Artificial Intelligence Coverage Overload
Read any publication today and you will find an array of artificial intelligence coverage articles. From Elon Musk’s bold statements about artificial intelligence’s (AI) role in a potential World War III to IBM’s recent $240 million investment in the future of AI, the technology’s promises, benefits, and concerns have captured the interest of most everybody.
This is why securing an earned media hit on AI can be both a blessing and a curse. Naturally, it’s easier to catch a reporter’s attention when you’re pitching commentary on a topic that is aligned with finding the cure for cancer, improvements to Netflix recommendations, the future of American jobs, or stopping terrorists, for example.
However, artificial intelligence coverage is becoming harder to secure each day. A large percentage of our clients have technology that is AI-enabled, or their business somehow touches the AI space. The noise around artificial intelligence is deafening, and it will only get louder in the immediate future.
Rise Above The Noise
So, how can you secure top-tier earned media on a subject related to artificial intelligence? How can you stand out from all the other influencers, celebrities, and companies talking about AI?
1. Show vs. Tell
Many reporters today have become skeptical about the AI promises companies are making (wouldn’t you feel the same way if you were constantly pitched the same topic?). For this reason, only real, tangible demonstrations and results of the technology stand out. Can your client’s AI technology analyze data and prevent a potentially catastrophic event? Show the data and make the prediction. Did your client identify a new form of cancer through AI? Tell that story with the customer and patient. Analysts, pundits and influencers are starting to put the brakes on the extraordinary AI claims. If you can prove them wrong, that’s your angle.
2. Be Controversial
This goes without saying when you’re pitching any topic. However, if your client is willing to call Elon Musk to task, some reporters will listen. You’ll need to back up the bold commentary with a credible position, some thought leadership, and, if possible, a customer; then you’ll have the beginning of an angle for the reporter. This is particularly important when you are pitching commentary centered around breaking news–you need to be bold to secure artificial intelligence coverage.
3. Don’t Stretch
We talk to a lot of CEOs and co-founders that want to jump on the AI bandwagon. Sometimes it’s a genuine effort and their AI-enabled technology seems like it will legitimately benefit people. They want to be heard. Other times the company’s leadership team has read the daily articles about artificial intelligence and they think they can find a way to tie themselves to the technology (and thus receive a lot of earned media coverage). In such a busy and noisy space, you’ll only frustrate reporters or be added to the “Do Not Call List.” Instead, find a unique angle and go after that.
4. Demonstrate Credibility
One of the best ways to show your client is real, has a bold statement, and is a legitimate player in the AI space is to showcase genuine involvement in the industry. That means playing up the CEO’s participation in a non-profit AI consortium or recent research reports about artificial intelligence. Again, reporters are already becoming skeptical about AI and are inundated with companies that are trying to align with the buzz words. Demonstrate that your client has both a history with AI and staying power, and you’re already separating yourself from the pack.
Looking To The Future
It’s not clear how long artificial intelligence will be the hottest topic with the press. Some argue we’ve already reached the saturation point and the interest will start to die down. Others think we’re just getting started. Either way, it’s clear that the amount of revenue driven by artificial intelligence will continue to increase for the foreseeable future (IDC estimates worldwide revenues will reach $47 billion in 2020). PR agencies will continue to work with companies that want a piece of the pie. The smartest PR pros will offer strategic advice and real-world tactics that will increase share of voice on the topic, secure meaningful artificial intelligence coverage, drive brand awareness, and help with lead generation.