Should You use AI to Write a Press Release?
If you’ve tuned into the cacophony of hype surrounding ChatGPT since its release in November 2022, you’d be forgiven for thinking that AI is going to replace all of us sooner than later.
But far from posing a threat to PR experts, AI should be seen as an ally.
In addition to automating time-consuming tasks such as media monitoring and sentiment analysis, AI tools can take the heavy lifting out of content creation.
So let’s delve into press release writing, AI style. In this post we’ll look at:
- What a press release AI writer is and how it works
- The benefits and pitfalls of using an AI press release writer
- The top performing AI content generators on the market
- Tips for nailing an AI press release.
Want the lowdown on press releases? Read: PR 101: What is a Press Release?
What’s an AI press release generator?
Hypotenuse AI defines an AI press release generator as ‘a software program that can write press releases for businesses. It takes data from a customer such as the company name, brief talking points about the announcement and target audience, then creates a press release based on that data’.
Okay, but how do press release writer AI tools work?
AI writers utilise advanced algorithms and machine learning (ML) to scan existing content on the web and gather data based on instructions provided by users. They then leverage natural language processing (NLP) to turn this data into text that resembles human-written content.
Sounds like a silver bullet for the perfect press release, right?
Not quite. While press release AI writers can be a handy addition to your PR toolkit, they’re not without their limitations.
Let’s look at the pros and cons to find out why.
Pros and cons of AI press release writers
AI pros: Speed
A standout press release takes time to write. While a straightforward announcement might take a couple of hours, a complex story with multiple angles can take a full day or more to churn out.
The beauty of press release AI writers is they can generate a mind-boggling amount of content in less than a minute.
Granted, the content won’t be perfect. You’ll need to fact check, proofread, and humanise it, but you’ll have a solid first draft to work with.
AI pros: Writer’s block? So long
You need to get a press release turned around pronto. You’ve been hunched over your laptop for hours, but all you’ve got to show for it is half a headline and a bunch of doodles.
This is where AI comes into its own. With a few intelligent prompts, a press release AI writer can generate a bunch of headlines, introductions, and/or keywords to get your creative juices flowing.
If you’re still uninspired, you can cut your losses and get the tool to write the entire thing for you.
AI pros: More bang for your buck
One of the biggest perks of an AI press release writer? It’s cost-efficient.
With options out there to suit every budget, including a ton of free ones, an AI writer can churn out PR content without breaking the bank.
No more shelling out big bucks for content or taking the hit with your own time.
AI pros: Better SEO
There’s only one thing better than a killer press release: a killer press release that bags a front-row seat in the search results.
AI press release writers can help you up your SEO game by:
- suggesting keywords to include in your content
- creating SEO-optimised meta titles and descriptions
- analysing competitors’ content and giving you keyword recommendations accordingly
- creating keyword plans
- providing on-page optimisation suggestions.
It’s worth mentioning here that Google isn’t anti-AI. The latest guidelines state that Google will reward ‘high-quality content, however it’s produced’, providing the content is ‘original, high-quality’, and demonstrates experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T)
AI cons: Original and accurate content? Not so much
AI press release writers may have superior processing powers, but they can trip up over the trickier terrain of originality and accuracy.
As we said earlier, they create content based on what already exists online. In other words, they don’t come up with fresh ideas. It takes human creativity and a PR expert to put an original spin on a press release.
It’s also worth noting that, although AI bots strive for accuracy, they don’t double-check the facts.
That’s your job. If you don’t, you run the risk of hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons, like American news outlet CNET.
AI cons: Lacking in personality
Look at this sample of AI generated copy from Neil Patel’s website.
How would you describe it? Flat? Uninspiring? Devoid of personality?
It reads this way as AI writers don’t understand the nuances of language that make it interesting, or the context that makes it relevant.
Also, many of them lack the ability to capture a specific voice and tone, which is critical to brand identity.
If you want your content to resonate with your audience, be prepared to do some heavy editing.
Wondering why tone of voice is critical to brand identity? Read: Why is tone of voice so important?
AI cons: Beware of bias
Just like humans, AI systems are prone to bias. They learn from large datasets, which can contain biases based on the demographics and perspectives of the data they were trained on.
This means they may unintentionally favour certain perspectives, perpetuate stereotypes, or discriminate against specific groups.
AI only knows what it’s been taught. If it’s learned from biased information, that bias is likely to show up in your PR content.
A keen human eye is vital to avoid harmful content and reputational damage.
For more on the pros and cons of AI, read: The Impact of AI in Public Relations
AI press release generators at a glance
We’ve looked at the benefits and drawbacks of press release AI technology. Now let’s turn our attention to what’s on the market.
