The USC Annenberg Relevance Report

The annual Relevance Report from the USC Center for Public Relations identifies emerging issues and forecasts topics and trends impacting society, business, and communication in the coming year. The book features contributions from PR industry leaders, and USC academics and graduate students.

The 2024 Relevance Report, published November 14, 2023, is all about the use of artificial intelligence in the public relations and communication profession.

USC Annenberg Professor of Professional Practice Fred Cook writes in this year’s foreword:

“Everyone in communications is talking about artificial intelligence. This was not the case in 2019, when the USC Center for Public Relations surveyed PR professionals and found that only 18% felt that AI would be an important part of their future business. In an early 2023 survey, developed in partnership with WE Communications, that percentage soared to 80. Six months later, AI is a topic at every conference, a debate at every agency and the focus of this report.

“Previously, the Relevance Report has included a variety of issues that affect the PR profession — from activism to ethics. But this year, we zoomed in on just one – AI — in an attempt to understand how this tidal wave of technology will impact the future of the communications industry. To tackle this challenge, we teamed up with the experts at Microsoft, who are on the front lines of the AI revolution. In addition to contributions from their Chief Communications Officer Frank Shaw and computer scientist Jaron Lanier, we also heard from Dean Willow Bay, USC faculty, CPR board members and a few USC Annenberg students. Overall, this report contains almost 40 insightful essays expressing different points of view about where AI is going to take us.”

Some of the themes addressed by the authors in this year’s report include education, communications, creativity, collaboration, ethics, transparency, job shifts, bias, climate, and health care.

Download the 2024 report here

Contact the USC Center for Public Relations at for print editions of our report for classroom or organizational use.