Now is the best time in history to make your people into heroes and let AI share their story with everyone

By Jim James,

Founder EASTWEST PR and Host of the SPEAK|pr Podcast

For anybody that might be interested in having a structured approach to building a PR program using technology, you might find what you’re looking for with EASTWEST PR’s SPEAK|pr methodology. This six-week course proves that it’s possible to save a lot of time, energy, and money by using advanced technologies, including AI. Many of these are completely free to use, so it’s never been an easier time for a small company to use these tools to build a brand. 

SPEAK in SPEAK|pr

The first part of the course focuses on the power of story, which references Park Howell’s work. This is all about Storification, because contrary to popular opinion, the hero of a business story is not the founder nor the company, but the staff, the partners, and the customers. This is essential, because the narrator actually is the company. The person in charge of communications, be it the marketing manager or company owner, can have a lot more fun, since the subject of the marketing and public relations activities revolves around the positive results the company produces for these different heroes. The first point in the SPEAK|pr program is that the heroes of the story are those that benefit from what the company or organisation delivers; that’s a fundamental part of this new paradigm, because people want to hear about other people like them that have gone through the same experience and have had great results. The company simply acts as a mentor or facilitator of that journey. 

After Storification is Personalisation, and in this concept, the term avatar is used, which visualises the people in their roles as members of staff, partners, and customers. Apart from distinguishing these people as avatars, it is also important to look at their schedules, what they do during the day, and how they spend their time, as this will impact when and how content should be shared with them. 

The next module is about Engagement. The familiar phrase, “Content is king,” is used, along with “Creative is queen,” and it’s made into a royal flush by adding, “Context as prince,” because context adds relevance. The matrix of SPEAK|pr specifies that content should be new, simple, and context-sensitive in order to be engaging and to be shared. 

In the next module, Amplification, the discussion is about the platforms which can be used to automate the distribution of engaging content across all formats. This delves into the creation of text, video, infographic, and audio. The ultimate goal is to have brand evangelists for the organisation, and these could be members of staff, partners, or customers. As these people share a brand’s content across their networks, social amplification leads to the post going viral or what is termed a ‘cascade,’ of which the theory of networks and cascades are discussed in this module as well.

The final module, which is about Knowing, involves reviewing the various engagement metrics and introducing a concept of the Active Communications Index or ACI. This provides a simple equation that makes it possible to know how much content has been received across all channels over a period of time. This is important because the ACI can be controlled by the business, whereas the vanity metrics of engagement are a function of platform algorithms and are beyond one’s control. A good thing to note about the ACI is that companies must aim to keep this consistent, because it’s the consistency of presence on the channels, represented by the constant flow of content into the marketplace, that creates trust in the brand.

After understanding the five stages of SPEAK|pr and how to get noticed using technology, it’s important to be clear that this is a continuous cycle of content creation. You’re writing the stories of your avatars as they reach their goals by being a part of your organisation. Other people in similar situations will see these stories which are new, simple, and context-sensitive, and it will resonate with them. In turn, they will come to your organisation and share their success as a result of being part of it. So, think of public relations as storytelling, as a great opportunity to reach out, talk to people, and narrate the success of others, which will hopefully make them want to show their gratitude by sharing your story, and that is how a company gets noticed. 

Let AI do the work 

Public relations uses tools that are now AI-augmented, and in the SPEAK|pr methodology, tools like Lately, AI Writer, and the like are introduced to autogenerate content at the touch of a button. Even for smaller companies, it’s not about putting more time into creating content; it’s about reaching out to people that are affected and impacted by the organisation, finding out where they are on their journey which you are helping them navigate, making them heroes, sharing that across the different formats, and letting the amplification channels and platforms do that time-sensitive work by automating it. 

The SPEAK|pr program changes the way business owners and entrepreneurs approach public relations, and offers some reassurance, since one of the things talked about in the Knowing module is the optimum amount of content they should be sharing, and knowing this relieves entrepreneurs of the anxiety of perpetual content creation and helps them focus on content creation, then distribution, then through to automation. Always remember, public relations is the process of sharing good news and information with others to help people make better decisions, achieve their own goals, and be heroes in their own eyes and in the communities around them. And no matter what, one could always do with some good news.

This article is based on a transcript from my Podcast SPEAK|pr, you can listen here.

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