Plain Talk About Marketing: AI in content creation

By Kathie Taylor and Jordan Nicholson

Here at IPSM, we are all about research, research, research. It’s one of the only ways to stay on top of ever-changing trends and developments and aspires us to always learn more. Our last podcast episode focused on our research of 2023 Marketing Trend Predictions, and it was no surprise that AI was one of the main things to look out for.

While we don’t fully know what AI will look like in 2023, it’s a good idea to research, stay informed, and maybe try the technology out for yourself. Staying on top of this trend, no matter if you plan to use it or not, will give you the true advantage. Dive into our trials, tribulations, and research on AI we’ve gathered so far.

AI-Generated Content vs. Good, Old-Fashioned Writing

ChatGPT, an open-source artificial intelligence writing program, was launched at the end of November by a company conveniently named OpenAI.

So far, it is free and simple to use. Microsoft has announced it is investing in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, so eventually, I imagine it won’t be free to use (that could just be us being cynical)! (UPDATE: Since this writing, there is now a waiting list for the paid subscription to ChatGPT. This is how quickly this technology disruption is moving!)

How does ChatGPT work?

ChatGPT is being used across a spectrum of industries including marketing. Type in a few prompts like keywords and phrases, how you want the piece to sound (“tell me how to make an apple pie”)1 and whom you want to read it (“tell me like I’m 5”).  and…. voila! You have content – anything from taglines to emails to blog posts and essays. (

Search engine optimization (SEO) professionals love it! SEO is a means to become more visible online by using search keywords in your online text for higher placement on search engines like Google. ChatGPT makes keyword searching for SEO easier by using existing search results to compile a list of like search keywords.

With AI like ChatGPT, the guesswork is gone. The tool finds the information you request and creates the type of piece you want by pulling data from a vast array of sources.

Not so fast, say schools

By early January, school districts around the country were banning the use of it and blocking it on school-issued Chromebooks.

A Maryland school district spokeswoman says her county promotes the use of technology for learning new information, but it “must be done responsibly, ethically and cautiously.”2

This platform can be asked questions about existing texts in new voices – in a news story we read, it said a teacher demonstrated ChatGPT by asking it to write the kids’ book Goodnight Moon as if Stephen King wrote it, ( which is kind of horrifying when you think about reading this to a toddler!

Other educators are worried students will use it to “cheat” on their schoolwork and are scrambling to adjust assignments around this technology. 3 (3

According to an article by, Ryan Watkins, “a professor of educational technology at George Washington University, said the site works like autocorrect on cellphones, but is ‘100 times more powerful, where instead of just being trained on what you’ve typed into your phone, it’s been trained on millions, billions of things that have been written and posted to the internet’.” 2 (

The downside of AI-generated content

We’ve watched AI as it relates to marketing and public relations for a few years now after reading an article about AI replacing the people who write press releases.

At IPSM, we have even tried a couple of AI platforms, and we’ve found that what is missing, aside from originality, is context.

One AI software we used was a social media scheduling tool. It took a written piece of content, like a press release or a blog post, and pieced it out into suggested social media posts. It was cool because it gave us a springboard on how to make our already amazing content work even harder for our clients. It sucked because each of these posts required massive editing to provide context to every single post.

Unfortunately, this software company was a new start-up, and once they figured out they had the market cornered, they started up-charging for standard social media platform stuff, like analytics. We sacrificed the AI piece of the software for a different tool that provided more robust analytics, which we use to evaluate our content for how it works to meet or exceed your objectives.

The downside of changing platforms was that we lost some of that ability to dig deeper into our content, the upside was we gained better insight.

Another AI tool we tried wrote social media copy for small, commodity businesses like carwashes, carpet cleaners and restaurants. We ran across the developer of this AI tool, and he convinced us to try it.

One of our content creators was struggling with trying to write fresh happy hour social media posts for a small restaurant chain we were working with. Sometimes it’s really hard to be creative about the same topic Every. Single. Day!

Like the example above, it gave some great ideas on fun types of posts, but the content just wasn’t quite right for our region, our culture and our client. We had to constantly edit and personalize it to bring it up to our exacting IPSM standards. And like the software tool above, our people just stopped using it after a while, so it wasn’t worth the money we paid for it.

Is AI-generated content any better today than it was three years ago?

Both of these examples happened in the past two or three years, so we would bet the technology is improving.

Critics say it reduces our need to think critically if we can just ask our technology to write something for us. (Think “Alexa, do my homework.”) And a lot of AI-generated work cannot pass plagiarism tests – if what is generated comes from other works, plagiarism seems inevitable.

In our experiments with ChatGPT and other content-creating platforms like Jarvis, the output wasn’t horrible. If we are writing fluffy stuff about innocuous products that didn’t impact the health and safety of our clients, maybe it’s not so bad.

However, what we write about very often can have a significant impact on their wallets, let alone their health and safety. Not being able to cross-reference our sources and validate the information is problematic.

We believe that’s where critical thinking comes in. Disseminating and processing the information we find in our research.

Emerging technology in an industry that is rapidly evolving anyway

Marketing and public relations is an industry that changes by the minute. We can’t ignore emerging technologies – we have to learn how to live with them4. (

Technology is the great disruptor – how many of our current-day jobs will one day be replaced by technology, whether it’s an assembly line robot, self-checkout at the grocery store, or AI bots that write legal briefs or press releases?

Press releases? This is where we draw the AI line!

At IPSM, our magic is in our three core values – creative AF, tenacious AF and curious AF. These core values drive the beautiful content we create daily. As human beings, we do our research the old-fashioned way – by Google search (ha-ha):

  • We read multiple articles and research topics from credible sources.
  • We cite our sources when we quote either directly or indirectly from them.

And then, we write our own pieces, using our powers of critical thinking to create thoughtful, purposeful content, with the sole objective of providing value for our clients, their customers and all of our potential customers.

That isn’t to say we don’t use sound SEO practices to help elevate our clients’ visibility, but we don’t rush into a project with a fistful of keywords and write sales-y content with the sole purpose of getting in front of as many eyeballs as we can and end up with some empty piece of fluff that doesn’t give you, the consumer, anything you can use in your daily life.

While we can’t say IPSM will never adopt this technology again, we can say that we will always apply our best critical thinking skills to provide useful, current, and, in our minds, most importantly, original content.

We do use AI tools to check our grammar and spelling – and we learn from those tools how to hone our craft. We also use our tools to check for plagiarism so that you can be confident that we are turning out unique and innovative content for you.

Until AI can interview a subject, find the most interesting thread in a story about a person or situation, then write a singular, imaginative piece, we have nothing to fear from AI.

We can learn to use it to our – and your – advantage!

Plain Talk About Marketing: AI in Content Creation Downloadable PDF