As the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes shape, many companies have mixed feelings about ChatGPT and the AI arms race. A recent Harris survey found that 40% of workers familiar with ChatGPT are concerned that the AI-powered chatbot will replace them. Yet the same study also found that 60% are optimistic that generative AI will make them more productive at work.
Those who work in PR, communications and media are especially concerned. In fact, PR professionals are likely to be impacted by generative AI as significantly as any other career.
ChatGPT’s ability to gather data and produce a natural-language response can work as a shortcut when it comes to everyday tasks. But in its current iteration, AI can be prone to errors, it’s not perfectly up-to-date, and the content it generates is often mediocre or worse. For PR people, the use of AI in the workplace is a delicate balance; on one hand, we want to increase efficiency, but on the other, use of AI without oversight is very risky. And no one wants bosses or clients wondering if ChatGPT is on the other end of the work product they’re getting.
So, what are the best ways for PR teams to incorporate ChatGPT? Below are some uses that can increase productivity while maintaining the integrity of human involvement.
One challenge for PR teams is generating fresh and timely ideas to generate coverage. Use of the same ideas leads to predictable pitches or even lazy PR programs. ChatGPT can assist in generating new ideas and topics.
For example, you can type in “story ideas involving cybersecurity,” and ChatGPT will produce a list of angles that might work, or at least get you thinking. You can even make the request specific and timely, like “spring cybersecurity topics.” Obviously, PR plans can’t be based on ideas spit out by an AI chatbot, but they are thought-starters.
Posting information and materials online is easy but generating interest and engagement is often a lot more difficult. Input text-to-video technology – artificial intelligence that creates videos automatically from written or typed text.
Video content is often more engaging and memorable than text or images alone. Natural language processing technology enables dynamic and visually appealing videos that can capture the audience’s attention. Best of all, they’re quick and tailored to the occasion.
ChatGPT can work as a tool for ideas or slogans that can spark fresh thinking in a brainstorm to generate not only story ideas, but byline topics, program components and fresh takes on evergreen topics. For example, typing in “thought leadership topics in the retail sector” will produce a host of new ideas that can be used for byline pieces along with pitch angles.
The more details you provide ChatGPT, the better. Inputting “ways retailers can increase their profits during a period of high inflation” will produce stronger and more pointed results than typing in “how retailers can increase revenue”. Providing ChatGPT with as much information and details as possible is key to generating savvy ideas.
ChatGPT can greatly expedite the research process. PR teams can use it to get a better understanding of a particular topic or to pull data to spot patterns or trends. If you work for a data company that can be affected by new legislation at the state or federal level, ChatGPT can generate a summary of the new law, when it was passed, and how it could affect similar businesses. And there are always occasions when we feel we should know something but don’t want to ask. ChatGPT can often provide context that search engines lack, or that can only be accessed by clicking on multiple links.
Generating social media content can sometimes be more difficult than it seems, especially if there is minimal news a client or agency can share. PR professionals can use ChatGPT to generate ideas for social media posts such as tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram captions.
By providing a brief description of the message or objective, ChatGPT can generate a range of content options for social media. Moreover, you can input old posts into ChatGPT and have the AI service reword and restructure them, providing instant, shareable content.
While ChatGPT is limited when it comes to personal information, it can help expand media lists. For example, ask for a list of publications that cover retail. You can even narrow the parameters such as location and types of outlets, similar to major software services like Cision. But don’t take ChatGPT’s recommendations as wholly accurate; check them to ensure a targeted list.
Moreover, you can ask ChatGPT for a list of reporters who cover certain industries or topics. While the generative AI service cannot provide a significant amount of material like contact information or recent coverage, it does provide a starting point for a media list, especially one that is topic-specific.
PR teams know that interviews can happen in a blink, which means minimal time to prepare a thorough briefing document for a spokesperson. ChatGPT and its instantaneous content generation can provide a timely draft of a standard briefing memo, offering bios and background on both reporter and outlet, sample questions and draft responses containing key talking points.
While you may want to reword or rewrite content that ChatGPT produces, the technology can also be used the other way around. Many digital services can correct spelling and grammar mistakes, but inputting sentences and even paragraphs into ChatGPT for review is an easy way to produce a condensed or simplified version.
ChatGPT is here to stay, and the truth is, it’s probably just the beginning. Rather than fear it, let’s use it. We can start slowly. PR teams should focus on AI uses that improve productivity and efficiency while making sure it doesn’t become a substitute for human input or oversight. The most successful PR teams view generative AI as an assistant rather than a surrogate, used for rote, repetitive tasks, producing draft content of all types, and gathering information in real time.