author.
The formats have and will continue to change but we need to ensure that opinion pieces remain just that -- opinions.
Welcome to ROAMings, a compilation of thoughts and musings about the PR and media industries. This is an opportunity to discuss the “here and now” of the industry, interesting events or case studies, pivotal moments that affect how we approach PR, etc. It isn’t about brand loyalties or preferences -- and we will not be publishing self-promotional materials or talk about our clients in this setting -- but how those brands, individuals and events are leveraging (or in some cases abandoning) PR.