There was a time when it looked like virtual reality (VR) would never be able to shake its clunky image. From the release of Nintendo’s Virtual Boy in 1994 to Google’s low-price headset, Google Cardboard, it was hard to hear about a new iteration of VR without the additional point of ‘unfulfilled expectations’. Despite numerous rollouts from various tech giants promising that the next release would ‘finally’ nail VR, the technology continued to be viewed as not much more than a gimmicky gaming accessory. However, perhaps we had the wrong idea about VR all along. Instead of thinking about VR headsets as personal accessories, maybe it’s time we start looking at them as a key workplace tool?

VR’s turning point

A major catalyst for this change stems from Apple’s long-awaited entry into the VR market in 2024 with the release of the Apple Vision Pro. By prioritising user experience and allowing adjustable immersion levels, Apple addressed long-standing critiques around comfort and whether VR had any practical business use. This ability to tailor the virtual experience is a key reason for VR’s increasing use in businesses.

Transforming industries

In healthcare, VR can be used to simulate high-stakes scenarios, risk-free – allowing practitioners to build vital skills through realistic, repetitive training without jeopardising patient safety. At Great Ormond Street Hospital, the technology is being used to help train surgeons by allowing them to interact with 3D anatomical models of body parts. This is allowing surgeons to map out procedures in advance, and even direct surgeries that are taking place in different parts of the world altogether.

As digital meetings are now commonplace, many companies are looking to VR to create digital workspaces that foster an office environment for widely dispersed workers. Our client Cornerstone recently hosted a meeting in the Metaverse, enabling colleagues worldwide to meet, chat and visit their expo hall – and had a few fun extras with a dance club and spa retreat!

Immersive VR is also transforming teacher training by providing innovative tools to enhance curriculum delivery. At universities like Sunderland, education programmes are equipping trainee teachers with headsets that simulate realistic classroom environments. This allows student teachers to practise managing a virtual class and experiment with multisensory teaching methods before ever stepping foot in a real classroom.

VR finds its place in the world of work

While there are still barriers to widespread adoption – such as price and comfort – it’s clear VR has found a place in the world of work. Perhaps it’s time to reframe our expectations to stop thinking about VR as a gimmicky personal accessory, but rather as a pragmatic workplace tool. Just as with any new technology, the real breakthrough usually happens when the hype subsides, and pragmatic use cases emerge. It took a while for VR to ‘grow up’, but it finally feels like we’ve stopped imagining it as a futuristic novelty and instead embracing it as a tool for the present.

When your organisation is gearing up for a rebrand, it can feel like you’re walking a tightrope. How do you balance maintaining your current brand’s presence while preparing for a new identity? The journey of rebranding is intricate, requiring a nuanced approach to PR and communications that keeps your audience engaged and prepares them for change – all without losing momentum. Here’s how you can navigate these waters safely.

1. Maintain continuous engagement

First and foremost, it’s crucial to never hit the pause button on your PR and communications. Completely halting your outreach can cause you to lose valuable momentum and visibility. The media landscape is extremely competitive, and if you disappear from the conversation, it’s easy for your audience and media partners to forget about you. Continuous communication ensures that your brand remains top of mind, making the transition smoother for your audience.

2. Understand the rebrand is a process

Rebranding doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that involves gradually phasing out old elements and introducing new ones. During this period, it’s perfectly normal for old branding, messaging, and positioning to coexist with new strategies. Use transitional phrases like “Company X (formerly Company Y)” in your communications to bridge the change. This strategy helps in retaining the brand equity you’ve worked hard to build while slowly ushering in your new identity.

3. Be selective in your focus

During the rebrand, it’s wise to be strategic about what elements of your PR and communications you dial up or down. Identify aspects of your messaging that are likely to remain consistent throughout the rebrand and push these in your communications. For example, your core services, key markets, or long-standing corporate values are typically safe areas to emphasise, as they are unlikely to conflict with your new brand proposition.

Moreover, the expertise of your people—be it your C-suite, tech gurus, or industry experts—must remain a constant. Highlighting their thought leadership can continue unabated as the strength of their insights does not depend on your brand’s visual identity or tagline.

