By Diane Streleckis -- Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to do more than simply save communication professionals time or boost productivity—although it can certainly do both those things. Innovation expert Gina Debogovich shared how AI can invigorate your creativity so the messages and experiences you create connect with the people you’re trying to reach.
Play with AI for personal tasks
Degobovich said a good place to start with building comfort with AI is to use them in your personal life.
“I like to cook but all my recipes are stored in my head,” she said. “Now, after I’ve made a recipe that I really like, I dictate it quickly into Word, which usually takes about 30 seconds. Then I copy and paste the recipe into ChatGPT and ask it to rewrite as if for a cookbook. ChatGPT reformats it with an ingredient list, cooking times, and an appropriate sentence structure (for the steps). I make another quick 30 seconds’ worth of edits. So within about two minutes, I’ve archived that recipe potentially forever.”
Degobovich noted that there are hundreds of examples like this one that show how AI can help facilitate creativity.
Defeat the dreaded blank page
Getting those first few words on paper (or a screen) is a common struggle for many communication professionals. But AI tools such as ChatGPT, Bard, or Microsoft Copilot can get you started—and spark some inspiration, Degobovich pointed out.
“It’s going to give you some bullet points, some sentences, so that you can be an editor and curator of knowledge,” she said.
Let the summarizing begin
“These tools are great at summarizing content,” Degobovich said.
“Let’s say you have a 10,000-word New York Times article and you need to provide visibility into it to your senior leaders. Those leaders aren’t going to have time to read that article,” she said. “So now you can copy and paste the text into an AI tool that’s going to write up a coherent summary, provide bullet points, and extract all the key metrics. You can pass the information on to the executives more quickly, with a potentially higher chance that they’ll actually read it and learn from it.”
Enjoy better search results
AI is just beginning to boost the power of search—and it will only get better.
“Let’s say I want to plan a 4th of July weekend in the Twin Cities. When I search that, I get a list of websites that have content that’s already been created,” said Degobovich. “With search plus generative AI, I can query, ‘Help me plan a fun 4th of July weekend around the Twin Cities.’ And I’ll actually have a dialog with the Bing Chat (the search engine that’s currently integrating AI) and it’ll give me recommendations in a more communicative manner.”
The search shift will bring changes for marketers and communication professionals.
“It’s going to mean a new level of digital marketing,” Degobovich said. “We’ve all learned about buying keywords and display advertising.” As ads start to get sold in search engine chat, identifying ways to optimize content for search will become crucial.
Think through your change-management model—and start with yourself
Corporate communications professionals will be called on to help leadership get the message out about AI uses.
“Leverage whatever change model your company currently uses,” said Degobovich. “If you don’t have a change model, look at the ADKAR model—Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement.”
Learning is better with lunch
Degobovich recommended holding lunch-and-learns where people of all levels can have fun together using the new technologies. “When it becomes more of a shared experience, you can get some group buy-in where people start to see value,” she said.
Resistance is futile
The anticipated productivity gains make generative AI inevitable for every business function, including corporate communications. Embracing the tools makes career sense.
“I think AI is going to unlock and create a number of jobs we don’t even have titles for,” said Degobovich. “Some roles will go away but net we’ll probably have more new roles than the ones that end up getting phased out.”
Degobovich reminisced about a role that used to be quite common in companies—the mimeograph operator. “Then photocopiers came along and then other technologies.” People in those jobs were able to evolve to do more creative work.
Diane Streleckis is a writer and content strategist dedicated to using the power of words for good. Understanding what makes people tick and then sharing practical ideas to help support their needs and concerns is Diane’s mission. She’s applied this mission mindset across industries for more than 30 years.