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PR professionals AI usage rockets throughout 2023

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PR professionals AI usage rockets throughout 2023

PR professionals’ confidence is returning as usage of AI tools shoots up, according to the latest ICCO and PRCA Confidence Tracker published today.

Confidence returning despite challenges

Confidence is returning with 78% confident or very confident. This is up from May, when the figure had dipped to 73%, but is still lower than any reading in 2022 or 2021. Those ‘not very confident’ has halved since May from 16% back down to 8%, which is more consistent with previous readings, although still noticeably up from 2022. Across various global regions reasons cited for lack of confidence frequently refer to uncertainty and economic conditions, as opposed to anything PR-specific. Whilst those most confident tend to refer to stable pipelines, strong sector growth and faith inaccurate positive projections for 2024.

AI usage rockets

Over the course of 2023, the shift in claims on practical usage of AI tools has been remarkable. The number using AI tools very or fairly regularly has more than trebled from 15% to 52%. This now dwarves those not using AI tools at all, which has fallen from 56% to 18% and the number never expecting to use these tools has reduced by two-thirds, from 30% to 9%. There is a clear trend of professionals shifting from “planning to use” into active users of AI tools and regular usage becoming mainstream, barring a few outliers.

Most regular and long-term usage tends to refer to data analysis and performance measurement, whilst newer applications refer to image and content creation, copywriting first drafts and meeting note. Many respondents site plans to implement training. Those not using AI tools refer to data sensitivity, lack of trust in accuracy, or not being applicable to particular job function.

Rob Morbin, Executive Director, ICCO said:

“The pulse check demonstrates usage and understanding of new AI tools has become more globally mainstream across 2023 - in front of our eyes. PR associations must continue to support members by introducing suitable technology partners and producing necessary ethical guidance.

Its hugely positive to see comments around confidence refer to strong sector opportunities for growth. Meanwhile political and economic conditions will always impact the business environment differently for members in different regions.”

Q&R conducted the latest Pulse Check survey with ICCO and PRCA members as part of the Confidence Tracker series. The survey included two questions, one relating to AI, the other business confidence. Responses were collected over the course of 5 days using an appropriate survey method and data was analysed to obtain a snapshot of members’ mood.



Rob Morbin

Rob Morbin

Press contact Deputy Chief Executive +447881956218
Roma Sakarnyte

Roma Sakarnyte

Press contact Comms and Marketing Manager LinkedIn

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The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world and provides a forum for senior management of the world’s best PR consultancies to meet and address issues of mutual interest and concern.

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