Blog post,  Communication Strategy,  Communications professional,  Digital communication

Our experience with ChatGPT

Everyone has been writing about it. It will end careers. It will kill comms. It will mean the end of civilisation as we know it. Chat GPT. *insert dramatic music*

I was sceptical at the beginning. I perceived it as a tool that would exacerbate the trend of I can write, so I can do comms. They just got a tool that can make it even easier for them. I couldn’t see how it could help me at my job. But everyone was talking about it, so I wanted to try it out too.

Let me start by saying my team, and I are now ChatGPT cheerleaders. We use it most days. It has surprised me with the wide variety of uses.

While everyone has been writing about the risks and pitfalls of ChatGPT, I wanted to share the stuff we love about it in case it helps spark some ideas or, like us make you more efficient.

No, this blog was not written by ChatGPT

ChatGPT doesn’t replace good writing, but it does help give you some ideas on where to start. I haven’t found it can replace my voice in a blog, but if you are struggling to find a way to explain a complex term or get a short, pithy summary, it is pretty amazing. We have been using it to get a start with proposals, presentations or concepts in blogs.

You can sit staring at a blank screen or work with ChatGPT to get a quick headstart and then edit.

Hey ChatGPT write a short description of a communication strategy…
“A communication strategy refers to a planned and systematic approach used by an individual, organisation, or business to convey messages effectively to a target audience. It involves determining the goals, messages, channels, and timing of communication efforts to achieve specific objectives. It is essential for building relationships, managing reputation, and achieving desired outcomes in today’s interconnected world. A communication strategy serves as a roadmap for effective communication and ensures that messages are clear, consistent, and aligned with the intended audience’s needs and expectations. So, it is crucial for successful communication and achieving desired results.” – ChatGPT

Building skills you do not have

At Elm, we are not IT experts (shocking, I know!) or web developers. When we were updating our website earlier this year, we wanted to add a few features that were not readily available through WordPress, so we asked ChatGPT to write HTML or CSS code for us.

This support was amazing. It wrote the code for us and explained how to insert it into the website. It gave us the confidence to try new things and add new features that we wouldn’t have thought we could do ourselves. They were so minor it wasn’t worth paying someone to do it, but it was a big achievement for us!

Hours and hours of research

This has been our latest discovery and probably our favourite. We spend hours and hours researching information to support communication strategies. Our job is to try to understand a complex topic quickly and develop an environmental scan or audience analysis. We aren’t subject matter experts, so this can be hard to know where to start. Hello ChatGPT!

We have discovered that we can get some inspiration from ChatGPT. It doesn’t provide references, and we still need to research and validate the findings, but if you’re stuck on what legislation or regulation may be impacting a topic or what technology will be critical for audiences, it is a god sent.

Here’s an example of a PESTLE analysis for environmental water in Australia:

Social Factors:
-Public awareness and perception: Public awareness and perception of environmental issues, including water scarcity and conservation, can impact the public’s support and participation in environmental water management efforts.
-Stakeholder engagement: Including local communities, indigenous peoples, and other interest groups, can influence the decision-making processes.

Technological Factors:
-Technological advancements: Such as innovations in water treatment, monitoring, and data analysis, can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental water management.
-Access to technology: The availability and access to technology, including water monitoring and management tools, can affect the implementation of environmental water management.

Legal Factors:
-Water rights and ownership: Legal frameworks (access, entitlements, water markets) related to water rights and ownership can impact the allocation and usage of environmental water in Australia.
-Environmental regulations: Environmental regulations, including water quality standards, habitat protection, and ecosystem management, can influence the conservation and restoration of environmental water in Australia.

Don’t get greedy

My warning is this. Don’t get greedy (or lazy). It can’t do your job for you. A communications professional brings more than the words on a page. It is our strategic thinking, our problem solving and our ability to put together all of the factors that makes you great.

There will still be people like my husband, who told me a few weeks ago that he wrote a media release using ChatGPT and thought it was pretty good. No no, it wasn’t! It won’t have the same nuances as a PR expert would include.

This tool won’t do your job for you, but it will help and make you a little more efficient along the way.

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