ChatGPT is the buzzword across almost every industry right now. There’s plenty of talk about its benefits versus its disadvantages and speculation about how the software will replace experienced workers across all industries. While some have already jumped at the opportunity to improve services by integrating the tool, such as Expedia utilizing ChatGPT for travel planning in its IOS app and Breezeway launching Assist AI as part of its property operations platform. Aipex Technologies was already using it for hospitality and senior living sectors. Others are less confident in what the development of this software actually means and are still finding their way.
So, what does the mass rollout of a new AI software mean for public relations specialists? First, let’s break down what the tool is…
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT, and its various models, is an OpenAI language tool trained to interact with users in a conversational way. The artificial intelligence (AI) software is able to answer questions, fix code, provide recipes, create content, tell jokes, explain complex topics, solve math problems, and so much more.
According to CEO Sam Altman, ChatGPT reached one million users within a week of its launch. The most recent version, ChatGPT-4, was released on March 14, 2023.
The pros and cons of AI tool ChatGPT
- Instant results – The AI tool can provide answers to questions, write content, provide a recipe, and more in an instant — making it a powerhouse when it comes to efficiency.
- Reduces search time – Unlike Google, which provides multiple search results in response to a query, ChatGPT will give you a direct answer based on its learned knowledge.
- It’s free – While GPT-4 is only available for paid subscribers (unless using a trial), previous models, including GPT-3 (launched in June 2020), are free to use and available to anyone.
- Accuracy – One major limitation of ChatGPT is its inaccuracy when generating content. The model is designed to predict the next word in a sentence based on the previous word, so the outcome isn’t necessarily true. It also doesn’t create original work, and content can be repetitive due to how the tool gathers information.
- Isn’t up to date – The OpenAI software isn’t aware of current events and has minimal knowledge of content created after 2021, meaning relevant news or data won’t be included.
- Recognizable – Content created by the chatbot has an invisible watermarking that enables the pieces to be identified as AI-generated. For example, this allows educational institutions to check for plagiarism and cheating.
- Is biased – The software is also biased and is programmed to avoid certain kinds of content, such (thankfully) as those containing violence – however other content may also be excluded.
How does ChatGPT impact public relations and content creation?
There’s speculation that ChatGPT threatens the work of content writers due to its ability to quickly and inexpensively create any form of content.
While it’s true that ChatGPT can generate comprehensive and convincing pieces, the reality is that the AI software is too limited in terms of accuracy and relevant knowledge to compete with or replace professionals with years of experience in their specific fields. Public relations, that creates valuable outcomes, needs to be expert led in order to support clients in reaching their strategic goals, growing their hospitality tech businesses, or raising the profile of the company’s spokesperson.
Some clients may have the misconception that the chatbot is being used for work they’ve been billed the standard rate for— which in almost all circumstances won’t be the case. On the other hand, the AI tool could positively impact those working in public relations, when they’re able to use the software to support and strengthen their current strategy, create efficiencies and spend more time on what directly impacts a client.
Ways to harness ChatGPT to strengthen your public relations strategy
A good public relations team will recognize that ChatGPT isn’t the enemy but rather a tool to add to their arsenal that can be harnessed for more efficient processes. Here are some examples of ways PR professionals can utilize AI:
1. First drafts
First drafts are for getting all the relevant information down onto the page— they don’t need to be ‘good’ or client ready. The first draft is simply a foundation that you can improve on through reviewing and editing. So, why not let AI do this step for you? This can be especially beneficial when you’re prioritizing work that’s further down the editorial pipeline, attending client calls, organzing briefings or going after press hits.
Simply provide ChatGPT with a couple of sentences and guidance for tone and style, and receive a workable piece within seconds. From there, you’ll be able to apply your expertise to really make the piece sing.
2. Reactive quotes
As is often the case in public relations, you may need a quote written and approved in a small timeframe to make the most of newsjacking opportunities. So, the sooner you have a base quote to amend and perfect, the better. Utilize the efficiency of ChatGPT to help you get started in these time-pressing situations and never miss out on a great media win again.
3. Creative ideas
ChatGPT can help teams whittle down the creative idea generation process. Instead of spending hours on a virtual call spitballing ideas, simply ask the chatbot. While the majority of the ideas the AI suggests won’t be worth pursuing, you’ll be able to select a few good concepts which you can take to your internal team meeting. This enables your team to start off with some solid foundations, kick-starting your creativity and saving valuable time.
4. Content finessing
Have you perfected your press release but now need it turned into a blog or social media post? ChatGPT can turn press releases into summaries and even refine word counts. Need a LinkedIn post? No problem. A tweet that fits within the character limit? No problem. A conversational blog on the same topic? ChatGPT helps you get those easy extra wins from something you’ve already invested time into.
ChatGPT and public relations isn’t the enemy
When done well, AI tolls, ChatGPT and public relations can work hand in hand to streamline work processes. Professionals can maximize efficiency by assigning those menial and repetitive jobs, such as first drafts and social media posts, to the tool, giving them back valuable time to focus on time-pressing or more important tasks that require strategic thinking, relationship building and expertise.
Looking to take your hospitality tech business to the next level? Book a discovery call with our CEO, Jessica Gillingham, here, to find out how our team of PR specialists can help you reach your goals, expand brand awareness, and set you up as a leader in your industry.