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Nine top tips for using AI to write press releases

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In the second in our series, focusing on using AI for different aspects of PR work, we’re investigating how AI can be used to help write press releases. Here are nine tips (and some words of caution!) on using AI to save time and deliver better results.

Emulate great style

Andrew Boyd, co-founder of PR agency Forte Analytica: “My go-to for writing press releases is ChatGPT. The most useful thing to add to your prompt, if you like the style of a particular press release, is to pass it a URL and ask it to analyse its style, and then emulate it.

“You can also ask it to open and analyse an about page on your website or other relevant pages. This helps it understand what you're about before writing the release.

“ChatGPT is also really good at writing comments from you or your client. You'd be surprised how close to the real thing it gets, especially if you're looking for the typical canned corporate kind of comment. If you don't like what it produces, just ask it for new versions that adhere to what you want. You can then send a batch of comments to the client for their feedback/approval. This is generally faster than asking the client to make a comment.”

Target your most relevant audience

Stuart Bruce, co-founder of PR agency Purposeful Relations: “PRophet is one of the more interesting specialist AI PR tools we've explored. Primarily, you use it to check your draft news release as it uses predictive analytics to identify journalists and media outlets that are the most likely to be interested in it. PRophet can also help you to hone the release to make it more relevant to that journalist or outlet.

“It now also does much more, such as creating versions of the release for use on social platforms and drafting pitches personalised to each journalist. Predicting journalists and outlets needs a long enough release, you can now even use it to submit a short outline of just 30 words and it then generates the longer release you can use to identify journalists and titles.”

Enhance the creativity of your writing

Andrew Bruce Smith, founder of PR agency Escherman:TextFX is a free and useful AI aid that can help with writing press releases. Developed by Google in collaboration with artist Lupe Fiasco, it's tailored specifically for writers and introduces an array of ten tools designed to refine and enhance the writing process. The suite aims to bolster creativity in drafting press releases and other written content by offering versatile features that range from simile generation to sensory scene description.

“It is distinct from conventional AI writing assistants, as it focuses on augmenting human creativity rather than replacing it. Each tool within the TextFX suite serves a specific purpose: 'Simile' and 'Scene' enhance descriptive narratives, 'Explode' and 'Fuse' encourage linguistic experimentation. The 'POV' tool facilitates the exploration of different perspectives, making press releases more engaging and memorable.

“TextFX can help press release writers generate fresh ideas, craft compelling narratives, and present information in innovative ways. Where capturing an audience's attention is paramount, the ability to introduce unexpected and imaginative elements into a press release is worth considering.”

Think legal!

Ian Hood, founder of PR agency Babel PR warns: “When PR agency professionals paste in the details of a client’s latest announcement into a Large Language Model (LLM) like ChatGPT and prompt a press release draft, it’s very likely they have just committed a direct breach of an NDA.

“Like all agencies, I have an enormous file of NDAs forbidding confidential information disclosure to third parties without prior written approval. LLMs are a third-party resource, and even though opting out of using content to ‘help develop and improve’ AI’s accuracy is a sneak-around, it’s still a breach. Because of this fact, we created employee-friendly usage policies and look to seek specific approval from clients before using these Al tools.

“You could, of course, instil a blanket ban on all AI use or turn a blind eye to implicit individual use, but I wouldn’t recommend that either - you could easily find yourself caught out or caught behind the times. You’ve been warned!”

Craft impactful quotes

Shalon Kerr, founder of healthcare PR agency PR-it: “Generative AI is a game-changer for drafting press releases when you provide it with a precise prompt and ample context. However, if that feels a bit too advanced or you’re not permitted to put sensitive information into the chat window, here's a practical tip: leverage GenAI's strength in addressing one of the most common challenges in press release writing - crafting impactful quotes that seamlessly link the company's vision to the announcement.

“Use this prompt for ChatGPT, Claude or Gemini: ‘Generate an aspirational quote from [insert persona] that connects our commitment to improving [insert unmet need/challenge] with today's announcement of [insert milestone with one sentence of context]. Emphasise our vision for [insert aspiration] while maintaining an optimistic, but professional tone.’”

Give specific instructions to get accurate results

James Cunningham, a coach at health and fitness community Total Shape: “Writesonic is the AI tool I use to create effective press releases. It simplifies the writing process, from creating attention-grabbing headlines to crafting concise and persuasive content.

“When using Writesonic, you must provide clear and specific instructions. The more specific you are about your brand voice, key points, and desired tone, the more accurately it can tailor the content to your specific requirements. It's a collaborative effort; you set the tone, and the AI tool amplifies and refines your message.”

Tailor content to multiple audiences

Samantha Odo, COO at real estate firm Precondo: “The AI tool that I use for crafting compelling press releases is Copy.ai. It's simple and effective, making it easy to create eye-catching headlines, engaging property descriptions, and even entire press releases. When I use Copy.ai, I start by providing some basic information about the property or project I'm promoting. Then, I specify the type of content I want to create, such as a press release, and it generates a draft for me.

“I like how it offers a variety of templates and customisation options, which allow me to tailor the content to different audiences and platforms. Plus, its collaborative features make it easy to collaborate with colleagues and clients to improve the final product.”

Don’t rely on AI to do all the work

Luana Ribeira, founder of PR agency Dauntless PR: “We don’t use AI for pitches or press releases and are strongly against it. We’re not against AI; it’s incredibly useful for many tasks, but we don’t believe writing should be one of them.

“PR isn’t about flashy features, but about connecting with large audiences. The energy behind a written piece can be felt by the reader and that’s what draws them in. That connection is missing when something is written by AI - it’s too perfect, too sterile and people are starting to sound the same. Audiences don’t want perfect; they want connection.”

Choose the right tool for the job

Jon Morgan, CEO at PR agency Venture Smarter: “HyperWrite AI has become an invaluable asset for us, thanks to its seamless integration of natural language processing and user-friendly design. It's simple to use: I enter key details about the announcement, and the tool works its magic, suggesting well-crafted sentences and phrases that ensure our message is not only clear, but also perfectly aligned with our brand's tone.

“The tool's ability to understand the nuances of our communication style has greatly improved the efficiency of our press release creation process. HyperWrite does more than just save time; it improves the quality of our content, making our press releases more impactful and memorable. It's like having a dependable writing partner who truly understands our brand's voice”

Despite the plethora of AI tools at your disposal to help with all aspects of the press release writing process, it is important not to rely solely on these tools, as the human touch is vital for making your work more personal and engaging.

Next week we examine the pros and cons of ChatGPT.

If you enjoyed this article on how to use AI to write press releases, you'll probably also enjoy this feature on AI for PR measurement.

Alex Beach, writer at PRmoment

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