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How AI is changing how PRs pitch to journalists

The PR industry is undergoing an operational renaissance, and artificial intelligence is at the forefront. Until fairly recently, many PR professionals spent their days sending out as many pitches as possible. I see it all the time, and it simply doesn’t work. When sheer volume is your top priority, you don’t always take the time necessary to research the publication and journalist you are targeting. The end result: journalists get bombarded with irrelevant pitches whilst the unsuccessful PR efforts tarnish the industry’s reputation.

With the right AI, this could come to an end. PRs can now maintain high levels of productivity whilst also sending the right pitches to the right people.

Simplifying pitch ideation

The pitch ideation process begins with figuring out what kind of stories are generating the most interest in a certain industry. In the past, a PR would have to spend hours combing through different publications and social media platforms to answer this question.

Today, prominent AI platforms like OnePitch or PRophet can shorten this step to a matter of minutes. All you have to do is input a potential topic or a series of keywords to discover which stories in relation to your query are currently gaining the most attention from the media as well as the most traction with readers. Some of these platforms can even tell you how frequently your desired topic is appearing on social media, and whether the topic is mostly being mentioned in a positive or negative light.

Determining appropriate targets

Now that you have your pitch, it’s time to harness AI to determine the most appropriate target. AI can instantly analyse the previous work of hundreds of journalists and use predictive analytics to reveal which journalists are statistically most likely to cover your desired topic. These platforms can also provide additional insights about individual journalists, such as recurring sub-topics in their work and the reach and engagement levels of their most recent pieces.

This information allows PRs to personalise their pitches to suit each journalist’s specific areas of interest. Personalised pitches are more likely to generate a “yes” from their targets because they immediately stand out from the spammy, irrelevant pitches that flood the inboxes of journalists every day.

Crafting your pitch

PRs are under pressure to stay productive and generate high volumes of pitches. AI can be a game-changer in the pitch writing process as well. Even though you may have a great idea for a story, finding the right words for your pitch can take time, and PRs can’t afford to let hours go by whilst staring at a blank page.

Generative AI just needs to know the central message of your pitch in order to produce multiple versions of the entire email, including an eye-catching subject line. Yes, you still has to proofread the pitch before sending it out. But this takes considerably less time than writing every single pitch from scratch.

Time saving not job cutting

With the right AI help, PRs can ultimately send out higher quality pitches to more appropriate recipients in a surprisingly short time frame. PR pros no longer have to spend an inordinate amount of time determining the right target for their pitch or making educated guesses about which topics will most likely gain press coverage.

I hear and read a lot about AI potentially taking away people’s jobs. Well, here’s a great example of PR making people even more effective at their jobs than they’ve already been.

Article written by Steve Marcinuk, co-founder and general manager at agency Intelligent Relations 

You can read more about the impact of AI on PR in these features 

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