Automation threatens 27% of PR jobs – ONS study

The Office on National Statistics has published a report which estimates over a quarter (27%) of public relations jobs are at risk from automation.

The report echoes research by CIPR’s #AIinPR panel which found that 12% of a PR practitioner’s skillset could be complemented or replaced by AI today, with a prediction that this could climb to 38% within five years.

Today’s ONS report – The Probability of Automation in England: 2011 to 2017 – analysed the jobs of 20 million people in England and concluded that around 7.4% or 1.5 million jobs are at “high risk of some of their duties and tasks being automated in the future.” It finds women, young people and those who work part-time are in roles that are most at risk of automation – just over 70% of roles that are currently held by women are under threat. The report also analysed the geographic impact of automation

The message to the practitioners from the CIPR’s work and the ONS data is clear. We need to emphasise education, experiential learning and continuous development of these very human traits that are valued in our profession.

Jean Valin Hon FCIPR, Principal of Valin Strategic Communications„

Automation is both a threat and an opportunity for PR as the ONS data spotlights. It enables us to work smarter and more efficiently and demonstrate our value to organisations. But in doing so it is displacing administrative roles. I’d urge practitioners to challenge their own development and upskill.

Stephen Waddington Chart.PR, Hon FCIPR, Managing Director, Metia, Visiting Professor at Newcastle University, CIPR Artificial Intelligence Panel Chair

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