What does ChatGPT and AI mean for charities

How will tools like ChatGPT impact charity communications

A lot of readers of this blog will have seen the recent fuss over ChatGPT, the AI diriven software that's creating panic in the eduction sector as it can reputedly answer set questions and generate essays in ways that are undetectable to teachers and to plagiarism dectection software. Given that the uses of ChatGPT and other tools are set to disrupt many other areas of our lives beyond education, how might this technology impact on the work of communication teams in the charity sector, especially in terms of website content creation and social media? If we look at copywriting alone we can isolate the following impacts:

  • Consistency: ChatGPT can be trained to understand the tone, language, and messaging of a charity, ensuring that all written communications are consistent in style and messaging.
  • Speed: ChatGPT can generate high-quality copy at a faster pace than human writers, allowing charity teams to meet tight deadlines and respond quickly to emerging opportunities.
  • Personalization: With its advanced language processing capabilities, ChatGPT can generate copy that is tailored to specific audiences, increasing the relevance and impact of the message.
  • Data-driven insights: ChatGPT can analyze data and trends in real-time, providing valuable insights that can inform and improve copywriting.
  • Automation of repetitive tasks: By automating routine tasks such as generating email templates, reports, and social media posts, ChatGPT can free up time for human copywriters to focus on higher-level and creative tasks.

As you might have guessed, these bullet points above were kindly supplied to me by ChatGPT! While some commentators have been understandably critical of the shortcomings of the tool, I think it will offer a number of irrististable advantages for charities as it helps to promote messaging. It's not perfect by any means but it can certainly help provide templates for cohrent targeted content and its algorithms can supply you with concise and powerful posts and tweets that pick up on the most effective keywords and hashtags. That said, it raises serious questions. For example, authenticity - how might supporters and donors feel about receiving newsletters largely crafted by AI? How can you signal to your supporters when you are and are not using AI generated content -  how about a 'Made by Humans' kitemark? Indeed, how might your role in your communications team change and what kinds of tasks will disappear and what might replace them? We don't have the answers yet but we do know that the impact will over time be profound. As some tasks become automated, new space might be created for more meaningful communication through other channels. If AI takes away a lot of the heavy lifiting around basic or cornerstone comms tasks can communications professionals focus more time and energy on innovation, nuanced and more personalised interaction?

ChatGPT is not the be all and end all. We don't know as yet exactly how far it will change the work we do but it's worth quoting Amara's Law "We tend to over-estimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run." Don't believe all the hype just yet but it is wise to prepare for the coming change.