How to use ChatGPT to draft your next press release

How to use ChatGPT to draft your next press release

How to use the chatbots to make press releases even easier

Many public relations professionals agree that drafting press releases is not the most fun part of the job (the most fun part is obviously, the meetings). Press releases are a necessary evil, sure. They communicate important brand updates, absolutely. But more often than not, a PR professional would much rather spend their time doing anything else instead of writing endless press releases for their brand(s). This is where AI comes in. Thanks to the rapid advancement in AI tech, we can now turn this tedious task over (at least in part) to the chatbots.

There is a right and a wrong way to do this, however. Below, we'll talk about the right way to use ChatGPT for your PR, the wrong way, and why you should invest the extra time in doing it properly without being a spammy mess. Sound vague but promising? Read on!

Press releases in 2023

The standard press release has had a real glow-up in the past couple of decades. With the modernization of PR and the democratization of earned press coverage, the average press release went from something drab and boring to be used in a wire service or sent via the post office (whatever that is):

Effective, sure, but not aesthetic.
Effective, sure, but not aesthetic.

To something gorgeous and powerful, to be sent over the internet in a flash:

Stunning, visionary, adorable
Stunning, visionary, adorable

The internet has dramatically changed not only how press releases look but how they're stored, distributed, and the value they provide to brands. And arguably, this is a good thing. Press releases have so much more capacity to tell a story and land media coverage than when the industry was completely reliant on paper PR and wire services.

We at Prezly are big fans of gorgeous, useful, meaningful press releases. We've talked at length about the best way to write them, the best way to distribute them, and even how long they should be.

But things are starting to change once again...

How AI is changing the modern press release

With the explosion of artificial intelligence software and generative AI chatbots, the public relations field is expected to undergo another massive industry upheaval. Some are praising this change as an amazing time-saver, and others aren't so convinced it's a good thing.

Regardless of your ideological stance, generative AI is here and probably isn't going anywhere anytime soon. We predict that many (if not most) press releases in the future are going to be informed by (or completely written by) generative AI chatbots and tools.

So, what is the best way to use chatbots like Bard and ChatGPT to assist in the press release writing process? There is certainly a right and wrong way to use ChatGPT to assist in the press release process.

The best ways to use ChatGPT for your press releases

ChatGPT (and Bard and Jasper and all generative AI) are great for brainstorming and generating first drafts of things. You should never, ever publish anything directly from ChatGPT for a variety of ethical and professional reasons.

But you can ask it to give you a pretty decent starting point. Here's an example workflow to create a press release out of generative AI chatbots.

Step 1: Lower your expectations

Healthy expectations are key to any new technological endeavor!

But really, though. If you go on Twitter for any length of time, you might assume that the modern workforce has completely ended as we know it. Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but for now, our jobs are safe because ChatGPT just really isn't that good.

This might be a hot take because so many people are raving about Open AI, Bard, and their binary friends. But the truth is, AI Language Learning Models aren't groundbreaking. There isn't novel content on there that hasn't been widely available on all the search engines for years now. It's content that is presented in such a way that feels natural because it's responding to a specific request you gave it, and people feel comfortable simply copying and pasting the information and passing it off as their own, but it doesn't mean new and quality information is being presented.

Step 2: Create your prompt

Let ChatGPT know what you're up to. Give the chatbot a starting place to make your press release draft by giving it as much specific (or vague) information as possible.

Some example prompts include:

  • Write a 400-word press release about a small bookseller going out of business because of a giant New York bookseller conglomerate
  • Write a press release about a plucky sports agent who gets fired and is striking out on his own with a freelance agency
  • Write a press release about the local royal who was recovered from a kidnapping and who married her rescuer

Give ChatGPT what you want to write about and it'll do what it does. Obviously, the more specific your requests are, the more tailored your response will be. Let's look at a real, practical example.

The input:

Write a press release for a new MMORPG video game with a heavy emphasis on collaborative gameplay. Make the tone light-hearted but professional.

Here's what ChatGPT gave:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Embark on an Epic Adventure with the Unveiling of "Fantasia Quest" - A Revolutionary MMORPG with Unparalleled Collaborative Gameplay

[City, Date] - The wait is over! Today, we are thrilled to announce the arrival of "Fantasia Quest," an immersive massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that will redefine the way gamers experience cooperative play. Developed by [Game Studio], "Fantasia Quest" is set to captivate gamers worldwide with its unique blend of whimsical charm and unparalleled collaborative gameplay.

Prepare to be transported to a breathtaking world of magic, wonder, and endless possibilities. In "Fantasia Quest," players will embark on an epic adventure filled with fantastical creatures, hidden treasures, and thrilling challenges. But what truly sets this game apart is its groundbreaking emphasis on collaboration.

