Guide for Communicators: Boost Your Business with AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) might be the trendy buzzword in the market, but in reality, it is a global mega trend transforming sectors. AI is an exponentially growing force across industries, with new AI products revolutionizing the market and adding ease of doing business as a core component of the workspace. Giants like Google, Microsoft, Meta and Salesforce have integrated AI into their business solutions.

McKinsey’s Global Institute has indicated that AI will create up to $2.6 trillion in business value in marketing and sales alone and $2 trillion for supply chain management and manufacturing.

In communications, AI’s ability to process human language has made it easier for companies to comprehend individual behavior patterns, preferences, opinions and interests to deliver more effective campaign strategies, customizing them based on clients’ specific requirements. For businesses to thrive, AI can be deployed in several ways depending on the company’s needs, and the intelligence insights derived from the collated data can be used to harvest various business benefits.

Organizations can now use AI applications for everything ranging from trend analysis, tracking and monitoring, to mining social data, which can be used to drive engagement for clients and optimize logistics and efficiency while managing the company’s assets.

Famous examples of AI-enabled applications used extensively by communicators include Grammarly, which uses AI to suggest solutions and options to improve written communications. Beautiful.ai uses AI to design presentations automatically. HyperWrite and various AI Writers are more eloquent AI that write your entire sentences, paragraphs and even blogs (who knows, this whole blog might be written by an AI). Finally, the most exhaustively used AI-powered listening tools such as Talkwalker are used by communications specialists for various features such as topic categorization, image recognition, sentiment analysis and crisis detection among others. Moreover, large language models such as GPT-3 and PaLM are revolutionizing the world of language understanding and are yet to be utilized in communications.

In fact, in many ways, AI possesses the potential to transform the way we approach PR and marketing communications. Some simple measures to seamlessly incorporate AI in our communications practice include:

  • Speech-to-text technology: Converting audio/speech to text is extremely helpful for meetings or media interview transcripts and searching within podcasts or during press conferences to craft press releases/notes after it.
  • Monitoring video authenticity: AI-enabled tools can be used to identify ‘deepfake’ videos.
  • Crisis monitoring and prediction: AI models can be used to predict and detect a crisis before it becomes severe.
  • Natural language generation/understanding: AI models can create content automatically using NLG/NLU and translate it into multiple languages for broader distribution.
  • Sentiment analysis: AI tools used for mapping advanced sentiment analysis on social media posts, media clippings and more.
  • Chatbots: Voice-enabled and text chatbots are more efficient and faster than emails, response resolution calls or looking up the help centre on websites.
  • Sonic or audio branding: Creating an audio strategy for your client is the next big thing now. With the massive reach and brand visibility added by podcasting, it is an intelligent element to stitch into your strategy.

As a part of our AI Comms Lab at APCO, we offer our clients exclusive AI services as a part of our ‘Virtual Communications Platform’. Our service offerings include a first-of-its-kind multilingual and digital platform for clients, media and journalists (among other stakeholders) to communicate from anywhere in the world on key client announcements, in-person or virtual (hybrid) events, crisis communications and high-engagement media gatherings. Our offerings also include live multilingual press conferences with simultaneous translation.

In addition, as part of the AI Comms Lab’s service offering, we have developed a specialized APCO AI Framework, a highly scalable and customizable AI-driven framework that can aggregate data from various sources, analyze them using the latest AI techniques and visualize the hidden insights and findings on interactive dashboards. On top of this framework, we were able to develop various platforms. Among those, one platform is focused on the benchmarking of entities/persons along with reasoning, a deep dive on the various KPIs impacting the benchmark and suggestions on how to improve the client’s positioning using AI and various simulation methods. Another platform is tailored towards providing a deep understanding of behaviors, demographics and opinions of various communities towards a specific topic and how they correlate across different platforms and data sources.

AI is having its moment in the industry. Despite all its challenges and limitations such as the talent gap, governance, data quality, explainability, and biases, it is the logical and cost-effective way for companies to progress and exponentially increase their revenue and brand visibility. It is a crucial tool that helps us in communications, making many of our daily tasks easier, faster and more effective. As communicators, we should embrace this tech gift in our communications practice as it has numerous benefits by adding to the revenue and increasing the company’s efficiency and productivity.

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