Producing content built with AI shows that the help of artificial intelligence can open up plenty of new avenues for newsworthy storytelling.
As we’ve seen over the last few years, AI can assist content creators with a number of methodologies, including facial recognition, image generation, voice recordings and even sarcastic chatbots.
With the rise of ChatGPT (if you haven’t used it yet, what have you been doing?), we could even go as far as to say that AI has scared some of us content creators into feeling like jobs are at risk.
Luckily for now, AI hasn’t completely taken over – just yet.
With a report stating that 3 in 4 marketers are using AI for content creation, AI content is certainly on the rise with blogs, publishers and brands seeking out these tools to boost their efficiency and output. Whilst the tools are handy, it can be difficult for consumers to sift out the AI from the authentic. This, however, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Looking at examples of content built with AI, there are a mass of marketing campaigns that have gone on to earn linked coverage from news publishers in various sectors.
This project is more about posing as artificial intelligence to roast a topic that many people care enough about to share: personal music taste.
Spotify’s marketing success from their ‘Wrapped’ feature has become an annual event on social media — earning over 1.2 million tweets in a single month, and leading to huge increases in downloads of the app (plus many many more brands trying to replicate it).
The Pudding’s subversion of what makes Spotify Wrapped so popular was a genius way to appeal to the cynical side of music fandom.
Their “faux AI” tool gives the impression that a sophisticated AI bot is judging your prized personal music taste in real time, before returning sharable results that are partially tailored to the user.
Since launching in late 2020, it has been picked up by more than 1,300 linking root domains.
More than 1 in 5 of the headlines mention AI or artificial intelligence, suggesting that the AI’s participation in the experience is a key selling point in the story, as well as helping to make the project possible in the first place.
This research comes from a company that specialises in biometric authentication software with what is likely to be an attempt at downplaying some public fears over their technology.
While the statistics back up what they would hope to find — that AI isn’t fooled by spoof photos compared to the 30% of humans who do struggle to identify fakes — this story highlights an appetite that journalists have for exploring where humans and AI clash or collaborate in their capabilities around performing certain tasks.
Sentiment analysis tools can help us to draw insights around attitudes and emotions from large volumes of (usually) text-based data.
At Verve Search, one of our favourite use cases is to analyse the emotions behind different topics that are being talked about within various corners of social media.
In this example, we separated thousands of comments on US sports team’s official Facebook fan pages after wins and after losses to see which fan bases are more likely to remain supportive when the good times go bad and vice versa — also known as fair-weather fandom.
Initially, we would have loved to measure this on metrics such as fluctuating ticket sales or stadium attendances over a longer period of seasons.
But with that type of data mostly inaccessible and stadium attendance figures often debated for their accuracy, we found online fandom to be a good proxy with the help of SentiStrength, which could measure individual comments on a scale of positivity to negativity.
This is a great example of content built with AI using machine learning to continue building on a subject of research from previous years.
An analysis of 3,000 English-language books by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering used NLP’s (Natural Language Processing) ability to detect the prevalence of pronouns, and thus how often men and women are represented in literature.
With this type of AI able to process vast quantities of text-based data and return such results, there is clear potential here for building on this method in other forms of media and entertainment where gender representation remains an issue.
Public speaking is usually a prerequisite of being one the most powerful people in business or politics.
So for this campaign we applied AI voice recognition software built on deep learning techniques to judge the emotional profile of famous leaders’ speaking styles.
Pulling together a large seed list of audio files from the public speeches of politicians and famous entrepreneurs, we could look at how certain emotions are more prevalent in certain individuals, political parties and genders of speaker.
Understanding what emotions are being portrayed within a person’s voice would normally have to be studied individually.
With AI-driven voice recognition, you can analyse large amounts of voiced audio files and retrieve results that are compared against the average emotional levels that the software is trained on. Or you can compare the relative emotional levels from your own dataset (in this case, the average leader) to see which voices rank highest and lowest vs those average scores.
AI image generation tools, such as DALL-E and Midjourney can capture our imagination in just a few words and visualise a detailed version of our thoughts much quicker than we would be capable of creating in the same format.
In this content example, the AI also had to capture the imagination of the journalist to whom the content was outreached to.
In our experience, motoring journalists who report on visual content are often an exception. They are used to dealing in data, reviews, previews, and shiny photography of even shinier vehicles.
Thanks to the creative angle used here by SEO Agency Screaming Frog, the supercars from a dystopian future is a fictional story that still managed to cut through to a sector that would normally be more concerned with stories related to cars that you can actually drive.
