Business is accelerating at the speed of data.
Organizations that stay ahead of that curve find competitive advantages in faster, more accurate decision-making that supports better communication throughout the supply chain; more effective customer acquisition and retention; and a higher brand profile in the market.
Businesses leverage that advantage in communications by using artificial intelligence (AI) — the technology that collects, organizes, analyzes and distributes data — to accelerate internal and external messaging.
Moreover, AI may eventually replace humans in corporate communications, as Anthony Petrucci, the Senior Director of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs at HID Global, wrote in Forbes: "AI will make it possible for corporate communications to communicate directly with machines as part of daily routine work. It is somewhat radical to think of distributing information to robots, but it is coming, perhaps sooner than you think."
Business professionals seeking to enter corporate communications or advance their careers can enroll in an advanced degree program, such as the Master of Science in Strategic Communications from Arkansas State University (A-State), that concentrate on evolving technologies, laws and policies governing the use of data.
How Is AI Changing Corporate Communications?
For instance, algorithms map buyer behavior to support automated customer services like online chatbots and voice-based home assistants. In addition, operations and processes deliver metrics on the quality and impact of descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.
Moreover, AI's capability to deliver insights and information in real time is speeding up communication throughout the enterprise with benefits that:
- Enable faster crisis-response that is data-supported rather than those influenced by emotional responses to the situation
- Create stronger customer connections by allowing precise segmentation in B2B and B2C markets down to micro-customized messaging for individual customers
- Deliver better metrics faster to support corporate communications, product development and marketing and advertising teams' abilities to enrich brand reputation, reach and promise.
For every benefit, though, there is a cost. The vast and growing volume of customer data that AI collects, processes and distributes presents new legal and ethical considerations for businesses to consider.
"Data privacy is already a huge concern for tech brands and social media giants [that] have routinely found themselves in the hot seat for data transgressions," PR Week notes. "And because AI uses vast amounts of data, these issues will only get more complicated."
What Are the Prospects of new Federal Regulations?
WE | Brands in Motion, a global barometer of customer sentiment, reported in its white paper, Innovation, Ethics and Reason, that respondents in a 2018 survey "have overwhelmingly high expectations of how brands use their technology."
- 97% said brands have a responsibility to use data ethically
- 94% said if they don't, the government should step in to ensure it
Therefore, corporate communications professionals using AI to shape messaging within and outside of the organization must be involved in internal processes for governing the use of data to avoid bias, ensure diversity and protect privacy.
The Institute for Public Relations notes that remaining in good ethical standing is growing more complex because of the volume of data AI generates and consumes and the speed at which it delivers it.
"The test of a well-reflected ethical decision is one that has survived scrutiny and challenge in thought, intent and execution," it notes in the summary of its review of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations white paper Artificial Intelligence in Public Relations.
How Are Corporate Communications Professionals Preparing for the Changes?
Entry into the field and career advancement will require knowledge of government regulation and policies, communication management and quantitative research methods.
The A-State online MS in Strategic Communications program with an emphasis in Technology Law and Policy provides graduates with a competitive advantage developed through coursework that deepens critical thinking skills, builds expertise in analytics and delivers insights into theory and practice.Learn more about Arkansas State University's online Master of Science in Strategic Communications with an Emphasis in Technology Law and Policy online program