Professional development

Shaping the narrative: PR and generative AI

By Matisse Hamel-Nelis on June 19, 2023

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Today, one of the pivotal points of evolution in PR and communications is the realm of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). As a PR professional, understanding and effectively communicating the implications of generative AI is an advantage and a necessity. The challenge lies in creating conversations that are not only informative but also meaningful, bridging the gap between technical jargon and practical understanding.

Generative AI, an advanced application of artificial intelligence, can create content that feels convincingly human. From penning sonnets to writing blog posts to create visual art, it’s the creative artist with a silicon brain. These capabilities are transforming industries, augmenting human potential and altering the narrative of what machines can do.

However, generative AI has its complexities. The technology can seem intimidating for the uninitiated, with discussions often veering toward the dystopian fears of AI dominance. As PR professionals, our job is to demystify generative AI, making it accessible and relevant to the public while fostering informed discussions.

So, how can PR professionals create more meaningful conversations about generative AI?

Understanding the audience

When discussing generative AI, it’s crucial to remember who your audience is. The technology’s wide range of applications means different things to different people. For a marketer, it might represent an opportunity to personalize content at scale. For a writer, it could be a tool for inspiration or a threat to their livelihood. Tailoring your message to your audience’s specific concerns, hopes, and interests is key to crafting a meaningful conversation.

Leveraging human stories

While generative AI is a technology, its impact is profoundly human. Highlight stories that showcase how generative AI is changing lives, helping businesses, and fostering creativity. These narratives build an emotional bridge, assisting people to connect with and understand the technology better.

Promoting ethical use and regulation

Generative AI, like any powerful technology, can be misused. Deepfakes and AI-generated misinformation are genuine concerns. As PR professionals, we must advocate for the responsible use of generative AI, promoting transparency and calling for comprehensive regulations. Conversations about AI technology should be open to these challenges but should address them head-on.

Encouraging engagement and education

PR professionals should not merely be the voice of generative AI but also its ear. Encouraging dialogue and inviting questions help dispel misconceptions and fears about the technology. Initiating webinars, round-table discussions, and educational initiatives can increase public understanding and engagement.

Emphasizing collaboration, not replacement

It’s vital to position generative AI as a collaborator rather than replacing human intelligence. Highlighting how the technology can augment human creativity and efficiency rather than replace it helps build a positive narrative and encourages acceptance.

Communicators and PR professionals are integral to shaping the public discourse on generative AI. The goal is not just to talk about the technology but to start a conversation that resonates, informs, and engages. After all, generative AI is not just about codes and algorithms; it’s about the future we’re building, and everyone should have a voice in that discussion. Embracing this responsibility can turn PR professionals into valuable educators and enablers, guiding society through the digital transformation unfolding before us.

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