When it comes to writing, the biggest challenge is often getting started. Well, perhaps no more. Instead of staring at a blank Word document, or an empty piece of paper, we can now open an AI writing tool.

I did this myself when formulating this article – as an experiment. I asked ChatGPT for 600 words on whether AI means communicators still need to be able to write, and within seconds, I had a full piece in front of me. And not a bad one either.

You will be glad to know that ChatGPT’s answer was a “resounding yes”; communicators still need to be able to write. So, communication professionals, don’t pack away your keyboards and pens just yet.

 

A good way to get started

As my experiment demonstrated, AI writing tools can be a fantastic way to start writing content. Whether it be a blog, an article, or an email, AI gives comms professionals a template from which to work. This not only saves time but alleviates the all-too-familiar writer’s block – which we know ranks high among your writing challenges.

The support doesn’t stop there. Tools like ChatGPT can edit, summarise and condense written pieces – and generate secondary content from the original copy. AI can also be a valuable second pair of eyes on your writing, spotting grammatical and spelling mistakes and making suggestions to improve clarity. Beyond that, it can support your SEO strategy, translate copy for different audiences and test the clarity of messages.

What’s not to like about all of that?

Well, AI has its drawbacks.

 

AI isn’t secure

As you’ll likely have heard from your legal team, AI can’t be trusted with sensitive and confidential company data. There’s a limit to what you can input into an AI tool, and as such, a limit to what you will get out of it.

 

AI isn’t as creative as us

For comms professionals, creativity is often the goal – as well as a challenge. And while an AI writing tool can be great for inspiration, we need to be aware of its creative limitations.

Pulling on existing data and information, AI writing tools produce text that is far from original. You might find it generating the very jargon and cliches you’ve been encouraged to omit from your writing. That’s why the human touch is so important.

 

AI isn’t always accurate

Like us humans, AI also makes mistakes – and reports of information inaccuracies are widespread. This is why it can’t be used blindly – and human judgement is essential. This is especially important when using grammar checkers, which can suggest changes that completely alter the meaning of the text and make little sense in the context.

 

AI doesn’t know your business – and your audience – like you do

We shouldn’t be too hard on AI tools. Unlike you, the AI tool you select from the top of your Google search doesn’t know your business – and the people in it – as you do. It doesn’t have the same level of context. And herein lie its substantial limitations.

As comms people, you know better than anyone how personal communication is. When disseminating messages, it is often more about how things are said than what is said. Tone, style, emotion and context are critical to comms writing, and this cannot be delivered solely by AI.

Think back to the last important email or sensitive memo your team dedicated time to crafting. Would AI have been able to capture the nuance and human aspect in the same way? Probably not.

Again, it comes down to using human judgement to ascertain when AI writing tools are appropriate to get you started – or give you a steer – and when they simply won’t make the cut.

 

Making efficient use of AI takes skill

As we shared in a previous post about GenAI, we know that AI tools are making life easier for comms professionals – by saving time and speeding up tasks – especially with writing. But AI has deep limitations when it comes to creativity, accuracy and context. Unlike the comms writer, it doesn’t have extensive knowledge about your business and the people in it.

AI is a valuable tool to support your writing – and should be regarded as such. But AI writing software cannot yet replace the writer – and the style, emotion and insight that each comms professional brings. Instead of rendering writing obsolete, AI magnifies the need for communicators to have good writing and editing skills. Ultimately, AI can’t be successfully utilised if the writer deploying it doesn’t have a discerning eye and creative ability.


Want to help your comms team make the most of AI?

We know you want to ensure your comms team is using AI effectively – and safely. That’s why we’ve updated our communications writing course with a dedicated focus on harnessing AI for content creation. Using practical examples and stories from within your organisation, across two modules, our hybrid training course can help your comms team to:

  • Examine when and where to use AI.
  • Evaluate the accuracy, reliability and credibility of AI outputs.
  • Rethink the editing process to optimise effort and outcomes using AI.

Request the full training agenda to see how our writing course can help your comms team strengthen their writing skills and harness AI.