4. Prepare your audience for the rebrand

Use the run-up period to start preparing your audience for the change. This can be done subtly by starting to introduce new themes, ideas or language that will be central to your new brand. This not only sets the stage for your rebrand but also involves your audience in the evolution process, making them feel part of the journey rather than just passive observers.

Drive forward, don’t idle

Navigating PR and communications during a rebrand is less about stopping and starting and more about shifting gears. It’s important to keep the wheels in motion and use this transitional time to your advantage. By maintaining engagement, managing the transition thoughtfully, focusing strategically, and preparing your audience, you can ensure that your rebrand will not only retain the equity and recognition you’ve built but also enhance it. So, don’t let the rebrand put the brakes on your efforts; instead, use it as a dynamic runway to launch your brand’s exciting next chapter.

The term ‘FemTech’ was coined by Ida Tin in 2016 (Co-Founder of Clue), just eight years ago. As I write this, my Word Document doesn’t even recognise the word, giving it a firm underscore in red. So, safe to say it’s pretty new to the scene. But, like every different flavour of technology, it did not just spawn out of thin air and its roots go back a long way. In the 1800s, for instance, women began using diaphragms for contraception. And prior to this, whilst maybe the word ‘tech’ can’t be applied, there was certainly a lot of – shall we say – ‘creativity’ in how women prevented pregnancy, or encouraged it.

But today, we’re in the midst of a revolution – albeit a quiet one – of technology catered solely to women. And this revolution is broadening the conversation beyond contraception and conception. Apps like Flo, Clue and Natural Cycles all seek to help women understand their menstrual cycles and how they impact hormones, moods and energy levels. There are also mental health apps geared predominantly towards women. In turn, all of this is helping women to understand how key things like sleep, performance (whether at work or in the gym), and concentration can have peaks and troughs – bringing a new level of understanding to how the female body works. This is knowledge that we can then apply directly to how we make plans and live our lives. There’s even finance apps targeted solely at women, to help close the gap on financial literacy and confidence – straddling both the FemTech and FinTech spaces.

Of course, this industry is faced with challenges. Already, women-led startups receive just 3% of VC funding. As we can safely assume that the vast majority of FemTechs will have female leaders, it’s likely this industry will be facing an uphill battle for funding. Some may also perceive the entire notion of ‘FemTech’ negatively, seeing it as exclusive – despite it needing to be exclusive by its very nature. Finally, as these apps are rarely free, some may see it as just another example of the ‘pink tax’. The pink tax is the theory that products sold to women are marked up at a higher price – if you were to Google shampoo for men and then shampoo for women, for instance, there’s a noticeable difference in the average price. Finally, there’s also significant data privacy concerns with period-tracking apps, with plenty of room for negative press if things go wrong.

In the face of all these challenges, FemTechs need to market themselves cleverly and carefully. Their communications strategies need to take into account women (as their customers), investors (as their source of funding) and also the media (whose choice words can significantly impact their reputations). Getting this balance right and knowing what conversations to join, when and how, is going to be crucial for success.

Earlier this month, I attended Tech Show London at the behemoth that is the ExCeL. Aside from getting my hands on a free waffle, I listened in on a particularly illuminating session on comms in cybersecurity – now the basis for this piece.

Cybersecurity and the CSI Cyber Effect

How long is a piece of string? That was the first answer when panellists were asked about some of the common comms challenges faced in the cybersecurity sector. But seriously, what are some of the key challenges?

Firstly, public perception. Cybersecurity has been given the Hollywood treatment, with films and TV shows depicting impossibly attractive actors somehow cracking MI6’s firewall in minutes. Are these scenarios actually possible? Maybe. Regardless, the Hollywood effect has muddied our understanding of what cybersecurity professionals do, why it’s important, and what an actual threat looks like.

In reality, cybersecurity is just about taking care of things; it’s foundational, it’s normal, it’s part of the everyday. But building it into the day-to-day running of a business isn’t as straightforward as it seems. In fact, one of the panellists noted that, in his experience, a lot of companies don’t have a cybersecurity crisis comms plan in place until an incident actually occurs.