According to OpenAI, DALL-E is generating over 2 million images a day.
While the volume of AI-generated imagery already seems to be saturating the internet, the strategy of defining these image outputs to link them together under one newsworthy theme could still be in its infancy.
These examples of AI-generated imagery, also from the team at Screaming Frog, were fed by the names of countries and their travel slogans to see what Midjourney returned.
The posters are visually beautiful. However, when covering the story, the journalist seems particularly intrigued by what the AI — with no physical travel experience to rely on — chooses to prioritise in its interpretation of an entire country:
“Until you’ve seen a place for yourself, it’s a bit of an abstract idea, so why not ask Artificial Intelligence to generate your travel poster?… Like most travel posters, Midjourney has evoked a fairly sketchy sense of place, sometimes punctuated by notable landmarks or natural features.”
Many horror movies can be recognised by their iconic movie posters or from the faces of their terrifying villains.
The speed of AI image generation allows for trialling out different ideas for visual content. And any examples which appear to make the grade with some design touch-ups can also be targeted to a specific, short-term event in the calendar, such as Halloween.
This example by Digital PR Agency Evoluted took some of the most famous horror films of all time to see what even more terrifying versions of their posters could be reimagined by the AI app Wonder.
Check out this Twitter thread for a breakdown of the posters and more information on how they were created:
For more AI-generated movie poster goodness (and weirdness), take a look at this series of posters created by artist Vincenzi in his project ROBOMOJI.
Using a similar method as the Evoluted example, Apartment Therapy tells us that the artist inputted “a series of prompts and descriptions about a film’s visuals, titles, and premise into the AI software.”
As noted, the artist didn’t set out to earn linked coverage with his project. They are using it to ask important questions around what role AI will play in the art world going forward.
So, should we be creating content built with AI?
While artists and industries are rightly questioning what the adoption of these new technologies means for the future of creatives, some, like Manas Bhatia, are already acknowledging the part AI can play in quickly helping to visualise early concepts before an artist refines them with their expertise.
Back in 2022, we saw a campaign from Samsung earn widespread coverage after they enlisted the help of a digital designer to reinterpret famous artworks, according to the issues Gen-Z are most concerned about in 2022.
Relying on insights from a survey to inform the creative direction that an artist took provided a much more human and, therefore, newsworthy angle to this ‘reimagined’ content than what the artificial mind of a tool such as DALL-E would provide.
L.S. Lowry’s ‘Coming Home from the Mill’ (1928) reinterpreted by artist Quentin Devine (2022). Source: samsung.com/ The Art of the Problem (2022)
The extent to which you use AI and its different domains as part of your creative process will vary from one campaign to another. Some ideas will see content built with AI take the role of prototype designer, others will do much of the data processing to then allow your team to find the stories that matter within the data.
On the whole, it would be a mistake to think that the inclusion of AI alone will sell in a story to the press as newsworthy.
Without a defined creative concept to work with, these examples of AI are tools waiting to process whatever we feed them. As part of our role in creating newsworthy content out of AI, we should at the very least be setting the AI’s constraints, ensuring the inputs and outputs make sense, and closely monitoring what the overall direction is of the story that we’re trying to tell.
Deep Dive: AI Image Generator DALL-E Is Now Open To All — Why Should PRs and Marketers Care? by Rich Leigh 
The future of content creation with AI is closer than you might think by David Cohn 
The lawsuit that could rewrite the rules of AI copyright by James Vincent 
Messing around with AI and content concepts by Alex Cassidy 
Digital PR terminology demystified for new starters
Like most industries, Digital PR has its own terminology to get to grips with.
If you’re new to the field, you might find some of the industry’s jargon and acronyms overwhelming — especially when everyone around you seems to know them already.
We’ve all been junior to the industry (and its terminology) at some point, so we understand how confusing these words can be, which is why we created this glossary of terms for you to refer to as needed.
In this guide, you will find definitions for the following:
Follow links and nofollow links
Let’s get started…
Backlinks are links from one website to a page on another website. They are a key measurement within SEO.
These backlinks work as ‘votes’ to signal whether content is valuable, credible or useful to help search engines such as Google to decide on how a page should rank.
As a Digital PR, this is likely to be a key measurement of success in your role when working with many brands.
Backlinks also come in different forms — not all of them offer equal value.
When a well-established, authoritative and/or relevant website links to your page, search engines are likely to consider that as a much more valuable ‘vote’ than a smaller and/or less topically relevant website’s backlink.
