Beyond the brand | Finola Sloyan | We have to embrace AI in PR because it is here to stay

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Finola Sloyan is a public relations consultant working in the technology sector. Her business, Sloyan PR, specialises in amplifying awareness of personal and corporate brands and their expertise.

The industry

Why did you pursue a career in public relations and communications?

It wasn’t planned. I’d moved to Ireland from Ghana, where I’d had a consular role with the Canadian High Commission in Accra and arranged to meet a recruitment consultant in Dublin. Initially, she wasn’t sure what to do with me but sent me to an interview with an NGO. I learned event management, media relations, negotiation skills, brand positioning and communications, and thrived. 

I love journalism and consume news daily from podcasts, radio, print media, social media. Having an innate interest in news, nationally and internationally, is essential to being a good PR. I’ve always been curious about people and places and like to have a broad perspective and listen to what people have to say. 

What areas within the industry are you most interested in (currently)?

Personal branding is the area I specialise in, and I work with companies and their people to communicate the extraordinary solutions being delivered that play such crucial roles in our work and personal lives. 

How has public relations and communications changed since you first started working in the industry? 

In the 00’s we were still using press cuttings to monitor media coverage, sending out press packs by post and following up with journalists by phone. Today, I mostly communicate with journalists via message on social channels, and a lot can be achieved within an hour or two. Meetings happen on video apps, so having to travel for work is more a rarity than the norm. Ironically, Zoom now wants its staff to work in the office two days a week.  

What trends are you seeing that pose the biggest opportunity or threat to  the industry?

We have to embrace AI in PR because it is here to stay. Strategic thinkers in public relations must welcome new ideas from peers, customers, suppliers and business partners and view what may feel like scary territory as opportunity, by believing that success is possible. Perhaps with everything moving so fast, there is a fear of knowing which apps and tech to use because there are so many, all promising the golden grail. 

Leadership and management

What do you believe makes a company a great place to work in? 

An inclusive and transparent workplace culture where everyone feels able to communicate their perspectives and ideas. When a poor communication culture is allowed to exist, it permeates the whole tone and feel of an organisation, stifling inputs from a broader cohort. It’s a gift to have a diversity of contributions to conversations because it can make a whole team more intelligent. 

Do you work in an office, remotely or have a hybrid model? What is your preference, and why?

In the main I work remotely, and when I travel for work I hot desk or use hotel Wi-Fi. I’m very happy working from home, I don’t like a noisy work environment, and I’d be the first to want to talk so it’s safer for me to work on my own. 

What key skill or characteristic do you look for when hiring new people? 

Someone who can spot trends, initiate ideas, and reinvent. Someone who is happy to collaborate and has positivity for outcomes. 


What is your favourite book or movie?

The Kite Runner was a favourite and I was gifted a signed hard copy by a childhood friend of Khaled Hosseini. Another I read recently was American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, very relevant for our times. 

Movies: anything by Guy Ritchie, I binge watched The Gentlemen. I also enjoy documentaries.

Would you welcome a digital detox for a week or approach it with caution? 

Last October, I walked the Camino de Santiago for a week and only used my phone to take photos. It was a very welcome detox.

Do you prefer sun holidays or city breaks? 

City breaks and I’m going to a 3-day 50th birthday celebration in Amsterdam in May. 

If you won the lotto what would you do? 

Enjoy it!