It’s going to be difficult to embed cybersecurity across a business if there’s a lack of internal comms, and absolutely zero external comms plans in place. But, as one panellist noted, comms is the number one life skill to have – so how can it be deployed here?

Bridging the internal comms gap

Improving comms in cybersecurity starts internally, by bridging the comms gap. When asked about how this can be done, one panellist said that the answer lies in relationship building, as it trickles down into every area of a business. Another argued cybersecurity should be embedded into projects; it might not be the most exciting aspect, but it is needed. And, of course, the importance of language came up – if an organisation develops a shared language of risk management, it can be incredibly beneficial.

Interestingly, one person said that they would like to see more difficult and awkward discussions happening, especially in the event of an incident. Sure, they’re uncomfortable, but a shared ownership of risk is needed, and being conscious of risk should be normalised across every area of a business. And if a breach occurs, trace it back to see what mistakes people are making to ensure that they don’t happen again.

Never neglect crisis communications

Bridging internal gaps is crucial, but the driving force behind a lot of the session was the need for a crisis comms plan. Think about it: we wouldn’t dare leave our homes without first locking the front door. We don’t even think about it because it’s engrained in us to just do it. The same line of thinking needs to be applied here, and having a comms strategy in place for incidents and breaches has the potential to either make or break a reputation.

In a nutshell, an airtight crisis comms strategy looks like:

  • Keeping communication lines open. Externally speaking, it’s important to keep the customer informed, even if there’s nothing to say. Not every detail needs to be shared but keeping them in the loop shows that you’re taking an incident seriously. Internally speaking, I’ll paraphrase what one of the panellists said: the organisations that handle incidents most effectively are the ones that can wake up at 3am and already know exactly who to call. And the ones who are being called will already know why, where the comms plan is, and the next steps to take.
  • Redefining messaging. It’s not just about processes. Stressful situations can impact articulation and make even the most unwavering spokesperson fluster, so prepare base responses in advance, stick to them, and update them as and when necessary.
  • Living and breathing the plan. Crisis comms is not a box ticking exercise, and a plan should not sit on a shelf gathering dust. Rather, treat it like a fire alarm: build an organisational culture that constantly tests the plan under various scenarios. Keep it updated and drill it into the workforce. Live and breathe it; you never know when you’ll need it.

You may not be munching on a waffle right now, but hopefully you’ll have read this and come away with some important insights. The bottom line? Both internal and external comms have a major role to play in cybersecurity, and if you don’t yet have a crisis comms plan in place, it’s never too early to start working on one.

The recent strikes by the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry, but their impact extends far beyond Hollywood.

The strikes began on 14 July 2023 as the actors’ union and AMPTP (the representative body for film and television studios) could not settle on a new contract. This strike also coincided with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, and so Hollywood was at a standstill until a deal was finalised on 9 November. The actors were fighting for multiple changes throughout the industry, with a key issue being consent over artificial intelligence and increased residuals. AI was also a key sticking point in the WGA strike negotiations, with the eventual deal stating that it cannot be used to rewrite scripts.

But the influence of the strikes extends far beyond bigger pay checks for actors. The strikes, driven by concerns over fair compensation and working conditions, have highlighted broader issues surrounding the relationship between technology (AI in particular) and labour.

Companies across various sectors have been exploring AI applications for efficiency, cost savings, and innovation. However there’s a growing awareness of how the use of AI might be influenced by the evolving dynamics between workers and employers. Fear of job displacement and concerns over worker welfare have created a complex narrative across all industries.

The strikes, and the subsequent deal between all parties, highlight a crucial perspective: the role of AI should be collaborative, working in tandem with human capabilities rather than replacing them. Companies may find it necessary to invest in programmes that equip employees with the skills to collaborate with AI systems, ensuring that technology enhances their productivity. Different industries should use this moment to foster cross-sector collaboration. Sharing insights and best practices on AI adoption, ethical considerations, and workforce integration can lead to a more harmonious and responsible approach to technological advancement.

