Chatbot chatter

The old saying “work smarter not harder” takes on a new meaning for communicators in 2023, thanks to A.I. text generators.

Why it matters: Advanced technology like ChatGPT can help communicators work faster, but if the use goes unchecked it could cause major reputational damage.

Catch up quick: Microsoft poured $1 billion into OpenAI — the company behind ChatGPT — and has already begun selling the product to large businesses.

  • Microsoft also plansto incorporate ChatGPT technology into its Bing search engine.

State of play: PR and marketing pros are using the tool to help brainstorm, research and combat writer’s block.

  • It can also be used to spark creativity in narrative development and messaging, draft basic editorial materials, or convert long text into Tweet-friendly drafts or scripts.

The intrigue: I wanted to try ChatGPT myself, but the site was “at capacity” — a problem the OpenAI team will need to solve as the tool gains popularity.

  • My colleagues in the newsroom previously got through and found the tool was useful for generating creative content like poems, but it couldn’t complete more practical taskslike conducting reviews or writing in Axios style.
  • Emilie Gerber, Founder & CEO of Six Eastern used ChatGPT to write an op-edand says the tool is helpful for research and expanding or organizing thoughts.

Yes, but: ChatGPT makes it more difficult for teachers and bosses to know who did the work.

  • As Axios’ Scott Rosenbergpoints out, there are also concerns about A.I.’s accuracy, bias and control.
  • Plus,the tool could perpetuate misinformation or further arm scammers behind email and text-based phishing attacks.

The bottom line: Like all tech advances, there should be some ground rules, and corporate comms leaders should establish policies and best practices for how these tools can be used in the workplace.

  • At best, chatbots can lead to new ideas, help with research and complete mundane tasks at speed, but at worst, they can complicate corporate communications by blurring ownership and damaging reputation if outputs go unchecked.

-Your 2023 predictions

Many of you wrote in with your communications predictions for this year.

Here’s what you’re saying…

  • Comms remains critical:“Communications has become the nerve center of an organization and will remain a core executive function given its role as a driver of brand reputation and diverse stakeholder engagement.”– Abenaa Hayes, CEO of Elysee Consulting
    • Plus, “A slow but growing trend of top comms leaders getting corporate board seats will become more apparent.” – Sean Garrett, founder of Mixing Board
  • Swiss Army Knife profession:“I have never seen more demand for strong communications inside business — everything from employee communications and digital engagement to reputation building and storytelling.” – Ray Day, Vice Chair, The Stagwell Group
    • Eleanor’s thought bubble: Teams will have to operate as jacks of all trades. In 2022 we saw increased demand for comms pros with finance and M&A experience. This year, communicators with policy and regulatory backgrounds will be all the rage.
  • Small agencies and freelancer’s time to shine:Those who aren’t jack of all trades will continue to outsource work to trusted advisors, but budgets will be tight.
    • “Gone are the days of expensive PR agencies and antiquated RFPs. The new economy is all about word of mouth and working with trusted specialists.” – Tanya Gillogley, PR consultant
    • Plus,Top small- and mid-sized agencies will become safe havens for the in-house laid-off diaspora, and this will have the impact of reshaping the agency landscape for the remainder of the decade.” – Sean Garrett, Mixing Board
  • Events are back: “Even with the recession picking up, brands, influencers, and media are up for in-person events again. That said, these need to be interesting and offer something different.” – Erin Grant​​, executive vice president, Sling & Stone
  • Thought leadership 2.0: Founders and C-suite leaders will need to create fan bases.
    • “Call it the Mr. Beast effect: creator-led brands exploded in 2022, driven largely by the hyper-personal relationships social platforms facilitate between them and their fans. Those same creator-fan dynamics have begun to extend to all industries, such that the “personal brand” and the “company brand” have become nearly indistinguishable. In 2023, what is left of that boundary will collapse.” – Sara Wilson, digital strategy consultant and founder of SW Projects
  • Alternative media continues: As newsrooms shrink, more reporters will look to make money through their own personal brand.
    • “There will be a tipping point where monetization will begin to pick up as more consumers gravitate towards reporters and personalities they trust over specific outlets.” –Ted Miller, communication and brand strategist


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