Introduction to data, automation and artificial intelligence

Improved use of data, automation and ethical artificial intelligence poses one of the biggest opportunities in recent decades for many businesses and organisations across the world, including the UK Government.

A word and picture cloud, containing words: AI (artificial intelligence), data, and IT (information and technology).

In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been positioned as one of the biggest commercial opportunities for global economies.

Pre the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) estimated that AI could add an additional £630billion to the UK economy by 2035. AI is part of the UK’s Fourth Industrial Strategy, and is also why we have the UK Government Office for AI.

The impact of AI

The impact of AI means will be felt by every area, and it is not limited to the companies that develop the AI tools and technologies.

Required skills in communications and marketing are evolving. Utilising data, automation and ethical artificial intelligence will further empower communicators and marketers, enabling us to work smarter and more effectively.

AI, really, is an intelligent assistant. However, we do need smart communicators and marketeers to diversify and do good things with the data, machine learning and AI tools in the context of the changing landscapes of communications and marketing.

The power of AI

The power of AI will augment how we reach our goals, from data integration to real-time insights.

Over the coming months and years, we are likely to see data, automation and AI-powered solutions be utilised across government and within the communications and marketing functions.

AI will support communicators and marketeers to draw deeper and more meaningful insights, helping us to deliver our support to government objectives more effectively.

We will – and are already – seeing greater value combining structured and unstructured data across government, being utilised in departments and organisations or improved processes and also gleaning insights we’ve never had before to improve the creative, targeting and the messaging proposition.

However, it is now imperative for communicators and marketeers to think about the best value and application of data, automation and AI in our roles and the needs of our departments, agencies, organisations and stakeholders.

We need to be assessing the opportunities and issues in our departments and organisations and then identifying the decision-making process that could be improved to help resolve those areas, driving those opportunities faster and smarter.

This will help determine what data insights are needed to inform decisions and solutions and how we can supply them, so we really highlight the value of AI being in our organisation’s ability to harness and operationalise the models and tools throughout.

The coming years will see automation and AI development and the further adoption of it within the PR and communications sectors, in our own processes and insight but also in our roles recommending AI-based solutions and services to our organisations. The next 5 years are likely to change more than the last ten and AI is likely to start to be embedded in organisational strategy in the coming years.

Data, automation and AI represented a significant opportunity for the communication and marketing profession before the pandemic hit. But it is now an accelerated growth area. In addition to boosting productivity and optimisation, the business and organisational leaders we advise and guide are also now gaining more insight into the power of having data and what and how it could be used for AI.

Just as the UK and global workforce is setting about gaining the key skills to reap the full benefit of automation and AI deployment, the communications and marketing workforce should be too.

GCS will host a webinar for all members on the Introduction to Data, Automation and Artificial Intelligence and Why It Is Important to Communicators and Marketeers on Thursday 15 October 2020.

In this 60-minute webinar you will learn about:

  • data
  • automation
  • ethical AI
  • its rewards and risks
  • how it is being used in government, by communications and marketing teams and the ethical considerations

You will also gain knowledge on the practical things you can do to start on your learning and upskilling journey in these areas, including the further support and education which will be available from GCS.


Dr Amanda Svensson, Chief Media and Data Officer
Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office Communications

Robin Attwood, Product Manager – Media and Marketing Data
Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office Communications

Kerry Sheehan Chart.PR, FCIPR
Government Communication Service
Chair of the Global Artificial Intelligence in Public Relations Panel

    Image credit:
  • Shutterstock/Panchenko Vladimir (1)