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The PR-marketing-AI survival war: Losing your job is the least of your worries

Scene I - I was scrolling through my LinkedIn feed when I stopped with a jolt. The stop scroll was caused by a series of Obama - Trump beach photos- oozing camaraderie and even a little mush. Yes, you read it right - Donald Trump and Barack Obama on the waves positively beaming at me. Not Michelle Barack, not even Melania - Donald, this was the rivals, Obama and Trump. Before I started my usual overthinking about what this means for world peace and Obama’s marriage, I noticed the caption. This was AI-generated. Duh!

Scene 2 - We were working late at night trying to figure out the launch jingle for Heyo - our startup literally reinventing the way SMBs communicate. We had loads of good things going for the app, the app had gone viral, users were raving about it, and our dashboard looked like a dream. But no matter how much we tried that jingle just did not click. In some desperation, we turned to ChatGPT and there we had a poem. Ok, this wasn't we could straight away lift and shift into a jingle but still the lines were better than a lot of the stuff we had produced. And with ChatGPT throwing an open challenge and some ideas our way, we cracked the lines soon enough.

AI has finally arrived. No good analytics or millions of pre-set rules. Not the fancy stuff that nobody beyond scientists and sophisticated users could use. Not embedded in the expensive toys of billionaires. With Chat GPT and generative AI, AI has moved from being the tool to the artist. From being niche to common. You never knew your competitor in the creative economy isn't the influencer with more followers or the copywriter with the better degree. It is the boring bot now turning into a creator.

And the threat to you as a marketing or PR professional is real. Buzzfeed recently laid off 12% of its workforce, realising like many companies that you can trust AI to write better copy for less.

AI has finally lost that robotic voice and the copy-paste hangover. For routine things or research-based articles, like press releases or tech guides or FAQs, trust AI to finish research faster. You can use tools like Jasper or to add high-quality creatives. Your junior research desk, unoriginal graphics team, or the PR team churning unimaginative routine copies just got fired. 

You can still retain the intelligent sophisticated writers or designers who can work on exclusive pieces or will overlay the AI piece with their own style. In a future world, human-generated content becomes rare enough to attract a hand-made human certificate and premium price tag.

Becoming redundant is still the lesser worry in an AI-created matrix world. Take the Obama-Trump on the beach example. This was too obvious a spoof to be taken seriously. But you see the PR disaster possibilities right? AI can mash together any people and invent fake news at a pace the fake news hunters will be struggling to match. Unless they have better AI to catch the AI-made mess in the first place. If your PR team isn't tech-savvy they can be sitting ducks for an AI-mediated attack. For creative teams knowing tech ceased to be an option a decade ago. In a post chat GPT world tech skill is what will keep them alive.

Rimjhim Ray is a tech entrepreneur, angel investor and board member. She is also on the advisory board of Nasscom Insights and the national president at WICCI angel investment council.

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