My assignment in this installment of Abel Insights was to write about the impact of AI in PR; a topic on the minds of many in the industry (and all industries). To what extent should we, as PR pros, rely on AI tools to create content, generate ideas, or create the kind of work that we humans have gotten used to creating until these new generative tools came along? And more specifically, which aspects of our work should remain things that we do, and which might we effectively and ethically outsource to AI?The question is a doozy because, as you probably know, all of this is new and constantly evolving. Whatever is true today might only be true for a short period of time. Another way I’ve heard it said is this: whatever version of AI you’re using today is the worst version you’ll experience.

So while it is appropriate to experiment and set new policies, it is equally important to review those policies and standards on a regular basis. That’s why we have created an AI Task Force at Abel Communications to do just that. This is not a “set it and forget it” situation but one that will remain fluid for quite some time.

All that said, the question remains, “What should we use AI?” Here’s a meta thought… How about we start by asking ChatGPT this question and see what it delivers. Here’s the prompt I used:

I am the CEO of a PR firm that is relied upon by clients for communications strategy, social media engagement, creative services, and other original ideas to drive brand awareness and trust. At this time, our staff is experimenting with various AI tools — or software with embedded AI capabilities — including ChatGPT, Claude, Jasper, Adobe Creative Suite, and more. Please* write a blog post about where we should draw the line between what we humans create and what we should strategically outsource to AI tools such as the ones noted above. For the purpose of this assignment, please write no more than 450 words and do so in a friendly and conversational manner.

(*always be polite to your AI tools, you never know where all of this is going to go) 

Here’s what ChatGPT (paid version, $20/month, GPT4o) came up with in about 15 seconds:

Balancing Human Creativity and AI Tools: Striking the Right Chord

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, the integration of AI tools in our daily operations has become indispensable. At our PR firm, we rely on an array of AI-powered software such as ChatGPT, Claude, Jasper, and Adobe Creative Suite to enhance our efficiency and creativity. But as we embrace these advanced technologies, a fundamental question arises: where do we draw the line between human ingenuity and AI assistance?

The Human Touch in Strategy and Stor ytelling

At the heart of PR lies storytelling – an art that requires empathy, creativity, and a deep understanding of human emotions. Crafting compelling narratives and developing nuanced communications strategies are areas where human expertise is irreplaceable. Our clients rely on us for these original ideas that not only drive brand awareness but also build trust and loyalty. While AI can assist in generating content and providing data-driven insights, the essence of a story – its soul – must come from human creativity and intuition.

AI as a Creative Partner

AI tools like ChatGPT and Jasper are fantastic for brainstorming sessions, generating initial drafts, and even suggesting innovative ideas. They help us overcome writer’s block and ensure we’re never short of creative concepts. However, it’s crucial to remember that these tools should complement, not replace, our creative process. The initial output from AI can serve as a foundation, but it is up to us to refine, personalize, and infuse it with the unique voice and personality of our clients.

Efficiency and Productivity Boosters

When it comes to mundane, repetitive tasks, AI truly shines. Automated scheduling, data analysis, social media monitoring, and even basic graphic design can be efficiently handled by AI, freeing up valuable time for our team to focus on higher-level strategic tasks. Tools like Adobe Creative Suite, with its AI-enhanced features, enable us to produce high-quality visuals swiftly, allowing our designers to spend more time on creative brainstorming and conceptualization.

The Ethical Considerations

Using AI responsibly involves recognizing its limitations and potential biases. AI-generated content should always be reviewed and edited by humans to ensure it aligns with our ethical standards and accurately represents our clients. Transparency with our clients about the use of AI in our processes is also essential to maintain trust and integrity.

The Future of PR: A Harmonious Blend

The future of our industry lies in a harmonious blend of human creativity and AI capabilities. By strategically outsourcing certain tasks to AI, we can enhance our productivity and expand our creative horizons. However, the core of our work – building relationships, crafting authentic stories, and developing strategic communications – will always remain a human endeavor.

As we continue to explore the potential of AI, let’s remember that it is a powerful tool meant to amplify our creativity, not overshadow it. Together, humans and AI can create magic, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of PR.

My Thoughts on the Above

First of all, what’s most shocking and inspiring and even a little scary is how quickly the content was generated. As I mentioned, it took about 15 seconds. As I review the content, I have to say that I agree with most of what’s written. ChatGPT seems to follow a someone rote format… lots of subheads, a lack of personal details or specific examples, and a somewhat predictable and straightforward tone. I would say the copy lacks flair, but it definitely has solid info. If this were turned in as an assignment, I’d tell the writer, “great start, now punch it up with specific examples and an anecdote or two.” Perhaps that’s exactly where we humans must come in… by bringing human experiences and context to the table.  

It’s also important to note that what comes out of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools is very much an outcome of what was put in; references to Claude, Adobe, etc. in the response are only there, for example, because I listed them in the prompt. In other words, those may or may not be the best AI tools for PR pros and marketers to use, and aren’t necessarily what we use. 

All that said … Wow? We are living in new and uncharted territory and all of us in marketing and communications have both a responsibility and an opportunity to use these tools to increase our output while retaining our humanity and personal touch. I hope we never stop wanting to write in order to share our lived humanity. 

As a point of clarification, I will also point out that we do not, as an agency, use the output of AI tools as deliverables for client work without first editing, amending, and fine-tuning in such a way as to ensure accuracy and effectiveness. What’s more, we never enter sensitive or protected information into the AI tools. We are very much in an experimentation phase with a bias toward human touch. 

Time will tell where all of this will go. One thing is for sure, however, these tools cannot be ignored and are only going to get better. What we have to decide as leaders or communicators or marketers or all of the above is: what is the best use of our time. I look forward to the journey. Buckle up my friends, a new era has already arrived.