GenAI and the Human Component: Four Methods for Enhancing B2B Tech PR, Part 2

Engage PR Staff
August 23, 2023

Data and Ethics First, Methods Second

Between the evangelists and the naysayers, statistics and current events provide us with an objective perspective on this emerging technology. Like Zero Trust Network Access solutions or 400G Wavelength services, GenAI isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Spending on AI hit $57.6 billion globally in 2021, with projections estimating its contribution to the U.S. economy will reach $15.7 trillion by 2030. That’s a big vote of confidence from a market contending with a strained economy. However, these projections may not materialize immediately, with Microsoft share prices falling after executives reminded investors they must temper their expectations before expecting quick returns. Meanwhile, nine out of ten businesses report ongoing investments in AI tools, with another 42 percent considering incorporating them into their business processes.  

In recent news, industry luminaries vowed to moderate GenAI, with executives from OpenAI, Amazon Web Services and other tech titans meeting at the White House to announce voluntary commitments to improve GenAI safety and regulation. These voluntary commitments strive to enable the development of “responsible AI” by addressing data security, misleading information and biases. That second concern is especially pertinent for PR pros that live and die by their ability to communicate accurate information credibly and responsibly. As a result, GenAI’s tendency to “hallucinate” incorrect information and present it convincingly should be a key consideration for B2B tech leaders and PR pros.  

Furthermore, researchers easily thwarted the guardrails of popular GenAI tools in a recent report, goading GenAI solutions to output dangerous or misleading information by adding simple suffixes to prompts, with one attempt resulting in GenAI providing bomb-making instructions. This ongoing issue highlights the importance of safety controls and critical thinking to moderate GenAI’s output, with 75 percent of consumers already concerned about AI's potential to spread misinformation. However, the PR industry is taking notice, with 76 percent of PR pros stating critical thinking will become the paramount PR skill of the future with the rising adoption of GenAI tools in the industry.

Data security also remains a persistent concern due to the open-source development approach of many GenAI solutions, with experts claiming vulnerability exploitation will increase without improvements in security standards. However, there are tools being created to minimize GenAI’s data security risks, including Netskope, Nightfall AI and others. Amid this concern, companies must ensure their employees are informed on the data security risks of GenAI and not feeding sensitive company information to GenAI solutions. Otherwise, companies can look to these ancillary solutions to improve GenAI data security.

When advising clients on GenAI, we direct them to stay informed on recent data, regulatory events and concerns. Although GenAI will shape the future of work, this information helps B2B tech leaders discern reality from hype as they strive to maximize their PR efforts without negatively impacting their company’s credibility or ethical responsibility.

PR Pros: Proceed with Optimistic Caution

When embarking on their career, PR pros must develop the skills underlying these methods before relying on GenAI. Brainstorming, critical thinking, strategic decision-making, writing, creativity and research are the nuts and bolts of the PR toolbox. Above all, PR pros must remember that GenAI is an augmentation tool, not a crutch. You must still think on your own two feet as a PR pro because GenAI requires a knowledgeable, competent human to engineer optimal prompts and then vet its output. By developing these fundamental skills independently, PR pros can leverage GenAI without degrading their underlying skillset.  

B2B Tech Companies: Be Careful Chomping at the Bit

To B2B tech companies that think GenAI can replace PR pros – don't be so quick to cut that budget and replace humans with bits and bytes. GenAI is not autonomous and cannot mimic the intricacies of human emotion and critical thinking to the degree it can replace PR pros. GenAI alone is one thing. But the sky is the limit when you combine it with an adept PR pro. As a result, working with a seasoned PR agency that understands your market deeply and augments its efforts with GenAI can provide more value to your business than working with just another generalist PR vendor.  

While B2B tech companies must understand how to leverage GenAI’s powerful capabilities, they must also consider the risks associated with the emerging technology. Proper precautions and contingency plans can help businesses prevent damage to their brand image in the case of erroneous information published from GenAI. As a result, B2B tech companies must make GenAI’s ethical and data security considerations part of their internal training materials and adopt a “distrust but verify” mindset for their GenAI risk management strategy.  

Join us next week for Part 3 of this blog series, where we’ll dive into our first method: Writing Buddy for Content Creation.


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