By Jesse Taylor
As a third-year public relations student at Temple University, I have always been told the importance of writing. I’ve spent time as a student learning to the craft through classes and extracurriculars, not to mention writing for fun. But as I begin my career, the work I’ve been putting in may be challenged by a technology – ChatGPT that’s taking the world by storm.
Even though artificial intelligence is not an entirely new concept, this specific program has been gaining traction due to its incredible abilities. You can have it write just about anything for you, and in the world of public relations (where writing is key), this can be a huge benefit. I’ve been against the use of artificial intelligence, but I spent an afternoon testing ChatGPT and was shocked by the results.
Humans have something that technology lacks – feelings. So, can AI write in a manner to produce a certain tone and feeling? I decided to first experiment with an introduction to a blog. I asked it to write me an introduction to a blog about public relations students using ChatGPT. Here’s what it produced…
“Public relations is a critical field that involves creating and maintaining a positive image for individuals, organizations, and companies. With the rise of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, the role of public relations professionals has become even more essential. To stay ahead of the game, many students in public relations are turning to ChatGPT, a powerful language model that can assist with research, writing, and communication.”
To me, this seemed robotic. It lacked the personal touches that a good blog entails.
For another prompt, I asked it to write a press release. To my surprise, it produced a near-perfect release from two sentences of information I gave about an upcoming event, even pulling the details and a quote from the Internet. If the event information is not available on the internet, ChatGPT is still able to write a release if provided the details. I tested this by creating a fake event where I would be the host of a Q and A about my experience as a student at Temple University. I entered a time, place, date and broad details about what I would talk about at the fake event. Here’s what it wrote:
“Philadelphia, PA – Temple University is pleased to announce an upcoming event called “Q and A with Jesse Taylor,” which will take place on April 30, 2023, at Mitten Hall. The event will feature Jesse Taylor, a Public Relations student at Temple, who will share her insights and experiences about the university and her involvement in extracurricular activities and internships.”
ChatGPT produced a well-written press release including four paragraphs and a boilerplate about Temple University. Some edits were needed, but at the least it acted as a time-saving outline.
Learning about AI tools
So, should PR students be learning about AI tools? Innovation is inevitable, and aspiring PR pros should be taught what to expect in their future careers. AI tools are becoming the future, and as aspiring practitioners start to enter the field, students should have knowledge of the tools that will impact them. As of now, I haven’t had any lessons dedicated to AI tools, but conversations have been happening in my classes as to whether we would like to learn about them. My professors have been conducting research on AI from students, and although they couldn’t share their findings with me yet, it will be interesting to see how my fellow classmates feel about this emerging technology.
I don’t want to rely solely on artificial intelligence for my writing, but it’s a valuable tool that I can anticipate serving a purpose in my future career.
*Headline written by ChatGPT
Rising Stars is a series of thoughts, reflections and perspectives by the interns at Devine + Partners. Jesse Taylor served as a spring intern at Devine+Partners. She is a junior public relations major at Temple University with a general business studies minor.