The ethical use of AI is a growing concern for both the public and industry leaders. These strikes further stress the importance of aligning AI adoption with social responsibility. Companies may now be more inclined to evaluate the impact of AI on their employees and society at large, taking steps to mitigate negative consequences.

The SAG-AFTRA strikes, while rooted in the entertainment industry, reverberate across sectors and countries as a reminder of the complex relationship between technology, labour, and societal values.

Technologically, humanity is at an inflection point. More and more industries are advancing so much that concepts and technologies previously reduced to cameo appearances in Sci-Fi films are beginning to come into the mainstream. This trend is currently being driven by a few key technologies such as autonomous or flying vehicles, the metaverse and, particularly recently, artificial intelligence. However, there is one technology that has so far gone under the radar a little more, which is on the way to completely revolutionising the world as we know it – humanoid robots.

These machines, popularised in films such as The Terminator, or I, Robot mimic human behaviour and appearance allowing them to slot themselves seamlessly into modern human life. Invariably in these depictions, all hell breaks loose, and they need to be stopped. But what would a world look like where their integration is successful and they become a ubiquitous and integral part of everyday life?

That picture is starting to become clear.

Blending in with the crowd

A humanoid’s unique value, and what separates them from other robots already in use such as those on production lines, is derived from their outward appearance. These humanoids look and move like humans – and even possess recognisable facial features.

The fact that they look and move like humans is why their potential for widespread use is so interesting. These features will allow them to be able to seamlessly integrate themselves into our world, taking up positions in warehouses, restaurants, shops, and even our homes.

Humanoids’ design allows them to be adept at a range of tasks usually reserved for humans, often involving high levels of mobility or dexterity. The possibilities in this regard are almost endless. This could be in the service industry acting as waiters, in a warehouse or factory setting helping to stack shelves or organise products, or at home fulfilling a range of household chores.  As they will never get ill, and don’t need sleep in the same way we do (apart from the odd recharge here and there), their potential to ease the burden of everyday tasks is clear to see. Other potential, but important, use cases include performing tasks that are dangerous for humans. For example, Boston Dynamics has trialled one of its robots to patrol around Chernobyl testing radiation levels – a job we can be thankful about having lost to machines.

Impact on jobs

Understandably, there is a lot of concern about the potential impact that these machines will have on people’s jobs – perhaps even more so than other technologies due to their likeness to us. Clearly, they will hugely disrupt the working world – as is their entire purpose – with the WEF estimating that 85 million jobs will be displaced globally by the shift from human to robot as early as 2025. This trend could be even more disruptive as humanoids continue to advance. However, in the same report it is estimated that 97 million jobs will be created in the same timeframe. This is down to the fact that these humanoids have no ‘soft skills’ that would involve reasoning or critical thinking – they are specifically designed to do a range of highly-structured tasks, which will free us humans up to apply our intuition and problem solving to other means.

This is the same principle that has been the case in a range of other disruptive technologies in the past such as the internet, which have eliminated some jobs, but created many more.

Communication

One of the principal challenges involved in developing humanoids enough so they can work shoulder to shoulder with us is in the way we communicate with them. We are all used to speaking to our phones, or products like Alexa, to give a range of simple instructions. However, there is a lot more work in being able to communicate more complex tasks that we might take for granted such as, ‘please wash the whites on a mixed load at 30 degrees’. This is where a large amount of the work is being done by companies such as 1X, or Boston Dynamics and one of the key roadblocks to humanoids’ mass adoption.

This also raises the question of wider communication. Luckily for us, there are whole industries dedicated to how we communicate effectively with each other. What implications would it have for communications more broadly if we were to suddenly introduce a whole spectrum of human-to-robot communication? In many ways we are currently doing this with things like SEO optimisation, by making sure we tailor our headings and content to stand out for algorithms, but this would develop even further.

I already struggle sometimes with chatbots on companies’ websites – am I speaking to an AI, or to a person? Should I be using “please” and “thank you”, or am I wasting precious seconds typing it out? If there was a world in which up to half the ‘people’ you interacted with on a daily basis weren’t actually human, it would arguably be the biggest transformation in communication since the emergence of language.

