Mind Readings: Flip Your PR Strategy in the Age of Generative AI

In today’s episode, I explain how PR strategy must change for AI systems. Language models build knowledge from massive text sources. To influence them, get your content on as many sites as possible. Tune in to learn why guest blogging everywhere now boosts your brand.

Mind Readings: Flip Your PR Strategy in the Age of Generative AI

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Machine-Generated Transcript

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In today’s episode, let’s talk about public relations strategy in the age of generative AI.

traditional PR strategy kind of goes like this.

Let’s go out and tell the world that we’ve got this thing a product services, our company etc.

Awesome.

And we want to go after reputable publications, we want to get into top tier publications, tier one publications is what PR folks likes to call them.

The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the CNN, and gadget publications with lots of readers, lots of attention, lots of audience, good reputations, well known, etc.

And this strategy is a good strategy for traditional public relations.

It makes a lot of sense that if you get your company into the Wall Street Journal, lots of people read it, lots of people read it, lots of people will be influenced by it to some degree, and it helps your company.

That is not how AI works.

And this is why your PR strategy in the age of generative AI has to kind of be flipped on its head.

There’s nothing wrong with pursuing the New York Times, right? There’s nothing wrong pursuing a sausage humans daily, you know, or the daily Telegraph or the Sydney Morning Herald doesn’t matter.

There’s nothing wrong with those publications.

And if you can get in them, great.

You’ve done a good job.

You have passed by the sort of editorial gatekeepers to be seen and be perceived as valuable by those companies.

Good job.

If you look at how language models know what they know the models that power tools like chat GPT, they are powered by very large bodies of text.

There’s a service run by a nonprofit called common crawl, common crawl just goes out and scrapes the web like the whole thing.

Each of their data sets around like six petabytes of data, which is like 6000 MacBook Pros in terms of the amount of disk space we’re talking about.

So it’s there’s a big, big, big data sets.

And what AI companies do is they ingest all that text data, and they start building statistical representations of language.

So when you ask a language model, who are some influencers in b2b marketing, it goes and creates this is a dramatic oversimplification, but basically goes and creates big word clouds of all the words it’s seen around each of the words in your prompt, and the way those word clouds intersect, b2b marketing influencers, those intersecting words are what it uses to essentially spit up its response.

That means that a story in the New York Times, and a story on Chris’s blog, have the same general weight, one is not more important than the other.

A front page story on CNN, and a piece on Chris’s Tumblr.

From a mathematical perspective, they’re the same thing.

So what that means is this.

If you want to influence a topic within a language model within its knowledge base, you have to have a lot of text on the internet that associates you with the topics that you care about.

That in turn means you need to be in a lot of places.

But contrary to normal public relations, those places don’t have to be tier one publications.

The East Peoria Evening News, the Metro West Daily News, some guy’s podcast show notes, right? As long as it’s all publicly available, and it’s not absolute garbage.

It stands a good chance of getting itself into a language model.

And so this strategy now means it is worth your time to be in the local newspaper, it is worth your time to be a guest on that podcast is worth your time to guest blog on someone’s blog has two readers.

As long as one of the readers is the companies that are making AI models.

Right? That’s how this is so different than years past.

In years past, who has more eyeballs matters more.

Today, it’s more about if you’re if you’re trying to get your company’s reputation and awareness and brand into a language model, you’ve got to have more of you.

So your strategy has to be things like, yeah, say yes to every podcast.

Say yes to every interview, say yes to as long as it’s on the web in a publicly accessible place, say yes to it.

Because you need to be everywhere and you need to be providing a lot of information.

This is one of the reasons I think things like being guests on podcasts is a really good idea because it’s not just a quick mention like usually happens on TV news, right? And Christopher Penn from Trust Insights is here to deliver 30 seconds of insight about something that really should take four hours to talk about.

That’s your typical evening news show, right? If you get on a podcast where Yeah, you just riff and chat for two hours, then they post the two hour transcript.

That’s a lot of text, right? And that goes on the web and gets indexed and found and processed by all these companies.

And so you there’s just more about you.

And then when these, these AI model makers crawl the web the next time, they are well, they just download the next episode of common crawl and put it into their databases.

Now you’re in there in a lot of places with a lot of text around you.

So it really is a volume play.

And that changes your pitching strategy.

If you’re a public relations firm, or your public relations professional, it changes your pitching strategy from off, we got a, you know, pitch really hard to try and get into this, this tier one publication to, hey, I wonder if this guy’s YouTube channel of five viewers would take us.

That’s not a bad thing.

In the age of machine learning in the age of generative AI, that is not a bad thing.

Now, is it worth your time to do so that’s a trade off, but at least knowing that the text is out there is important.

So who should you be looking for? If you want to change your PR strategy, you should be looking specifically for podcasts that post transcripts, you should be looking for shows that post on YouTube with closed captions files goes closed caption files are really important.

You should be looking at guest blog posts pretty much anywhere you can get them, including places like Tumblr, or WordPress.org, or someone’s sub stack, and as long as it’s publicly available, it’s not paywalled.

Be everywhere, be everywhere you can be so that the next time these models pull up all this text, there’ll be more of you in that massive mix around your topic around your area of focus and specialty, and a better chance that when someone asks the generic information query, who’s influential in insert your company here, or your industry there, you will be within the results.

Different PR strategies in years past, but an essential one.

If you want to influence language models, and generative AI, at least in the short term.

Thanks for watching.

Talk to you next time.

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