Startup PR professionals should be jumping on the AI bandwagon

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By Walter Thompson

Friday, March 03, 2023

Welcome to TechCrunch+ Friday

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Last week, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which protects consumers from deceptive business practices, issued an advisory titled “Keep your AI claims in check.”

When it comes to marketing, “false or unsubstantiated claims about a product's efficacy are our bread and butter,” wrote Michael Atleson, an attorney with the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices.

Artificial intelligence is a on everyone’s lips at the moment, “and at the FTC, one thing we know about hot marketing terms is that some advertisers won't be able to stop themselves from overusing and abusing them.”

Given the renewed interest, “for companies where AI was previously No. 4 on the list of proof points, machine learning capabilities should merge into the main hook of the announcement,” advises PR strategist Camilla Tenn.

“If AI-related coverage can get a new, unknown brand into its target publications today, it could help get the brand's pitch deck in front of potential investors or partners tomorrow,” she writes in TC+.

Tenn recommends imitating major players like Google and Samsung, which have dedicated teams that release a steady stream material about "ongoing projects" tied to prevailing tech trends.

"Even if those projects don't see the light of day, the PR team has strategically positioned the brand as 'innovative,'" says Tenn. "With this precedent, startups should not feel abashed to use any means necessary to get their name out there."

Good advice for marketing mercenaries, but keep those pitches straight — reporters know when we’re being sold to, and the FTC isn’t messing around.

Thanks for reading — and for making this TechCrunch's fastest-growing newsletter last month!

Have a great weekend,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

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