Ultimately, there is still a way to go before there are humanoids on every street corner. However, their emergence in the coming years is poised to be one of the most disruptive and transformative technologies yet developed, and as a society we should start preparing for it.

Whether we need John Connor or not, remains to be seen.

There were always parallels that could be drawn between Elon Musk and Tony Stark – a controversial and eccentric billionaire living in a remote part of the world conjuring up futuristic technologies to spread to the masses. However, it seems that Elon Musk has decided to go down the path of the X-Men instead.

With very little prior warning, Twitter announced last weekend that it would be rebranding to ‘X’ with immediate effect. The website changed, a huge ‘X’ was projected on to its HQ in San Francisco and Musk himself released the logo on his own, erm…X feed?

Whatever your feelings as to the madhouse that the company has been since Musk took over, no one can say it has been uneventful. This is just the latest in a string of high-profile and somewhat hard-to-follow announcements in the past year, however this feels much bigger than ones that have preceded it such as the hiring of a new CEO, or charging people for a blue tick.

A rebrand of a company is an enormous undertaking and usually reserved for a very specific reason, often in reaction to something negative that has damaged the company’s reputation, something transformative that has happened such as the launching of a new product or service, or post-acquisition to bring people together. So, what is the thinking behind it, and where will the circus roll on to next?

The marketing point of view

I think it’s fair to say, that Musk and Twitter have not been totally aligned, either before or after his acquisition. Therefore, his desire to rebrand and move away from the old Twitter in many ways is understandable. Couple this with legacy reputational issues that Twitter has faced throughout its history, around content moderation and political bias, and changing the brand to distance himself from that makes sense.

However, when the launch was announced much of the response was scathing including calls of it being ‘marketing suicide’. Twitter’s name and associated brand was recently valued at £4.4bn by Brand Finance last year, so many understandably questioned how smart it was to abandon that overnight, particularly for a company struggling with revenue. Furthermore, changing from an instantly recognisable name and logo that has been ever present in society for the past two decades, to a letter of the alphabet, especially the letter X, has also been met with derision.

Firstly, the letter X could be argued as not having the best connotations. On our phones it signifies deleting things, but also it could remind us of that former girlfriend or boyfriend we would rather forget. On top of this, is the issue of copyright. Many firms have come out saying they already have a claim on the letter, including of all people, Meta, and this could lead to months, or even years, of untold misery for Musk’s lawyers – who, let’s face it, were probably already overworked.

Reason to be Xcited?

But is this missing something? Musk has long spoken of his desire to create an ‘everything app’, and this rebrand opens up the opportunity for the company to go in a totally new direction. These apps bring everything into one place combining communications, banking, retail and more. Much like when Mark Zuckerberg changed Facebook’s name to Meta, this is the biggest signal yet that he sees this as the future.

The everything app concept is not a new one worldwide. WeChat, China’s version of this, boasts one billion monthly users and is absolutely ubiquitous throughout society – even stalls selling fruit and veg in the streets may not accept any other form of payment. It is therefore surprising that it has not caught on yet in the West. If implemented it would completely revolutionise life and the way we communicate, as we know it. As such, for such a groundbreaking and monumental effort, perhaps a rebrand was the only way to go.

Taking back the initiative

Also curious is the timing of the announcement. The reputational rivalry between both Musk and Zuckerberg personally, but also between Twitter and the newly launched Threads as platforms, has been steadily gaining intensity in recent months. Since Threads was launched, many people have started suggesting that Twitter’s days are numbered, and Threads would get the upper hand. However, Threads’ momentum has seemed to tail off a little as sign-up rates dropped. So, with this announcement, at least for the moment, it seems like Musk has wrestled back control of the narrative and taken the edge in the communications battle.

Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. Many things will play a role in the outcome, perhaps even the litigation mentioned previously. However imperative to this effort will be the ability for X to market itself in a positive way, and how Musk will foster both his personal and the company’s overall reputation.

