The AI race is on. Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI all recently announced new products, with bots the new front in the technology arms race.
Bots can now replicate human conversations and complete a wide variety of tasks. They are even scoring highly on standardized tests.
Industries from coding to academia are finding ways to utilize this tech in day-to-day tasks. This includes PR and marketing: my colleague Sam Barber wrote that an earlier version of ChatGPT “could write press releases with an impressive degree of relevancy and ingenuity.”
I decided to put the bot to the test. I made up a company and a “groundbreaking” blockchain product that the firm is planning to launch. I launched ChatGPT and gave it my first prompt:
a company called X is preparing to launch a new digital payments cybersecurity software. Write a press release about the launch.
I was looking at a pretty solid – albeit vague – press release. Now I wanted additional context, so I tried another prompt:
Product X leverages blockchain technology. Incorporate this info in the above press release
The piece now had more substance. Itneeded a quote in addition to the one ChatGPT had automatically added in its original release:
Add another quote by the company’s chief technology officer, highlighting the importance of blockchain technology in digital payments
It seemed like we were getting somewhere, but needed some corrections:
Remove all mentions of the user-friendly interface. The software works in the back end and is seamless for users. Also, product X is a B2B, not a B2C product.
I was quite satisfied at this point and ready to submit the press release to the scrutiny of my manager, who was unaware that it was generated by ChatGPT. Here’s the release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Company X Launches Product X - A Blockchain-Powered Solution for Secure Digital Payments for Businesses
San Francisco, CA – Company X, a leading technology company specializing in cybersecurity solutions, is proud to announce the launch of Product X, a ground-breaking software designed specifically for businesses to enhance the security of digital payments.
Product X leverages the decentralized and secure nature of blockchain technology to provide unparalleled protection for personal and financial information in digital transactions. The software’s encryption algorithms make it easy for businesses to integrate into their existing systems, delivering robust defense against cyber threats such as fraud, hacking, and data breaches.
“Digital payments security is a critical concern for businesses today,” said [Insert Name], CEO of Company X. “Product X harnesses the power of blockchain technology to bring our B2B customers a solution that delivers the highest level of security for their digital payments.”
The CTO of Company X, [Insert Name], added, "Blockchain technology is a game-changer for the security of digital payments. With Product X, we are providing businesses with a secure and reliable solution for their digital payment needs."
Designed exclusively for the B2B market, Product X offers a combination of blockchain technology, robust security features, and affordability, making it the go-to solution for businesses looking to secure their digital payments. Product X is committed to delivering innovative cybersecurity solutions to meet the growing needs of businesses in the digital age.
Here’s the key feedback from my manager:
- Awkward and out-of-place sentences at times – Some were too wordy while others had an excessive number of adjectives such as, “groundbreaking,” or “robust.”
- Needs more data to back claims – While the product was made-up, there was arguably enough information for Chat GPT to at least suggest data points or existing research to back-up some of the claims. Perhaps in future iterations, this will be possible.
- Mentions “personal” while discussing a B2B product – In one of my prompts I specifically requested the product to be described as B2B. Still, in the final version, the word “personal” appeared. Easy fix, of course, but a factual error, nevertheless.
Could he tell that this wasn’t written by me? Nope. But was it ready for print? Also no.
ChatGPT can be a powerful add-on to the media relations toolkit as long as you feed it “smart” prompts and are cautious of its limitations. Even in its early stage, it can reduce mundane workloads, and automate different tasks. For example, writing this press release with Chat GPT took about 10 minutes. The chatbot would quickly spit out paragraphs of quotes that I could choose from, research factual information about sophisticated technologies (and if asked it would cite its sources!), and even change the tone of the writing. To do this on my own, would certainly take much longer.
There’s no question that this technology will continue to advance. For PR professionals, it's important to experiment and stay on top of innovations in this space.
David Asatryan is an account executive in New York. Find him on LinkedIn here.