What The ChatGPT Revolution Means For Comms Professionals

“The communications industry is undergoing a digital revolution of its own. Enter ChatGPT, a powerful tool using natural language processing to generate human-like responses in real-time. And in a world that calls for rapid, succinct communication, ChatGPT is a valuable addition to any marketer’s arsenal.”

This was an introduction inspired by ChatGPT based on the following prompt: “From the perspective of a public relations agency leader in Asia, write a 30-second introduction about how ChatGPT is going up against communicators.” 

To say that ChatGPT has taken the communications industry by storm is an understatement. The AI’s ability to generate vast swaths of content in a matter of seconds — has generated both admiration and alarm, from professionals across all sectors and verticals. It’s equal parts impressive and terrifying to see how this technology can easily mimic human communication, as long as the prompts are detailed enough. 

Some industries have been quick to welcome ChatGPT with open arms. In Singapore, civil servants will soon be able to use the tool to churn out research, draft reports, and speeches, thanks to a locally-developed ChatGPT integration with Microsoft Word. In another part of the world, Chinese tech billionaires have been watching its relentless advancement into society like a hawk — and launching rival solutions in response.  

On the other hand, cybersecurity professionals have been pushing for regulatory frameworks and defences against potential AI-powered cybercrime. Some educational institutions have even banned the use of the tool completely, after it was found to be “smart” enough to pass esteemed US law and business exams. 

How brands and agencies can cultivate a healthy relationship with ChatGPT

As far as our industry is concerned, I believe that brands should embrace ChatGPT’s emergence, rather than fight it, and work with the technology to become faster, better, and smarter communicators. At a recent webinar organised by PRCA APAC,  I spoke about how exactly comms professionals can leverage ChatGPT to get the best outcomes. Here’s how we stand to gain from ChatGPT: 

  • Automation: Using its natural language processing capabilities, ChatGPT can generate automated responses to customer inquiries, help with content creation, and analyse customer interactions to provide insights for improving communications strategies. As a result, brands can streamline their marketing efforts, and focus on other high-value tasks. 
  • Engagement: By leveraging its natural language processing and deep learning algorithms, ChatGPT can help marketers and PR agencies craft conversational experiences based on customer preferences. Doing so can help boost customer engagement and satisfaction, which in turn translates into higher conversion rates and loyalty.
  • Scale: Marketers can rely on ChatGPT’s ability to transform complex data into easily digestible stories that resonate with customers, helping them build trust and credibility. 

Once again, to illustrate ChatGPT’s resourcefulness, I fed the solution detailed prompts that would generate at least fifty words worth of text corresponding to each benefit. Each time, ChatGPT produced responses that offered a good starting point for me to further refine and repurpose. While its responses do sound a tad bit contrived after a certain point, ChatGPT undoubtedly offers a valuable launch pad for brands and communicators who may be stuck in a creative rut, or just need some direction. 

The perils and pitfalls of ChatGPT

While the benefits of ChatGPT are undeniable, we can never have too much of a good thing. 

Sam Altman, the co-found of Open AI famously declared that ChatGPT creates a “misleading impression of greatness”, with the potential to erode critical thinking if constantly used as a crutch. While the technology may be sophisticated enough to pass exams, it’s always best to fact-check whatever information the AI solution provides us. Additionally, there is also the danger of plagiarism — after all, ChatGPT is simply repackaging existing content without necessarily crediting the original authors involved. 

Why human marketers and professionals still matter 

Since its November 2022 launch, ChatGPT has emerged into one of the most fiercely divisive developments of our generation. As newer models of ChatGPT and other similar large language models are released, with each variation promising to outdo its predecessors by way of speed and accuracy, their cultural impact on society remains to be seen.

Ultimately, human communicators bring to the table a certain level of nuance, context, and skill that no artificial intelligence will ever be able to replicate. Here’s what sets us apart from our AI counterparts:

  • Originality: The human capacity for innovation, novelty, and curiosity is what has kept our species going for millennia. When given the right resources and support, humans have the incredible ability to forge new ways of thinking, in a way that no AI tool can replicate. 
  • Critical thinking: The ability to engage with an idea, deconstruct it entirely, and proactively search for perspectives that challenge our existing assumptions and thought patterns is behaviour only found in the human species. ChatGPT may have some of the answers for us, but comes up short as far as any form of critical thinking is concerned. 
  • Nuance: Marketing strategies are built on a foundation of context and nuance, as far as target audience and demographics are concerned. ChatGTP often overlooks these details when creating content.

One thing is certain — the roles of humans, and human input continues to be undeniable. ChatGPT is meant to serve as a tool that enhances what publishers and marketers do, rather than replace them completely. At the end of the day, ChatGPT is simply an impressive aggregator of information — it provides a great launching pad for marketers who may be new to the world of social media, or brands trying to figure out their tone of voice and identity in the digital universe. 

Keen to continue the conversation about ChatGPT, or need an agency who can help with your content marketing needs? Talk to us at [email protected]

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