Here’s the lowdown on two top-rated tools at either end of the budget scale.
One of the most advanced AI writing tools out there, Jasper is a one stop shop for PR content creation.
You can use it to generate creative ideas, craft catchy titles and topics, suggest new angles for existing content, and optimise your AI press releases for SEO. There’s also a hassle-free editing and collaboration feature, allowing multiple people to work on the same document in real-time.
It comes with 50+ content writing templates, each of which has been trained to write copy in a specific way. For example, the AIDA template (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) produces ‘sale-sy’ copy.
This video walks you through how to use the press release title and intro template.
- The brand voice tool enables you to ‘train’ Jasper to speak in your brand voice
- Grammarly integration: Grammarly, (an AI-powered proofreading and editing tool) is integrated within Jasper. As well as correcting spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, you can use it to review word choice, sentence structure and content clarity
- Jasper has an integrated plagiarism checker that runs on one of the most popular and effective plagiarism tools, Copyscape.
- Provides content in 29 languages
- Access to AI Chat + AI Art tools.
As an AI content creation tool, Jasper is a strong option. It beats the other content writers in terms of output quality, but it’s one of the pricier options.
You’re looking at $39/month for a single licence and for access to the tool’s most basic features.
If you’re looking to dip a toe in the AI writing pool, Writesonic may be the solution for you. Budget-friendly, and easy to use, it doesn’t take much work to get a full article straight out of the box.
The tool comes with 70+ templates, including one for ‘short press releases’. In addition to press releases, you can use it to generate website headers, article outlines, blog ideas and article summaries.
However, Writesonic’s standout feature is its Content Rephrase tool. If you’re having a bad writing day, you can upload your (human-generated) content to the rephrase template. It’ll then analyse the content, identify ways to improve it and rewrite it for you.
The tool can fix errors, improve clarity, and make lengthy copy more concise. And it’ll spit out three options for you to choose from.
Here’s how to use it.
- The tool integrates with Surfer for SEO, DALL·E for image generation, and Copyscape for plagiarism checking. And it connects to WordPress in one click
- You can generate imagery based on prompts via Photosonic (Writesonic’s bespoke AI image generator)
- It has a built-in ‘brand voice’ feature that works by analysing a sample of existing content
- Your AI press release can be published to your WordPress blog or website at the click of a button
- Provides content in 25 languages.
A solid tool for AI newbies. Considering its modest cost point, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Costwise, you can get 10,000 words a month free (for one user). But you won’t be able to access all the features. Paid plans start at $16/month.
Which AI press release generator should you choose?
AI press release tools excel at different things. Some focus on paraphrasing or adding SEO keywords in a natural-sounding way. Others produce on-brand drafts that require minimal editing.
Before rushing into a purchase, decide which parts of the process you want to automate, then seek out the best tool for the job.
Try before you buy
AI press release tools vary greatly in terms of interface, capabilities, and output quality. So, it pays to try before you buy.
Test out the features, acquaint yourself with the bells and whistles, and experiment with different prompts until you find a solution that’s fit-for-purpose.
While you’re testing the tools, consider the following:
- Is the tool easy to use? If you have to watch a two-hour tutorial to figure out how to access the press release template, it’s too complicated.
- Besides press releases, what will you use an AI writer for? Pitches? Social media copy? Interview prep? Whatever content you need, make sure the tool has a template for it.
- Does the tool have the features you require? What are the essentials? A plagiarism checker? A brand voice tool? An SEO optimisation tool?
- How flexible is the tool? With some AI writers, you enter a headline and AI does the rest. Others give you a lot more control over the output. The more options you have to influence the tone, style, language, and readability of your AI press release, the less editing you’ll have to do.
How to get the most out of a press release AI writer
Whichever tool you go for, there are two things you need to do to get the most out of it.
Be clear and specific with your prompts
Ever heard the saying ‘garbage in, garbage out?’ An old coding adage, it refers to the fact that the output of an algorithm is only as good as the quality of the input it receives.
The same goes for AI press release generators. If you’re unclear or vague with your prompts (instructions), your robo-friend will spit out poor quality copy.
Want to know how to write effective prompts? Read this article from Zapier.
Edit and polish
Once your AI press release writer gives you something solid to work with, it’s up to you to whip the content into shape.
You’ll need to fact check, proofread, trim the fluff, sharpen the message, and polish the narrative until your press release is ready for business.
Never publish unchecked AI generated content.
AI and Public Relations: The future is bright
Whether you love it or hate it, AI is fast becoming an invaluable asset for PR pros.
While AI press release writers aren’t without their drawbacks, when harnessed effectively, they can augment your writing process, reduce the scope for error, and free up your time to focus on higher-value tasks.