Either way, it won’t be boring. 

Every day, I see headlines filled with stories on AI regulation. This fast-paced conversation has left government bodies unsure about the rules they should implement. The UK has proposed decentralised models, while the US has engaged tech leaders in discussions on AI safety and security. Meanwhile, the EU has introduced the AI Act.

The discussion on AI regulation is far from over—it’s just getting started. If you work in tech comms, it’s crucial that you have a voice in this conversation. If you haven’t been involved yet, now is the time to join in.

Innovation speed like no other

The UK Prime Minister opened London Tech Week stating it’s “time to act – and act fast.” This want for speed is with a view to have the UK lead on growth and investment in technology. But for this to happen in a way that’s good for the world, the discussion around the guardrails for AI must be just as fast and just as continual as the development of the technology itself.

Also, at London Tech Week, Microsoft UK’s CEO, Clare Barclay, touched on speed. She took to the stage and opened with ‘by the time I finish with this keynote, much of what I’ve said will be outdated. That’s how fast innovation is in this space’. She pulled up a slide that really hammered home the impact and speed of generative AI disruption, showing adoption of new technology and its speed. It took Spotify 4.5 years to get to 100 million users, it took Instagram 2.5 years to reach the same milestone, and for TikTok it was nine months. Chat GPT? It took only two months to achieve 100 million users. That level of uptake illustrates how prevalent this technology is, and how no industry is untouched.

Ethical issues

Clare also referenced Microsoft’s responsible AI principles – fairness, reliability and safety, privacy and security, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability – making the particularly significant point that these are continually reviewed and updated. 

There is a huge ecosystem around generative AI – from the firms developing new applications of AI, to companies providing the tools and the means, as well as the range of organisations deploying generative AI technology. With such huge ramifications on jobs as well as the use of people’s data, every application of generative AI spotlights potential ethical issues, so responsible AI must be discussed openly and through a range of viewpoints. Whether you’re from a large organisation at the forefront of the innovation, or a small firm developing a specific use case for generative AI, all voices must be heard.

The rise of ‘AI washing’

You’ve probably heard of ‘green washing’, well, ‘AI washing’ has the same connotations. Essentially, it’s organisations claiming their offering involves AI technology when the use of AI is minimal. There’s been backlash and fatigue around AI product announcements, and the same will happen on this AI regulation conversation if people wade in with something ‘vanilla’.

My advice is to determine a point of view that highlights your (or your company’s) unique perspective. It can also help to point out elements that have yet to be discussed – maybe small in the grand scheme of things, but important for your industry. Of course, communication professionals love for leaders to have controversial opinions, but in the discussions around regulation that may not be appropriate.

So, whilst AI innovation continues at pace, and regulation struggles to keep up, the need to harness the power of AI responsibly and ethically is a priority for us all. Open discussion, where multiple views are taken into consideration, is how we get there faster.

Social media marketing is an essential string to any comms professional’s bow in today’s industry landscape. Increasingly, B2B and B2C businesses alike are engaging with influencers as part of their social media marketing strategies, and this means managing influencer relations.

Influencer relations is a relatively new concept, meaning that global regulation is far from aligned. When working across Europe, it is therefore important that communications professionals know how to navigate the variety of legal restrictions they may encounter.

Influencer relations is about more than relationships with influencers

As comms professionals, relationships are our bread and butter. When brands engage with a comms agency for their social media strategy, they expect the agency to have great connections with relevant influencers in their sector.

Relationships are crucial, but they’re only one piece of the overall pie. Looking at this from a traditional media relations perspective, we can see why. Yes, it’s important to have that close connection with a journalist to secure press coverage, but comms professionals also need to be excellent content creators, top-notch organisers, and events management afficionados. We’re constantly wearing different hats – and we must do the same when developing an influencer relations programme.

Influencer marketing has legal implications

When scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, you will likely have noticed your favourite creators adding ‘#ad’ to the captions of their posts. This isn’t just a gesture of transparency, but a legal requirement for anyone creating content online in the UK.

