Expert Ideas, Tools & Musings
Will ChatGPT take over our PR jobs?Amber Daines | 25 April, 2023
I have waited to write a blog on the ChatGPT chatbot because I am a slow adopter regarding technology, and I can be a skeptic – someone who never rushes to join the shiny new bandwagon when the world is already doing the same.
I downloaded the app two months ago and typed in random questions about “Will climate change be solved?” and “What is the best way to make sourdough?” These have nothing to do with my PR and communications career. Yet it was fun to push the question out to ChatGPT and see it spit forth a more than decent reply each time.
Many PR experts have asked the AI tool to answer more complex questions, ask about the best digital tools for the business, or create a list of responses they can weave into their client communications. It is pretty cool that in a few simple steps, you can generate an answer to almost any question, and it feels like it could bolster your productivity.
Here is the big question: Will it replace me and my agency?
Unlikely, but it’s an excellent tool
ChatGPT can be beneficial for publicists if used in the right ways. Using ChatGPT, you can research, develop, identify customer values or changing trends, and strategize optimal campaigns for your clients in seconds.
In November 2022, the research lab OpenAI launched ChatGPT, their newest version of the language model chatbot. This artificial intelligence computer program engages in human-like conversation by responding to a prompt.
According to their website, the bot was trained to utilize both supervised and “Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback” and to be more accurate and creative than anything we’ve seen before. The hype is here!
Across Instagram and TikTok, you’ll find scores of videos of people being seduced and impressed by the platform. It’s grown so much that now people are figuring out how to monetize it, and if you’re also a public relations professional, you should take notice.
Here are the simple steps to using ChatGPT to launch a new public relations strategy.
The limits and biases of AI need to be noted
The chatbot can be prompted with any range of topics you have on hand. Always be very specific with your request — this is the way to maximize utility. For example, if you’re working on a PR strategy, ensure your prompt includes your request for a plan and your target demographic and product category. Most importantly, remember to be clear about its purpose for public relations. A perfect prompt would be: “Can you write a public relations plan for an energy drink targeted at a Gen Z audience?”
ChatGPT should spit out six big strategy buckets to pay attention to if you put in that prompt. After receiving those six buckets, you can ask clarifying questions like your first question. So, for example, if you put in the prompt that we established, the first suggestion would be “social media presence.”
ChatGPT suggests that you help your client develop a strong presence on social media platforms popular amongst Gen Z, such as TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
However, the tool has been programmed to have a male gender bias which comes out in some of its replies.
It can’t do nuance and will always be generic
Remember, all AI is flawed – we all know, for example, our car GPS sometimes takes us a long way (and often with more toll roads) or leads us to a dead-end street!
So, with ChatGPT, the chatbot answers will be mostly correct, and this is where your hard-earned skills as an expert can come in. After you review its first set of solutions, you should dig into the points that make sense.
A follow-up prompt that does just that can be: “Can you write a social media plan for an energy drink targeted at a Gen Z demographic?” If you do this, the platform should provide precise steps to develop the desired social media plan. By diving deeper into each relevant original bucket, you can start creating the bones of a real strategy.
It’s a starting option, but everyone will have the same replies
In PR, we spend much time seeking the best possible partners and media targets for our campaigns. Have the friendly chatbot take the heavy lifting by drilling down even further on its answers. But we also have our brains and tools to make it even better.
To continue with our example, after ChatGPT lists out what social media strategy to embark on, you can ask, “Who are the most popular beauty influencers amongst Gen Z?” This gives you a great starting point to develop a targeted list. ChatGPT doesn’t know who is historically hard to work with or isn’t within budget, so take its answers with a grain of salt.
The list needs to be refined with your industry knowledge and relationships. That being said, the targets it spits out can serve as a framework for your lists. For example, it predicted James Charles in this exercise — a famous personality makeup artist and model — followed by several other influencers who accurately move the needle in today’s beauty market.
ChatGPT did a decent job of nailing down names, whereas, in the olden days, it would have taken seasoned publicists a considerable amount of time to put together a list. Unlike influencer software that can run in the tens of thousands per year, ChatGPT is free.
The benefits of ChatGPT are real
Do this same exercise for the rest of the buckets that ChatGPT initially gave. Be sure you’re refining as you go using your expertise and connections.
This platform is a game changer and increasing in popularity every day. The New York Times called the program “the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the general public.” So, why waste time and money Googling or analysing data on target demographics when the answers are only a question away?
However, I would not want it to replace me or my day job. I love writing, and I enjoy the process of creating communications campaigns, meeting clients, and delivering ideas.
Like most AI, ChatGPT will probably never 100% replace human communicators — industry connections, insider knowledge, and even the fact you can question the replies it gives are a few reasons. Publicists and PR professionals will always be valuable; they add a personal touch and provide paths to your media release or push your campaign.
I see that ChatGPT is one shortcut that can help.
This easy-to-use and accessible platform can seed but never master your PR ideas. I value that original thoughts and creativity will always thrive when you have a human expert to check them, test them, and amplify them.
How has ChatGPT helped your business? Let us know in the comments! If we can help you with non-AI PR ideas, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Book a Discovery Call for a confidential discussion.