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ChatGPT and its effects on marketing and PR

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ChatGPT is a new AI open language model and has been making headlines across the globe, as people consider how it might irrevocably change the way we work and learn. In particular, it has the potential to transform the world of content creation, including PR and marketing – but can it really do the job of a human? We put the tech to the test.

ChatGPT acts a lot like a search engine. You can ask it questions and it will give you information – the difference being the way in which you communicate with it. The software learns from the way you converse with it, so you can ask it follow-up questions. Instead of presenting you with pages and pages of web links it can tell you the information you are seeking right away. Questions which are presented to the software can vary in length, description, subject and genre. For example, you can ask it to write simple code that works, or it can analyse your code and alert you to any weaknesses in it.

ChatGPT is predicted to revolutionise marketing and PR – but how?

We asked it to write a blog article about how ChatGPT could affect marketing and PR. The following two paragraphs are taken from the text that it generated.

One major way ChatGPT can impact marketing is through its ability to generate highly personalised content. With its natural language processing capabilities, ChatGPT can analyse customer data and create tailored messages that speak directly to individual customers. This level of personalisation can increase customer engagement and lead to higher conversion rates.

In public relations ChatGPT can be used to generate press releases, speeches, and other forms of communication. With its ability to understand context and tone, ChatGPT can craft messages that are both informative and persuasive. This can be especially useful for crisis communication, where quick, effective messaging is crucial.

These paragraphs certainly demonstrate ChatGPT’s high-level language skills, but they don’t necessarily reflect a wider understanding of how marketing and PR work.

Where ChatGPT could be particularly useful is with processes that can be automated, such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) emails welcoming customers to a database. This could make marketing a much more action-based role and reduce the time spent on administrative tasks.

ChatGPT could also help generate non-specific ideas for content and help plan the way we market things (see the example of the post schedule for a sports company pictured) – but a human is still needed to find those specific customer testimonials or success stories, for example. Generating real-life content requires real-life human interaction.  

Public relations, meanwhile, depends on a nuanced understanding of a brand’s position within the marketplace and a client’s relationships with its customers and wider society.

ChatGPT generated the press release pictured. And while the result is again coherent, consistent in tone and grammatically correct, it’s the kind of templated, generic approach that we as an agency actively avoid.

Our ethos is to produce bespoke content to convey a specific message a client wants to get across – and written in a way that will both maximise the chance of coverage within targeted publications and engage readers. This means avoiding clichés and finding a way to make the story sound fresh, without exaggeration or inaccuracy.

It may well be that ChatGPT needs more information or context to create higher quality content – but that information has to be researched in detail by a human. And would AI lead on a quirky angle which might captivate the interest of readers, without being prompted to do so by a human?

Meanwhile, can ChatGPT deliver when it comes to crisis communication? While it’s true that quick, effective messaging is crucial, there’s also an equally important need for a human, empathetic response. We haven’t tested this aspect of ChatGPT with a hypothetical scenario, but would it know when it’s right to issue a statement of fact, and when it’s right to say sorry? The reputation of a brand might rest on making the right call – and this has got to be a human call.

The technology is still in its early stages of development and has a lot to learn. A further cause for concern is that the open language model is vulnerable to picking up biases from the internet data it has absorbed and could find it challenging to filter what it is exposed to. Some users have reported the bot being discriminatory when replying to certain questions. 

In conclusion, ChatGPT is incredibly clever and has the potential to impact this industry, and many others, in a big way. However, we, like other industry experts, do not believe it will replace industry specialists – it’s more likely to become a useful tool. It doesn’t generate the kind of quality and bespoke content we as an agency pride ourselves on delivering for our clients.

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