Most PR Pros Are Now Using AI Tools: Study

Reporters are increasingly being served by PR professionals using AI tools, judging by The State of PR Technology, a study by Prowly.  

Of the PR people polled, 68% use AI, primarily for idea and content generation and research. 

Of those who have adopted AI technology, almost 66% give it a seven out of a possible rating of 10. And, over 50% claim they are satisfied, up from 35% in 2022.  

But 72% say budget constraints prevent them from using any tool, versus 47% last year. In addition, 50% are uncertain in their AI abilities. And 26% say they don’t have time to learn.  

Roughly a third do not use any PR tool in their workflows. 

“The people that are confident and comfortable with AI have found ways to utilize it to assist them in their workflow,” commented Tonya McKenzie, Founder of Sand&Shores. “Those that find themselves in the lower satisfaction group have not quite found how this new tool can help them in their processes. They may not have an established consistent process or they may fear technology.” 



Measurement ranks the lowest among expected benefits, while one third have no system for measuring. 

“I find it astounding that over 30% of respondents are not measuring the success of their overall strategies,” says James Hayward-Browne, Co-founder of creative PR agency Bottled Imagination.

 Hayward-Browne adds, “Gone are the days of cutting up clippings and sending them to your client as a measurement of success. We now have the ability to track real metrics that affect the bottom line. Revenue, clicks, share of voice & share of search to name just a few.” 

Gini Dietrich, founder of Arment Dietrich offers this advice to PR people: “The next time you pull a media list, email news out to reporters, monitor news and social media or create a dashboard of results, track how much time it takes you. Then multiply that by your hourly rate. I’m willing to bet it costs you far more in time than any PR tool costs annually.”

Among those who measure, the most popular metrics are the number of media placements and online mentions, followed by audience reach and website traffic.  

But only 20% are calculating AVE (advertising value equivalent).Yet 38% are interest in improving their measurement, compared to 22% in 2022, and 17% want to boost their reporting, up from 5% in the prior year. 

The average budget for PR tools varies by size of the company: 

  • Solopreneurs and small companies—up to $1,000 per year
  • Mid-size companies and agencies (10 or more employees)—from $1,000-$3,000 per year.  
  • Large companies (500 or more people--$5,000 to $10,000 per year. 

Prowly surveyed 303 PR professionals in May 2023. 


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