What ChatGPT and AI Mean for Storytelling

What ChatGPT and AI Mean for Storytelling

In recent years, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the way businesses operate and interact with their customers. One notable example is the emergence of chatbots, computer programs that can mimic human conversation and engage in real-time with users. ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI, is a state-of-the-art chatbot that has taken the marketing world by storm. Its advanced natural language processing capabilities enable it to understand and respond to customer inquiries and provide personalized recommendations. In this blog, we will explore how ChatGPT is impacting marketing agencies, and why businesses should consider incorporating this innovative technology into their marketing strategies.

Okay, I’ll level with you: I didn’t write the paragraph above. ChatGPT did. Pretty good, right? As you can see in this AI-drafted introduction, ChatGPT can write. It’s accurate, grammatically correct and understood my request for an introductory paragraph to a blog. And I got it back in about seven seconds.

Naturally, the emergence of technology that can essentially handle all your research and copywriting for you is revolutionary in the marketing world. Here at Wilbert, we write dozens, if not hundreds, of press releases, email newsletters and social media posts per week, taking up hours of our time. Our clients pay us to do this work because they know our team understands their unique brand stories, their voices and the messages they want to communicate. And while ChatGPT certainly has the right information and the right sentence structure, it has a fundamental flaw: it’s not creative and it doesn’t understand storytelling.

I recently asked ChatGPT to draft a new Instagram bio for Fenton, one of our clients in North Carolina. They needed a refreshed, creative blurb and I wanted to see how ChatGPT would handle the assignment.

Me: Draft an Instagram bio less than 150 characters for this mixed-use community https://fentonnc.com/

ChatGPT: Live, work, and play at Fenton! 🌇 Discover our vibrant mixed-use community offering luxury apartments, retail, dining, and entertainment. #FentonNC

It’s not bad. But if we had sent this to the client as a viable option, they would not have been pleased. I’ll break down a few key issues:

  1. “Live, work and play” is an outdated term in the world of trendy, cutting-edge mixed-use developments and we are not using it in messaging for our clients anymore.
  2. The emoji choice is incorrect; Fenton is a suburban development in a residential area with lots of greenspace, not skyscrapers.
  3. “Discover our vibrant mixed-use community offering luxury apartments, retail, dining, and entertainment” is language we may use in a press release or more B2B communications, but for our B2C Instagram audience I would rather focus on showing consumers they can “dine, stroll, shop, drink, experience” vs. listing out various real estate terms.

So, will I never use ChatGPT again since I know I am a better brand writer and professional storyteller? Not exactly. As you can tell from the examples provided here, ChatGPT is an excellent, fast researcher. While I’d still need to fact-check anything it gives me, it’s a great tool for generating information about a new product, market, tool or trend. If, for example, I want to create a social media post with “five ways to celebrate Earth Day in the office” I might use ChatGPT to suggest some options. It’s a great tool for refining long copy, like I may need to do for a client website or event description blurb. 

However, it has its limits. We can use ChatGPT to research podcasts and influencers, but it cannot research journalists and current news headlines, and it’s no substitute for proper vetting. Many of our reporter contacts have indicated that they will not accept auto-generated responses to their inquiries, and content generated by AI is muddy as far as who owns the intellectual property.

Marketers who learn to work with ChatGPT and use it as one of many tools in their creative arsenal may save time and some brain power, but those who rely too heavily on it will end up telling lower-quality stories for their brand or clients.

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