Automation threatens a quarter of marketing and PR jobs, ONS report

Women, young people, and those who work part-time are most likely to work in roles that are at high risk of automation.

The Office on National Statistics published a report today that estimates that 27% of marketing and public relations jobs are at risk from automation.

Automation involves replacing tasks currently done by workers with technology, which could include algorithms and software.

The report echoes research by CIPR’s #AIinPR panel led by Jean Valin last year which found that 12% of a PR practitioner’s skillset could be complemented or replaced by AI today, with a prediction that this could climb to 38% within by 2023.

“The message to the practitioners from the CIPR’s work and the ONS data is clear. We need to emphasise education, experiential learning and continuous development of these very human traits that are valued in our profession,” said Valin.

The ONS report – The Probability of Automation in England – analysed the jobs of 20 million people in England and concluded that around 7.4% or 1.5 million jobs in England are at “high risk of some of their duties and tasks being automated in the future.”

It finds women, young people and those who work part-time are in roles that are most at risk of automation – just over 70% of roles that are currently held by women are under threat.

Younger people are more likely to be in roles affected by job automation. Of those aged 20 to 24 years who are employed, 15.7% were in jobs at high risk of automation.

More women work part-time from age 30 and this increases until women reach the age of 50 years, when it then steadily drops.

The risk of job automation decreases for older workers and is lowest for workers aged between 35 and 39 years. The risk increases from the age group 40 to 44 upwards

Automation is both a threat and an opportunity for PR as the ONS data spotlights. It enables us to work smarter and more efficiently and demonstrate our value to organisations. But in doing so it is displacing administrative roles. I’d urge practitioners to challenge their own development and upskill.

The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the UK Parliament.

Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

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Professional advisor for agencies and communication teams, Wadds Inc. Author: #brandvandals, Exploring PR and Management Communication. #PRstack, Share This, and others. Visiting Professor, Newcastle University.

  1. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “0”. Reason: Human SPAM filter found “great post” in “comment_content” *]
    Great post as always mate – automation is a good thing. Let’s get PRs off the boring tasks and get them back to being creative and coming up with innovative approaches to campaigns. The mundane stuff can go to robots – the sports review articles can continue to be written by robots but the opinion pieces and stuff that matters can stay with us humans. I have shared thanks 🙂

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