ChatGPT for Internal Communications:

The great enabler or distractor?

Internal communicators are divided about what generative AI systems will mean for the future of their profession, and for good reason considering the ‘soul’ of our profession is authentic conversations. With some experts arguing AI may lead to people relying on a machine to have conversations for them; it has many worried it could lead to a loss of genuine human connection.

There’s an incredible amount said online about ChatGPT and AI  – no one can argue  there’s a lot of interest. In fact, since launching in November 2022 according to the latest available data , ChatGPT currently has over 100 million users. And the website currently generates 1.8 billion visitors per month!

We sat down with APAC IC Heads to better understand how they see the impact of AI on our function, and how if possible, IC Leaders could harness AI tech to benefit the function and reduce workload.

Pros #1: Content Creation

The greatest opportunity rests with using ChatGPT to generate content. Whether it is anything from drafting an article, creating headline options or crafting thought leadership, ChatGPT presents a great opportunity for IC teams. For many, crafting headlines across different mediums (long vs. short form) can take up an arduous amount of time, where using this tool could quickly generate a multitude of headline ideas based on the content you’ve written and submitted, enabling you to choose the best title

With many beginning to see these benefits in form, there are some immediate results flowing in; one Head of IC told us that by merely imputing keywords and titles, a topic idea and some examples of style and voice, she was able to generate a piece of thought leadership on behalf of her CEO within 15 minutes. Quality remains a challenge, , however, the AI generated output formed the foundation for the IC Leader to work from, enabling her to carve in the personal intricacies and nuances of that CEO, and polish off the piece.

 ‘We have this content monster that needs constant feeding, and quite frankly my team do not have the capacity to meet that need’ said one Head of IC ‘so we have to turn to other platforms.’

Pros #2: Personalised messaging: 

With an ever-dispersed workforce, not just geographically, but also with an added layer of complexity of time, i.e., when and how employees consume content, therefore, as a function we are driven to identify new ways to personalise messaging.

Described by the  Harvard Business review  ”ChatGPT can create audience-tailored versions of communications that may resonate more and clash less with each group, particularly eyebrow-raising is its ability to do so responding to prompts with behavioural science cues — crafting surprisingly appropriate messages for particular personality traits, worldviews, and so on.

Many in the IC group have experimented and found success using ChatGPT to adapt content to specific audiences and different platforms.

“With the way people like to work rapidly changing, especially since COVID and with workforce upwards of 100,000+, it’s becoming near impossible to manage the level of personalization expected by employees. We are experimenting with this function on ChatGPT to see if we can better manage these outcomes.”

Pros #3: Immediate translation: 

All the leaders at the event who hold a blend of regional and or global roles, agreed that where possible, localisation of employee engagement stimulates stronger engagement, but those who are further advanced still admit this is a problem they are yet to solve.  Therefore, they seek solutions that enable this.  AI translation, with the ability to translate and interpret communications real-time, could be an option to enhance intercultural cooperation, ensure inclusivity, and enhance engagement across all markets.

Watch Outs…

Like any new and exciting technology, there are areas we need to be wary and considerate of. The first being privacy, anything entered in ChatGPT is being shared and as a result the tool shouldn’t be used for anything that’s confidential.

Secondly bias, AI is only as good as the data that is put in, in which case it can perpetuate workplace power disparities and prejudices.

Finally, ethics of authorship; raised by one of our Heads of IC, the question of whether content created by ChatGPT should be clearly marked as such. If ChatGPT is a collection of perspectives, the concern lies with the fact that there may be a lack of accountability, hence making communication your own will be critical.

Way Forward

The good news, even if ChatGPT can create the base of content, IC Leaders are critical  to edit the work and add in the ‘human personalised elements’. As one leader said “A communicators job is to interpret what our stakeholders want and to give advice on the best approach and sometimes what they say they want, is not what they actually want”.

Andrews Partnership are the reputation experts, with offices in Hong Kong and Singapore working across Asia, as the leading specialist corporate affairs, communications and investor relations executive search firm. We excel at understanding each organisation's unique challenges and appointing the right talent, who make meaningful business impact.