Forget about solo quests and lonely adventures! "Fantasia Quest" encourages players to join forces, forge alliances, and unite their skills and strengths to conquer the toughest challenges. Whether you're a cunning rogue, a mighty warrior, a wise mage, or a nimble archer, the game seamlessly integrates a cooperative gameplay experience that will keep you engaged and entertained like never before.

"We wanted to create a game that not only transports players to a rich and vibrant fantasy world but also fosters a sense of camaraderie and teamwork," said [Game Studio CEO]. "With 'Fantasia Quest,' we aim to revolutionize the MMORPG genre by placing the power of collaboration at the core of the gaming experience. We believe that the bonds forged in the game will extend beyond the virtual realm, bringing players together in an extraordinary adventure."

"Fantasia Quest" offers a multitude of cooperative features that ensure players can immerse themselves fully in the collaborative spirit of the game. From epic raids, where teams of adventurers band together to defeat colossal bosses, to cooperative crafting, where players combine their skills to create powerful weapons and armor, the possibilities for collaboration are endless.

Moreover, the game provides a vibrant community hub, where players can join guilds, participate in lively discussions, and strategize with fellow gamers. Engaging events and thrilling challenges will also keep the gameplay experience fresh and exciting, encouraging players to continually work together and reach new heights of success.

"Fantasia Quest" has been meticulously crafted with stunning visuals, a captivating storyline, and an intuitive user interface, ensuring that both seasoned MMORPG veterans and newcomers alike will feel right at home in this enchanting world. The game will be available on all major gaming platforms, including PC, console, and mobile devices, enabling players to connect and collaborate with friends across different platforms seamlessly.

Prepare to embark on a cooperative journey like no other! Join us on [Game Studio]'s official website and social media channels for the latest updates, sneak peeks, and exclusive content. Stay tuned for the official launch of "Fantasia Quest," and get ready to unleash your collaborative prowess in the most exciting MMORPG adventure of the decade!

About [Game Studio] [Game Studio] is a leading video game development company renowned for creating immersive and innovative gaming experiences. With a passionate team of developers and designers, [Game Studio] has produced critically acclaimed titles enjoyed by millions of players worldwide. [Game Studio]'s commitment to pushing the boundaries of interactive entertainment continues with the upcoming release of "Fantasia Quest," a groundbreaking MMORPG that emphasizes collaborative gameplay.

Press Contact: [Contact Name] [Title] [Email Address] [Phone Number]

Now, obviously, this is a bunch of nonsense based on nothing. But it is a start, a decent rubric to follow, and a jumping-off for your own special creativity. You will still need to spend a decent amount of time editing, adding your branding, and making it reflect your "voice," similar to The Olden Days when we used to type "press release template" into Google and gussy up whatever generic rubric it gave us. Nobody would dare dream of using the majority of the stock template, right?

Tech bros on Twitter will tell you, "It's all about the prompt, man," while selling you a course on prompt engineering or whatever nightmarish dystopian phrases they're using to try and make chatbots seem like more than they are. But really, prompt engineering is only reserved for those who plan to basically copy, paste, and publish whatever ChatGPT spits out.

But we're not going to do that, which brings us to...

Step 3. Edit the hell out of it

Here's the fun part. This is the part where you, a seasoned public relations professional, will take everything you've learned over the course of your career and education and apply it directly to the generic, soulless AI copy that you were given.

Okay, it's not really a secret, nor is it particularly a mind-melting life hack. But it is the thing that will differentiate you from the people whose jobs will likely be replaced by AI.

🚨 Remember: if you can't be bothered to write it, other people won't be bothered to read it! 🚨

The point of a press release is to generate earned media coverage for your brand or your clients. There is no reason to shortcut this process. People have been doing lazy, uninspired press releases for decades, and this problem is only going to get worse as people rely more and more heavily on generative AI.

Step 4. No, for real. Don't just publish unedited ChatGPT content

We're heading into a potentially scary new time for PR, marketing, and comms in general. The use and misuse of AI chatbots is priming to be so freaking annoying and will only get worse as more comms people lean into AI as the "industry standard."

So, set yourself apart by not becoming intellectually lazy. Use the tools that work for you, but don't lose that authentic voice that you were hired for. If the CEO can simply reproduce your work with a few (free) simple clicks of a chatbot button, keeping you employed is much harder to justify.

Conclusion

While we can't stop the technological uprising, we can adapt to it. And part of that is not letting our creativity be sapped. ChatGPT does have some fantastic use cases, but creative work and quality writing is not one of them.

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