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Gradually but surely, each click, like, and share is becoming the lifeblood of modern communication, and for that reason AI technologies are now becoming the harbingers of both hope and threat.

An overwhelming amount of AI-generated fake content is already available online. The potential for an infinite supply points to the potential dangers and strong influence that could arise through the use of AI to manipulate the online media with the intent of changing people's perceptions.

We're all in the same boat as communication specialists, navigating AI's influence on our worldviews. It's a wake-up call to organizations, public relations departments, marketing teams—you name it—to adapt or risk getting left behind in this changing environment.

So where does one even begin?

Cutting Through the Digital Noise

Most marketers have by now accepted that AI will have a massive impact on the direction of the industry. That impact is already manifest; it's not just a prediction. The question is not whether AI will change the world, but when and how—and who will adapt accordingly.

AI-generated content levels the playing field for small businesses, allowing them to compete with larger ones but also potentially leading to a proliferation of spam content.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of marketers to upgrade their strategies, acknowledging that a strong top-of-funnel approach aids the middle and bottom stages, making sure they don't get drowned in between by all the AI-generated content.

Turning Challenges Into Opportunities

Now, before worrying about lack of AI training (to be fair: only 7% of employers do), we should see that lack as an opportunity and a call to action to convert AI from harmful to beneficial—in the process keeping ahead of those who refuse to adapt to AI's presence.

We all know about search engine algorithms, but most do not know that the media has its own "algorithm" for putting out content. And different types of media do, as well. That's why learning ins and outs of utilizing AI's media algorithms is the next frontier in the constantly changing world of media and AI manipulation.

A carefully designed communication strategy from the get-go could be critical for constructing narratives and leading audiences toward the intended behavior.

During a time when algorithms are the savior, knowing how the media's algorithms work, and how to apply them in your favor, is of the essence if you want to build brands together with a smart marketing strategy.

Doing so ensures a long run of success in the digital domain, where algorithms play a massive role in shaping user experiences and content consumption flows.

Navigating the Dual Nature of AI

First, artificial intelligence can be a two-edged sword: It can both empower and challenge the principles of genuineness and authenticity.

The better side AI:

  • Promises a revolution in productivity and creativity in a variety of fields, including communication and marketing
  • Constitutes a breakthrough that has the power to completely transform consumer encounters, optimize communications, and accurately identify patterns

On the other side, AI use may result in risky and unethical output:

  • Spammy content in lieu of genuine communication that catches the ire of media outlets and Google alike
  • Rejected media pitches and content because they are totally AI-generated
  • Too much content generated, causing Google to crack down (Note: it's happening)
  • False information and the resulting negative influence on public perception

Forging Ahead Toward Innovative and Genuine Communication Strategies

What will set communications professionals apart in the future?

The very first step will involve openness, transparency, and thought leadership. By taking that approach, businesses will be able to tightly customize their messaging and optimize their content distribution utilizing AI to study the audience's preferences and patterns.

A robust communication strategy can recognize...

  • Important executives or specialists whose opinions align with the interests of your target audience, proving their authority in the field
  • Connections with media outlets that wield influence consistent with the brand's values, thus raising brand reputation
  • Innovative storytelling techniques aimed at captivating audiences and making a lasting impression, including interactive advertising or immersive experiences

Take into account, for instance, B2B marketing strategies. A business with activities that depend on trust needs to select the most workable marketing strategy to present their products and services to the market. Nevertheless, it's about more than just finding the coolest strategies; it's about pinpointing those that really work best and that are most in line with the core values and ethos of the organization. That is where brand awareness, and the court of public opinion, begins.

Establishing your company as a thought leader fosters familiarity and makes people say, "Ah, I remember them from somewhere" when they see advertisements or content from your other marketing efforts.

In this new cognitive revolution era, and amid the proliferation of content, thought leadership is paramount—and possibly even a duty of brands that are changing the status quo for the better. Who else will be the bastion of education and the beacon of hope to your audiences?

Preserving Our Humanity

In this race for AI dominance, there is one thing we cannot give up: our humanity.

Human involvement should accompany AI advancement, utilizing AI to enhance innovation and creativity. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Dominate with an authentic thought leadership strategy at the very top of the funnel, in the court of public opinion, to change minds and get people to think newly
  • Craft a human-centered plan to assure people that AI enhances, not replaces, human creativity
  • Encourage your teams to be creative with AI to figure out how to effectively apply it to each area of your plan
  • Use AI to level up your team's skills—not replace them

* * *

Ai is a cognitive awakening waiting to be released onto the world, making individuals into better creators, better marketers, better humans.

However, with great power comes great responsibility, and it's the responsibility of humans to steer AI to be a force for good, using it with skepticism and commitment to ethical conduct.

More Resources on AI and Communication/PR

The AI Conundrum: Should B2B Communicators Embrace ChatGPT?

How Marketers Are Getting AI All Wrong (And What to Do About It)

How Communications Pros Should 'Date' AI

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AI's Tug-of-War: Balancing Innovation and Integrity in Marketing Communications

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image of Karla Jo Helms

Karla Jo Helms is founder and CEO at JOTO PR Disruptors, employs "Anti-PR" and innovation to spark conversation and effect meaningful change and influence market perceptions globally.

LinkedIn: Karla Jo Helms