Artificial Intelligence: The Latest Tool in Effective Internal Communications

It’s no secret that artificial intelligence, or AI as it’s more commonly known, is the latest buzzword when it comes to corporate communications. But, like any good sci-fi movie plot will tell you, it’s important to carefully consider how to leverage AI tools to supplement the human work of communications teams.

In the past, internal communications have been used simply to communicate to employees. But smart employers know that, in today’s demanding work environment, effective internal communications must be used to communicate to and with employees. It takes  time to thoughtfully develop engaging communications that will resonate with employees and properly align with external communication strategies. As many companies face challenges like staffing shortages or hectic schedules, however, finding this time is often easier said than done. That’s where employers turn to outside tools, like AI.

Benefits of Using AI in Internal Communications

Have you ever struggled with where to start on an important employee communication? Or maybe you are tied up and feel a bit crunched for time? In today’s busy workplace, both situations are often the norm. That’s why some content writers and developers are turning to AI tools like ChatGPT, short for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer.

Chatbots like ChatGPT, which are designed to respond to questions and inquiries with “human” answers, are gaining in popularity because they quickly develop solutions for mundane tasks and free up staff time. For example, instead of spending hours finding a good headline or struggling to condense complex information, you can simply use ChatGPT to get you started. In fact, in our increasingly remote work world, we like to think of ChatGPT like a colleague down the hall we can work with to:

  • Generate ideas from scratch
  • Brainstorm copy for a new communication
  • Start an outline for a project
  • Complete a first draft of a written communication, like a company email, press release, mission statement, boilerplate, and more
  • Provide a “second set of eyes” to ensure there are no blatant or obvious errors
  • Ensure you’ve hit all of your key messages

Offloading these tasks can  help save time and increase efficiency because, as even the most skilled writers know, it’s often easier to edit and revise an initial draft than to start one from scratch. Plus, reading through a first-round draft may also help spark further ideas or thoughts.

Challenges of Implementing AI in the Workplace

Of course, AI isn’t perfect, and it has some critical limitations. Because these tools rely on existing information to generate content, they can’t create original ideas, which means they often produce copy that is formulaic or even nonsensical for the subtlety of the topic. This means AI won’t get your brand voice right or produce unique and creative solutions to a problem.

Importantly, AI will not bring the necessary human understanding and empathy to a sensitive employee communication. An announcement that does not capture the nuances of your workplace culture will fall flat with your employees and could spur dissatisfaction or erode trust. That’s why it’s important to keep a human author at the helm of all of your communications. A “real” author will be able to bring their personality and deep understanding of your organization to your copy in a way that a “robot” or a “machine” never could while demonstrating to your employees that you value authentic communication.

And have no fear – it’s completely normal to hear that your employees are experiencing anxiety or uncertainty around whether AI will replace them. If you are implementing AI into your workflow, it’s helpful to have open and honest conversations about how to approach AI and to assure your teams that these tools will not take away their jobs. We also recommend staying up to date on news regarding AI regulation, which has been proposed in the U.S. to address potential non-operational issues like misleading content.

Partnering People with AI for Effective Internal Communications

Today, organizations of all sizes are leveraging AI to accomplish their goals and propel their businesses forward, while remaining cautious about employees’ concerns surrounding AI. From a communications standpoint, AI tools are just that – tools to increase your employees’ organizational productivity. 

As ChatGPT itself said when we asked about the value of human-led communications, “while ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for businesses, it cannot replace the unique value that human employees bring to an organization.”

Are you feeling stretched thin and looking for new ways to infuse creative and more efficient communications into your company? While AI might be a useful tool, here at IRI, we believe that every business is different, and each requires its own holistic and customized approach to communications. Whether you need an internal communications assessment, guidance in developing your internal communications strategy, digital media intelligence, crisis communications services, social media strategy, media relations, or media training, we have expert communications consultants who can quickly provide a specialized solution. Contact us today to discuss the next steps, give us a call at (313) 965-0350.