Are we expecting AI to run before it can walk?

The potential of artificial intelligence (AI) is incredibly exciting, it could revolutionise the way we live our lives. Whether that’s Manchester’s Peak helping businesses harness the power of AI, London’s V7Labs providing a sophisticated data engine and labelling service, or Cambridge’s Secondmind providing machine learning for sustainable engineering. For the first time, the power of AI seems available to businesses and the masses.

The latest applications have shown real promise for use in day-to-day activities – now we can experience first-hand the automation of time-consuming tasks or how AI can have a hand in creativity. But this explosion of interest in computer-aided intelligence applications (thanks ChatGPT) has also added fuel to the embers of a fire that revives itself frequently. This innovation has sparked the recurrent concern about AI ‘taking over’ or amplifying conscious and unconscious bias.

Back to school

We can’t forget that the computer science concept of GIGO – Garbage In Garbage Out – still applies. Given AI, especially generative AI, is experiencing a peak in its hype cycle, the expectations put on the new launches are in some cases unattainable. While AI has the ability to automate repetitive tasks and complete them in times humans simply can’t, its source of information is still us.

As Zoe Kleinman, the BBC’s tech editor, found out recently ChatGPT has a knowledge cut-off of September 2021. As it’s a language model, it doesn’t monitor real-time events. While GPT-4 might leverage more data, still millions are using OpenAI’s generative services and, given the technological world we live in, expect reliable, real-time insight. Even if they initially use the service with some level of scepticism.

If AI isn’t taught with the right data from unbiased and diverse sources, and those lessons don’t continue as the world around it evolves, we have a problem. We send our children to school to learn and we have patience while they build an understanding of the world. So, perhaps we need to slow down when it comes to our AI expectations. Big dreams are essential but a realistic approach is needed.

ABC… The essential building blocks

AI’s challenge is in the technology that powers it but also in how it’s presented to the world. This is where the building blocks of effective and integrated comms strategies come into play. These need to be in place to scale with the company.

When it comes to building this go-to-market approach, businesses need to consider the following three elements. Without a clear vision for each, you’re missing a leg or two of your business’ hypothetical comms stool.

1. Do you know what you’re telling the market?

The challenge: Clearly communicating your USP, your values, and what your business is working towards is essential for growth. A business and its leadership team should be able to explain this succinctly and consistently to ensure the market and its employees are clear on what the offering is, why they need it, and what can be expected to come next.

The action: Getting this wrong could lead to disinterest from your key audience or, in the worst case, false advertising complaints. So, a clear media message that removes the jargon is a necessity to ensure your business’s comms strategy doesn’t try to run before it can walk. Try starting with a brand and media audit, and work with a partner who can deliver a messaging workshop to help your leadership team agree on how the business will be positioned in the media.

The outcome: Built-in brand consistency from day one.

2. How are you differentiating your business?

The challenge: Your potential customers will do their due diligence on you as they build trust with your brand. Whether B2B or B2C in today’s connected world this means checking out your website, your socials, and even the profiles of your leaders. Some studies show that response times from businesses should be within one hour, this immediacy continues when researching your business. If they’re not quickly presented with the information they’re looking for, they’ll switch off.

The action: Once you know what you’re telling the market a strategy can be built to update all relevant copy to ensure you’re differentiating your offering. From your boilerplate to a CEO’s LinkedIn – even your website’s blog cadence. The detail is key. The updated messaging is the first step, and creating and executing the ongoing strategy is the second.

The outcome: An always-on brand output that builds your business’ presence overtime.

3. How are you setting your business up for future success?

The challenge: Engaging with the media is the next step. It’s the key to reaching customers but also ensuring you have an active strategy for attracting the best talent and piquing the interest of future investors. These three core elements are needed to grow your business, without them you’ll miss out on loyal customers, top talent, and unlocking cash flow.

The action: Starting with an always-on press office is great, it acts as the facilitator between the news agenda and your business’s comms pipeline. The activities sit under three core strands:

  • Pushing out proactive news and throughout leadership content
  • Recommending and executive reactive news hijacking
  • Handling inbound queries as your brand awareness grows as a direct result of the first two elements

Once this base is built you can begin to customise to your goals – whether that’s a focused profiling campaign, crisis comms prep, media training exercises, or even research projects.

The outcome: An always-on media presence that evolves with the news agenda while positioning your business as a leader.

If you’re a technology company with an AI-based solution that is struggling to answer the questions posed in this blog, you need help in getting your name out there and connecting with your key audiences. So don’t hesitate to contact our team of expert Tech PR consultants, we’d be happy to discuss how we could help.

Get in touch with the team