Press release -
PR professionals AI usage rockets throughout 2023 - PRCA ICCO Confidence Tracker
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 76% of responders ‘confident’ or ‘very confident,’ but is still lower than any reading in 2022 or 2021. Those ‘not very confident’ are down since May from 16% down to 10%, 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 in accurate 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 increased from 36% to 47%. This now dwarves those not using AI tools at all, which has fallen from 29% to 18% and the number never expecting to use these tools has stayed at 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 a particular job function.
PRCA Managing Director, Renna Markson, said:
“The surge in AI adoption among PR professionals underscores a notable shift in the industry landscape, as confidence rebounds amidst evolving challenges. The latest ICCO and PRCA Confidence Tracker, released today, reveals a noteworthy uptick in the use of AI tools. This surge in AI integration signifies a growing confidence among professionals, reflecting a strategic move from planning to active implementation.
“The decline in the number of professionals not using AI tools—from 29% to 18%—and the consistent 9% of those never expecting to use these tools underscore a broader industry trend towards mainstream adoption. However, challenges persist, with concerns around data sensitivity, trust in accuracy, and applicability to specific job functions cited by those still hesitant to embrace AI.”
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.
The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the world’s largest professional PR body.
Representing 35,000 PR professionals in 82 countries worldwide, we are a global advocate for excellence in public relations. Our teams across Europe, the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific work with professionals around the world to co-ordinate our operations across six continents.
Our mission is to create a more professional, ethical, and prosperous PR industry. We champion - and enforce - professional standards around the world through our Professional Charter and Code of Conduct. The Code compels members to adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice.
We deliver exceptional training, authoritative industry data, and global networking, and development opportunities.
We also manage the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) - the umbrella body for 41 PR associations and 3,000 agencies across the world. Additionally, we support the delivery of the Motor Industry Communicators Association (MICA).