Generative AI (GenAI) presents communication leaders – and the businesses they serve – with an extraordinary set of tools. But as with any new technology, embedding it in the communications function and wider business brings its own novel challenges. In Kademy’s recent roundtable with communication leaders, we asked how communication teams are approaching GenAI and navigating the opportunities and risks. Here are a few key insights from the discussion to help your communication team benchmark against industry peers.
GenAI usage: On different ends of the scale
We polled communication leaders about their GenAI use and found that some communication teams have embraced it wholeheartedly, while others are dipping their toes in. One communication leader reported that their business has launched its own GenAI software in-house, with all business functions encouraged to deploy it where possible. Other leaders noted that GenAI is used in certain technical business areas but is not used regularly by the communication team.
“We are currently NOT using GenAI from a comms standpoint. There’s encouragement to experiment and test but not to utilize for real execution at the moment.”
There are benefits aplenty…
Communication leaders reported a number of benefits of using GenAI, including creating first drafts of written communication, summarising email communication, and note-taking and task-setting from meetings. GenAI is also helping communication teams to amass and filter a vast amount of data. Ultimately, it enables teams to save time and increase efficiency. Win, win.
“ChatGPT and similar tools have been helpful for first drafts, especially writing content on general topics. The team also likes using tools to adjust voice, tone and more.”
…but challenges abound
Along with the myriad benefits, communication leaders highlighted data protection, confidentiality and security as the most prominent challenges. Incorrect data, the cost of rolling out GenAI software and overconfidence among employees were also flagged as issues to address.
“It’s been quite a task to keep the excitement whilst also trying to spread the doom and gloom message about not putting proprietary data or customer data in.”
A new load on the comms leader’s plate
Communication leaders acknowledged that the rollout of GenAI within the communication team and wider business has added new tasks to their to-do lists. Ultimately, it falls on communication leaders to educate and guide their employees on how to use AI ethically and fairly. This means working closely with legal, risk, HR, and IT teams to create guardrails, policies and training to support the organisation.
Forging ahead with caution
Communication leaders are in no doubt of the gains that can be made from using GenAI, as our roundtable highlighted. That being said, they are embracing the technology with necessary caution. More than anyone in the business, communication leaders know the potential ramifications that could come from a lack of due diligence. As one participant noted, communication leaders would be wise to take a long-lens view of GenAI and avoid rushing towards it like a shiny new toy.
“We’re trying to think about the long-term impact of this, rather than just the low-hanging fruit for right now. So we’re spending a lot of time putting our governance in place…we’ve also launched some training across the organisation.”
Calling communication leaders
If you’d like to engage directly with your peers on topics from AI to change communications and future skills, we’d love to hear from you. As the strategic partner for communication leaders, Kademy’s roundtable series enables communication professionals to tap into the collective wisdom of their peers. To get involved, contact us at email@example.com.