I know what you’re thinking as you read the headline: oh, no! Not another article about generative AI.

Well, generative AI has certainly been a popular topic in the Spin Sucks Community for most of this year.

Back in May, Gini Dietrich wrote about The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Generative AI and followed up with another article in June about The Unintended Consequences of Generative AI. I would encourage you to read both again.

When it comes to AI, where does the rubber meet the road with communications pros? It’s usually a question like: is AI going to take my job? One of my friends on our twice-weekly Indie CHAT expressed that very concern and I replied with something I read in another article recently: “AI won’t take your job, but someone who knows how to use AI effectively might.”

For me, learning more about generative AI scratches my curiosity itch. As communications pros, we’re hard-wired to be inquisitive about everything. What’s the best angle for pitching a compelling client story to that elusive media outlet? How can I tweak that headline or social media post to garner more page views? Is there another approach to help my message break through the clutter of information overload?

Where Does Generative AI Help the Most?

For me, if generative AI can help me do my job better, I’m all in. So where can generative AI help the most?

If you’re anything like me, sometimes the hardest part is simply getting out of the starting gate. Writer’s block is a real thing and can present a formidable obstacle. Gini covered this very topic back in December in her blog post, Using ChatGPT to Write About Writer’s Block.

Again, in my experience, generative AI has already revolutionized how I work. Using prompt engineering techniques I learned in a few online courses, I simply ask ChatGPT or Google Bard to help craft a first draft for me. For example, here’s a prompt I created to help me with this post:

Act as if you’re a communications consultant who’s been asked to write a guest post for the Spin Sucks blog. Write about the benefits to communications professionals of using generative AI – ChatGPT or Google Bard – to cure writer’s block, enhance media relations, and brainstorm campaign ideas.

ChatGPT—I used the free version (GPT-3.5)—served up an outline with an introduction, 3 sections of content, and a conclusion based on my prompt.

Google Bard offered multiple drafts for consideration and included an interesting feature that flags content that’s likely similar. For example, Bard told me that some of the statements in the initial draft originally appeared on LinkedIn.com, Grammarly.com, PRSA.org, and PRnewsonline.com.

Once those initial drafts appear on my computer screen, my editing skills shift into awesome, and I can produce whatever I need—whether it’s a strategic communications plan, targeted media pitch, “if asked” statement for a looming crisis, or even a guest article for the Spin Sucks blog.

So, what did ChatGPT give me as a starting point? The content below, which I’ve since edited, fact-checked, and proofread extensively:

Unleashing the Power of Generative AI

In our ever-evolving profession, staying ahead of the curve is essential. The ability to adapt to changing trends, generate creative ideas, and craft compelling content is a must. Let’s explore how leveraging generative AI tools can help overcome writer’s block, enhance media relations, spark innovative campaign ideas, and provide additional benefits to communications pros.

Overcoming Writer’s Block

  1. Unleash Your Creativity: Generative AI can help kickstart your creative process by generating ideas, headlines, or even entire paragraphs to get your thoughts flowing. You can then build upon these suggestions to craft your content.
  2. Efficient Content Generation: Writing a press release, blog post, or social media update can be time-consuming. AI can assist by generating drafts that you can edit and refine, saving you precious hours. This lets you focus on strategy and high-level tasks while the AI handles the groundwork.
  3. Enhanced Language Proficiency: Generative AI can provide suggestions for improving the clarity, tone, and grammar of your content. Try using a prompt asking you to rewrite your copy tailored to a specific audience by education or reading level.

Elevating Media Relations with AI-Powered Insights

  1. Tailored Pitching: Crafting the perfect media pitch is often challenging. AI tools can analyze past media interactions, identifying the preferences of individual journalists and outlets. This info lets you personalize your pitches, increasing your chances of securing coverage.
  2. Real-time Trend Analysis: AI can monitor news and social media trends in real time, helping you identify timely opportunities to engage with journalists. By staying informed, you can contribute to relevant discussions and position your organization as a thought leader.
  3. Data-Driven Insights: Generative AI can analyze vast amounts of data to uncover media trends and sentiment around your brand or industry. This valuable information can guide your communication strategy and help you make data-driven decisions. 

Innovative Campaign Ideas and Strategies

  1. Idea Generation: Struggling to brainstorm fresh campaign ideas? AI can assist by analyzing data, consumer trends, and industry insights to generate innovative concepts tailored to your target audience. It can even help you refine these ideas into actionable plans.
  2. Content Amplification: AI can suggest content distribution strategies to maximize the impact of your campaigns. From identifying key influencers to recommending the best times to publish content, AI can help you reach a wider audience.
  3. A/B Testing and Optimization: AI can facilitate A/B testing of different campaign elements, allowing you to refine your strategies based on real-time performance data. This iterative approach ensures that your campaigns are continually optimized for maximum impact.

What did Google Bard offer me?

Here are a few tips for using generative AI effectively:

  • Be specific in your prompts: The more specific you are in your prompts, the better the results will be. For example, instead of asking the AI to generate a “blog post about marketing,” ask it to generate a “blog post about how to use generative AI to improve your marketing campaigns.”
  • Edit and revise: Don’t just blindly accept the output of the AI. Always edit and revise the text to ensure that it is accurate, grammatically correct, and consistent with your brand voice.
  • Use AI responsibly: Generative AI can be used to create deepfakes and other forms of misinformation. It’s important to use AI responsibly and ethically.

The More You Know

I encourage you to experiment with generative AI. ChatGPT and Google Bard are powerful tools that can help you work more efficiently and effectively. But the content generated by these tools must be fact-checked and proofread carefully. The more you know about generative AI, the more comfortable you’ll become with making it a virtual assistant, which can enhance and optimize your daily workflow.

Here are several online courses and resources I found helpful:

It’s a Game Changer

Generative AI is a game-changer for communications professionals. From overcoming writer’s block to enhancing media relations and sparking innovative campaign ideas, AI offers a multitude of benefits. As communications pros, we should not be afraid to embrace innovative technologies, but we must remain mindful of ethical considerations and always maintain a collaborative approach.

Philip Tate

Philip Tate, APR, Fellow PRSA, President of Philip Tate Strategic Communications, LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a brand builder and strategic communicator with more than 35 years of experience in public relations, marketing and branding. He is the 2023 recipient of the PRSA College of Fellows Sage Award, which honors a member of the College who has demonstrated a significant impact on the profession through mentoring and personal support of public relations professionals and members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).  During his tenure as Senior Vice President for Luquire George Andrews (LGA), he directed award-winning campaigns for many of the agency’s leading clients, including National Gypsum, Lincoln Harris, Rodgers Builders and the Charlotte 49ers. Philip has devoted much of his volunteer time to PRSA. He is past chair for the PRSA College of Fellows and previously served two terms as national treasurer on the PRSA national board of directors. He has also been active with the PRSA Independent Practitioners Alliance, Counselors Academy and as a member of the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS). Philip graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a double minor in political science and history.

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