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The Internal Comms Review: Risks and efficiencies of AI in internal comms

AI is the topic of the day with business increasingly turning to AI to enhance internal comms strategies. While AI promises increased efficiency and improved processes it is not without its risks.

The immediate and obvious benefits are chatbots which can help with employee queries. The prospect of organisations interacting with their workforce is inviting, yet also brings a set of risks that need careful consideration.

At SEC Newgate our head of digital Tom Flynn was early off the mark in advising not just our clients but working with our head of people to put in place a clear set of guidelines on how we could use it, i.e. for research but not to replace our content generation. AI applications each rely on the collection and analysis of vast amounts of data and are only as unbiased as the data they are trained on. 

AI can help internal communicators in the following ways:

  • Automate routine tasks - scheduling meetings and sorting emails release employees to focus on more strategic work
  • Deliver personalised content to a diverse and disparate workforce to ensure the content is relevant to each role and territory
  • Language tools can ensure barriers are broken down, with AI translating messages in real time and connecting colleagues to connect multinational teams
  • Data is often in high supply but not used efficiently – AI can help to identify trends, preferences and act on them

It is a compelling offer but not without its pitfalls – so some advice to keep in mind;

  • Ensure a strong employee policy is in place – both to protect their privacy and to ensure colleagues understand how they can and can’t use it – implement strict ethical guidelines for AI usage i.e. research purposes is often useful but to generate owned content is not deemed correct
  • Given AI is trained on data which inherits bias be mindful of discriminatory comms practices or language reinforcing inequality – ensure colleagues are aware of the various Chatbots, the differences between them and the risk of inaccurate data – an AI audit by a specialist team can identify for example incorrect data on senior leaders within the business and advise on deep fake scenarios and a proactive schedule to keep the scrape of data accurate
  • Human connection comes first so keep a close eye on the use of AI – after all human interaction and our role as internal communicators requires human to human interactions
  • Ensure a good feedback loop with employees to continually assess the impact of AI on internal communication and make necessary adjustments – be mindful that some colleagues will be wary of it as a risk to their role and emphasise their value in creativity, critical thinking and emotional IQ

AI is exciting and developing every day, offering a wealth of opportunities for improving internal communications within our organisations. By addressing the challenges above we can all leverage AI to create more efficient, personalised and engaging communication whilst ultimately maintaining the trust and well-being of the workforce.

This PRmoment Internal Comms Review is written by Laura Leggetter, Co-Head of Communications, SEC Newgate.

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