At Verve Search, we measure the quality and relevance of a backlink using our in-house Linkscore tool. This tool allows us to consider various metrics when measuring how valuable a particular backlink is that we earn for one of our clients.
The backlinks that Digital PRs will be most concerned with are editorial backlinks.
Editorial backlinks are organic (i.e. not paid for), and are usually earned from building high-quality, relevant content or providing quotes from a representative of a website that publishers are willing to link back to.
The founders of Google are both from academic backgrounds and incorporate backlinks to work In much the same way as academic citations. Citations help researchers understand what research fellow academics think is important. Backlinks help search engines to understand what pages other web users think are important.
2. Follow links and nofollow Links
Follow links can help to increase the visibility of a website in Google and other search engines.
For example, an editorial ‘follow’ backlink from a top-tier home and garden magazine to a home renovation company’s website will be seen by search engines as a credible vote of quality, relevance and trustworthiness.
Nofollow links were introduced in 2005 for bloggers that were struggling to manage spam from people who were trying to build links in the comment sections of websites.
The nofollow attribute (rel=”nofollow”) tells search engines not to follow that specific link to another page or website, in other words: the source of the link does not endorse the website it is linking to.
Whether search engines do entirely ignore or attach no value whatsoever to nofollow links is a debate within the SEO industry. However, what we do know is that nofollow links can offer potential value through other means, such as diversifying a website’s link profile and driving user traffic from the source of the link.
When you type anything into a search engine and hit enter, the search engine results page (SERP) is the list of web pages that appear in response to your search.
Typically, the higher you rank in the SERPs for a given term, the more likely a user is to click through to your site.
The latest figures from Backlinko (2022) show that 54.4% of clicks are generated by the top three search results in the SERPs, and that less than 1% of clicks (0.63%) go to results on the second page and beyond.
In SEO, ranking refers to where a website is positioned in the search results.
There are a wide variety of factors that influence how high a page ranks in Google’s SERPs, including backlinks, relevancy to the search term, mobile friendliness and site speed.
There is plenty of misinformation as to what factors Google does consider to be ranking factors, and the extent to which each factor plays a part is not known.
Digital PRs play a key role in building backlinks, relevancy and authority for a client on particular topics that can be recognised by search engines as factors in order to increase a client’s rankings.
CMS stands for content management system, which is a software application that allows users to create, edit and publish digital content, such as web pages and blog posts.
The most popular CMS is WordPress, which currently powers an estimated 43% of all websites on the internet.
B2B or business-to-business describes the exchange of services or products from one business to another.
When brands like Nike sell its goods to retailers and wholesalers, that is an example of B2B eCommerce.
A big brand who sells to businesses as well as consumers is Apple. They supply businesses with cloud storage and computer hardware through their products.
In Digital PR, you will likely find yourself working with many B2B brands who are looking to increase their online visibility.
B2C or business-to-consumer is the business of selling products directly to customers, bypassing any third parties.
Amazon is one of the best-known examples of a B2C business, with its famously low prices being made possible by the very nature of B2C commerce: cutting out the middleman.
Digital PR is one of the most effective methods for placing a B2C brand’s name in front of new online audiences via editorial backlinks and brand mentions.
8. Domain Authority
Domain Authority (DA) is a score for a website that describes its relevance for a subject area or industry.
Ranging from a grade of one to 100, the DA scoring system was developed by Moz to try to predict how often a website is expected to rank in Google’s SERPs, with higher scores indicating a greater likelihood.
This scoring system is not used by Google as a factor in deciding how to rank a website, but it provides a good indication of how your website is performing compared to its competitors.
The DA scoring algorithm takes numerous factors into account, including the total number of backlinks and the quality of backlinks.
This probably isn’t the first time you’ve seen the acronym KPI, but it might be the first time you’ve seen it explained.
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator.
Simply put, a KPI is an indicator or measurement of performance and refers to a specific objective or series of objectives that you agree to measure over time.
In digital PR, KPIs that help to evaluate the success of your work will typically include the number of backlinks or pieces of coverage achieved for a client, the percentage of backlinks that are follow vs nofollow, or the number of social shares that a campaign receives.
In Digital PR, outreaching is the process of reaching out to journalists and other high-authority publishers to earn backlinks and brand mentions by telling them about content or other updates on behalf of a client.
In many cases, outreach is aimed at establishing authority and credibility for search terms by gaining backlinks to a website. Websites which gain authority online for specific, relevant keywords are likely to appear higher up in the SERPs.
Outreach typically sits within a wider pool of digital PR services, that are also concerned with building and managing a brand’s reputation, and incorporating other KPIs such as brand mentions, social shares and engagement, and referral traffic.