In the UK, influencers are regulated by the Competition and Markets Authority. They have a handy guide which sets out how influencers can promote brands and products online. This helps both companies and influencers alike to comply with consumer protection law. Rules are similar in Germany.

Seems simple, right?

Ensuring compliance across borders is crucial

Influencer relations vary significantly across Europe. For example, in France, social media regulation recently shifted. Previously, influencers were not legally bound to signal product placements in their posts, but this is set to change to a more UK-style approach.

How can brands ensure they have an effective influencer relations strategy across Europe?

  • Build a consistent global strategy: Brands should always brief their influencers in line with their global messaging and strategy. Languages and cultures may mean slight variation in outputs, but there should be a common thread through all content.   
  • Remain conscious of local nuances: Listen to local experts about what works in-market. A campaign may work beautifully in one country but fall on deaf ears in another.
  • Engage with a communications agency: Having visibility over local nuances and regulations in every market is tough. A communications agency with an effective influencer relations arm will stand you in good stead for social media success across Europe.

Thinking of boosting your influencer relations strategy in Europe? Get in touch!

Since its big reveal in November 2022, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has dominated headlines all across the world. It is being touted as a technology with the potential to change our lives – for better, or worse. Across the internet, we’ve seen examples of how the AI-powered language model can complete tasks faster, and in some cases better, than humans. Tasks ranged from writing emails, to composing song lyrics, drafting academic essays and everything in between. 

AI that can create new content, also known as generative AI, has faced its share of ethical concerns over the past months. If a chatbot can write articles and generate images in a matter of seconds, what will that mean for the humans who rely on these skills to earn a living? However, it needn’t be all doom and gloom. This technology holds the potentially to enable people to do their jobs better, faster and with greater ease.

In the B2B tech PR and communications industry, there are several ways that generative AI could revolutionise how we work. As an experiment, I asked ChatGPT: ‘’What are the top four ways that generative AI will change the PR and communications industry for the better?’’ This is what it said:

1. Media monitoring and outreach

One key area ChatGPT said it could help comms professionals is in monitoring and analysing media coverage more efficiently. It answered, ‘’Generative AI can quickly scan and categorise articles, tweets, and other social media posts, enabling PR teams to stay on top of the news and respond to emerging trends and issues.’’

The chatbot identified media outreach as another way to support PR teams, assisting them in ‘’identifying relevant journalists and influencers, quickly scanning databases of journalists and their previous articles, enabling PR teams to tailor their pitches to specific reporters and outlets.’’

2. Reputation management

Reputation management is another area of specialisation for PR professionals, which ChatGPT said it could enable them to do with greater ease. It stated, ‘’Generative AI can help PR teams manage their clients’ online reputation by monitoring social media and other online channels for mentions of the brand or key executives. This technology can quickly flag negative comments or reviews and provide insights into sentiment and key topics.’’

3. Crisis management

In a similar vein to the points above, ChatGPT said that its ability to quickly scan and monitor media trends can support comms professionals with managing a crisis. ’By monitoring social media and news sources, generative AI can assist PR teams in identifying emerging issues and responding proactively to mitigate damage to the brand’s reputation,’’ it wrote.

4. Content creation

Generative AI also has the ability to support with content creation by ‘’quickly generating press releases, blog posts, and social media updates, freeing up PR teams to focus on higher-level strategy and relationship-building activities.’’

Interestingly, ChatGPT revealed that, on its own, generative AI cannot replace the valuable time and effort communications professionals spend on strategy, planning, pitching and relationship building.  Additionally, while it can create content quickly, the content is not necessarily better in quality than what would be produced by an experienced comms professional.

This technology has the potential to enable teams to do their jobs faster and more effectively by drawing on data that already exists to help reduce manual processes. It’s clear that there is still much more on the horizon for generative AI and how it will change daily operations. For now, it appears that it will be an innovative way to help teams go above and beyond for clients, allowing them to focus the majority of their time on the aspects of our jobs that are most valuable – devising new and creative campaigns, as well as producing original, thought-provoking content that makes an impact.   

Is it time to shape your reputation?

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