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A Wildfire perspective on AI

Posted by Chris King on 20th May 2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) has rapidly evolved from a novel technology to a vital feature in many new and existing digital tools. Since the advent of ChatGPT, a bucketload of other AI-driven platforms have emerged, each one vying for our attention in an increasingly crowded space.

These tools all promise to revolutionise various industries, including our own world of public relations and comms. They paint themselves as more than just accessories, being central to how agencies like ours operate, innovate, and deliver results. 

As a PR and comms agency specialising in tech, staying ahead of these developments is essential — and part of what we do.

Our approach

We understand the importance of keeping pace with technological advancements to provide top-notch, industry-leading PR and comms services. Unlike many, we don’t chase after every emerging tool and fad. Instead, we prefer to take a more considered approach.

To help make sense of all the noise, we established an AI task force — a team of early adopters and tech aficionados within our agency. These resident geeks were only too happy to volunteer and have helped shape the way we talk about — and interact with — the new tools available to us.

The task force was mandated to explore new AI technologies and evaluate their potential impact on our operations and client relationships. From safeguarding client data to maintaining the high quality of our content, the task force ensures that Wildfire remains a leader in the industry through our innovative and class-leading approach.

The human touch

As AI tools become more capable of generating content relevant to the PR sector, including press releases and blog posts, we at Wildfire recognise their limitations in achieving the standards we uphold. 

Our hiring and career development processes emphasise strong writing skills and real-world experience, ensuring our team members are competent writers and creators. This is a standard we will continue to maintain.

Improper use of AI tools could result in our blogs, articles, and press releases being written in the same style and tone of voice across all our clients. It is essential that we get to know our clients and write in a way that reflects their values and priorities. We want to ensure our team members don’t slip from being great writers into becoming editors of AI-generated content. The human touch needs to be retained in all our output, from ideation through to delivery.

So far, we have set up AI-related training sessions — both internal and through external consultants. By ensuring that the whole team is familiar and comfortable with all things AI, we can start to train them on how to — and importantly how not to — use AI.

An example of where our writers trump any AI platform 100% of the time is in writing copy to be authored by one of our clients. We often know these people, what they write like and even what they sound like. We know the words they love to use and the phrases that they hate hearing. Sure, you can feed a bunch of data into a custom GPT to iron out many of these wrinkles. But the output remains lacking in soul, emotion, and nuance. AI can often miss the mark in how best to make a case and structure an argument.

Many online tools can now recognise AI generated content within an instant. And we now have people in our team who have learned to recognise these tell-tale signs too. By consciously knowing what works and what doesn’t, we are learning how and when it is useful to use an AI tool, and when to trust in our existing strengths.

Of course, there are many examples of how AI helps us write great copy. It’s fantastic at suggesting suitable hashtags for LinkedIn posts. It’s really good at writing meta data by summarising blog copy into simple headers and descriptions. It can help save time by extracting data from spreadsheets or reformatting documents. The key is to use AI to make us better at our jobs —  not to replace the work we once did. 

By integrating AI, we aim to enhance our capabilities without losing the human elements that characterise our work. It’s about striking the perfect balance — using AI to streamline processes while ensuring our content remains engaging, personalised, and distinctly human. In the end, it’s about maintaining editorial control, with AI serving as a tool no different from Excel or Photoshop. We are the masters of our creative process —  and will remain so.

Chris King

Chris’s extensive experience of agency PR, ‘can-do’ attitude and track record for achieving outstanding results time after time make him a firm favourite amongst clients. His natural teaching skills make him an expert mentor and respected MD.