11. Press release
Press releases, as we know them, have been used to inform journalists about events, products and services since the early 1900s.
Digital PRs will often use a press release format when contacting journalists and publishers.
A comprehensive press release is a useful medium to use when reaching out to a wider pool of similar journalists who do not need so many details of the content or story targeted to them individually.
For example, a press release containing key quotes and a topline summary from an exclusive interview with a FTSE 100 CEO in response to a recent change in the financial market would be useful for earning the attention of journalists who are covering the live business blogs of national newspapers.
General Data Protection Regulation, known as GDPR, is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the EU.
The UK’s Data Protection Act (2018) is an implementation of the EU’s GDPR laws. It states that everyone responsible for using personal data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’ — details of which can be found here.
PR involves sending press releases to media lists, which can include journalists, bloggers, reporters, editors, influencers, and many more.
According to GDPR legislation, these lists should be kept securely, and the recipient’s information should not be disclosed to anyone.
In some instances, press releases have been sent to purchased email lists. This violates GDPR since the recipients were unaware that they were gathered and sold.
GDPR also applies to processing data in the construction of a campaign. If digital PRs find themselves mishandling proprietary data from a client or personally identifiable information from a third-party website, this can risk violating GDPR laws.
Copywriters research, plan, and create written content that advertises a client’s products and services through various channels.
Ads, blogs, emails, sales letters, technical documents, and website copy are all examples of this type of content.
Copywriting is an essential part of the digital PR process.
Whether it’s writing press-worthy quotes on behalf of clients, or highlighting the most newsworthy statistics in a creative campaign, the end result of digital PR relies on clear and accessible copy from start to finish.
A keyword is a word or phrase that best represents the content on your page or website.
If used as a search term, you’d want users to find your page first. So, optimising a web page with specific keywords that are likely to be searched for in relation to your content is an important part of SEO.
Keywords are commonly used in online news headlines too. Most major digital publications even hire their own SEO editorial team to ensure that articles and headlines are optimised for web search queries to discover more easily.
In digital PR, using specific keywords in an email and its subject header, which are also used by a target publisher in their articles or headlines can help to sell in the relevancy of the content you are outreaching to them.
15. Meta description
If you search for something online, your search engine returns the search results it deems most relevant to your query.
A meta description is a snippet of text – no longer than 160 characters – that appears under each URL and title tag in the SERPs. Imagine it as a kind of elevator pitch to explain to users why they should choose your page over anyone else’s.
For a digital PR campaign, the meta description can be boosted by including relevant keywords and a call-to-action that encourages users or publishers to click on it or link to it as a source of information.
16. Landing Page
A landing page is a web page that a visitor arrives at from an email, advertisement, or other digital channel.
If your landing page has succeeded in converting visitors into customers, the user will take the specific action that the page wants them to take. This action may include joining a mailing list or purchasing its products.
Landing pages are designed to guide visitors toward a single action, unlike homepages and websites, which encourage exploration.
PPC means pay-per-click and it’s a crucial part of digital marketing and online advertising.
PPC is used to drive traffic to websites, where advertisers pay a publisher when the ad is clicked on.
Outreach and digital PR relies on organic, earned media and backlinks. However, for many clients, PPC is an essential element of their broader online marketing strategy.
In digital PR, a request-for-proposal (RFP) will be submitted by a business to invite agencies to make a bid with their services to meet certain business needs.
An RFP can describe both the document and the process of meeting an RFP’s requirements.
The RFP document is organised into a formal questionnaire that allows the business invited those pitching to compare the responses and services of respondents in a like-for-like format.
This format is also useful for the bidders who are responding to the RFP as they can examine the precise needs of the business they are pitching to and assess how they can best meet them.
The RFP process broadly consists of these stages:
The RFP request invite to a pool of agencies
A Q&A session with select agencies
RFP evaluation: ensuring pool of agencies have a chance of being selected
Live pitch meetings
Agency feedback session
You will encounter plenty more technical terminology and jargon than what’s in this list
Hopefully this list of definitions will go some way to helping you understand some of the regular terminology used in the digital PR industry.
However, over the course of your career, this list will barely scratch the surface of new terms that you’ll encounter.
Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues for definitions of words, phrases and acronyms that you are unfamiliar with. There’s no such thing as a stupid question in this fast-paced, ever-changing world of digital PR.
If you choose to google a definition instead, then ensure the source you use is reliable. You can often gauge how reliable an online source is from its backlinks, domain authority and ranking in the SERPs 🙂