How Technology Can Be a Force Multiplier in PR

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In war, the concept of force multipliers is always at the forefront of every general.

The idea behind a force multiplier is simple: How do we make an individual sailor, soldier, or marine more effective?

Give a sailor a radar masking airplane system, like the F/A-18 Growler, and now every aircraft on an attack mission is a stealth aircraft. Give a medical officer in the army wagons with x-ray equipment and they can now better diagnose soldiers coming out of the trenches. Give a marine anything more than a pointy stick…well, you get the idea.

Military research into force multipliers is one of the primary goals of an army during peace time. But force multipliers don’t have to be just technology solutions. Toward the end of World War I, the German Army famously invented “Stormtrooper” tactics that form the base of modern squad tactics to this day. Teaching soldiers to cover and move, equipping them with a variety of munitions, and teaching them small unit tactics meant a group of six German soldiers were wildly more effective than an equal number of opposition forces.

Having worked in PR for 19 years now, I can honestly say one of our greatest force multipliers, technology, is still underused. (I recall my first job when I wasn’t allowed to email journalists pitches because there was no way email would work.) So, in 2023 I am proposing this: let's use technology as the force multiplier it is.

Use Technology to Become More Efficient

I am looking into AI and Augmented Reality (AR) as the true force multipliers they can be. Virtual workspaces in AR can change the way we interact with documents and our standard desk. I personally use the nReal system to create a mobile workstation of multiple monitors using my PC. I can deploy a massive workspace while sitting on a plane or in a tiny hotel. I can turn my less productive times into hyper-productive moments, and that’s just the beginning of the possibilities; content recognition is just around the corner.

I am lucky to have great designers at my agency, but sometimes I know bothering them for a new business visual or asking for a unique graphic for a presentation is not the best use of their time. I often turn to AI tools to create custom images for me in both situations. I keep my graphics team free to do the work they need to do, and I still get the images I need.

I also recently used AI to draft a brief from a 200-page document. I had a rough understanding of the material but didn’t have time to pull out the key details. Normally, I would ask a junior staffer to write me a brief, but it was a holiday weekend. I used a tool and asked it to spit out a one-page report. Was it perfect? No. Did it get me 80% of where I needed to be in less than five minutes? You bet.

We have been using time tracking tools, billing tools, and search tools for quite some time now. Communications shouldn’t be the industry that doesn’t figure out how to use things like AR and AI just because we are happy with our current outcomes. Find the next digital solution out there and learn how to make it your force multiplier.

Anthony LaFauce is Managing Director at Clyde Group.