Professional copywriter and marketer Steven Lewis, of agency Taleist, has honed his craft over a quarter of a century and believes not-for-profits can make great use of artificial intelligence to power their work.
Copywriter and marketer Steven Lewis, of agency Taleist, has honed his craft over a quarter of a century and believes not-for-profits can make great use of artificial intelligence to power their work.
Speaking to hundreds of not-for-profit leaders at an exclusive ICDA webinar this month, Lewis said ChatGPT and other AI tools required proper technique to make them work well.
One of the biggest pitfalls, he said, was AI’s tendency to be “Trumpian” in its pronouncements – providing highly confident answers that would fail a basic fact check.
But employed well, AIs could complement human abilities, especially in organisations lacking experienced writers.
The key was to properly instruct your favourite AI with the right prompts, to “prime” the tool to improve your latest marketing email, fundraising pitch, event invitation or social media post, Steven said.
“The way that I see it, it's like a potter's wheel and clay. If you’re the potter and AI is the wheel, you can just throw something at AI and it will spin and you’ll get clay all over the walls, or you can be there shaping it and working together with ChatGPT to get a much better result”.
In a detailed demonstration to promote an imagined event, Lewis “coached” ChatGPT with a series of parameters, which included audience composition, goals, timing, format, relevance, subject lines, event details, value propositions, speaker information, appropriate personalisation, dodging spam triggers, and the crucial “call to action”.
He demonstrated a workflow in which users engaged ChatGPT in a back-and-forth conversation to ask it to suggest measures and strategies that organisations could take to improve their communications further.
Using those ChatGPT-generated guidelines, users then instruct the tool to use those guidelines to further finetune its answers.
“The more information you can give it about how you want it to write, the better off you're going to be,” Lewis said, noting that some of his prompts ran to more than 300 words.
With effort, organisations could generate content that approached their “voice and tone”.
He said organisations using ChatGPT or other AI tools should not expect perfection, and a reasonable test was to ask “Is what ChatGPT wrote better than what I had before?”.
While there was ““a huge amount more to understand about priming”, the possibilities for NFPs were enormous, he said.
He urged leaders to consider using AI tools as a way of reducing their workload.