AI is a hot topic across most industries, teams and roles at the moment – and especially within the internal communications space. With many voicing concerns as to whether AI will eventually put them out of a job, it’s important to take a step back and consider the advantages of AI.
In this article I share how to use AI to your own benefit, and why you should think about going further and including it in your internal communications roadmap.
Do more with what you have
AI can benefit internal communications professionals by allowing for more output with the same allocation of resource. Specifically, research can be done in less time, as can some aspects of content creation.
AI can drive productivity by reducing the time spent looking for content. According to LinkedIn Learning, when the right search engine technology is in place employees can get back 11-14% in daily productivity.
AI can also scale your experts by providing an opportunity to consolidate their insights into a 24/7 bot – fully scalable and readily available to support your employees, no matter the time of day.
Let’s have a look at each of these in turn.
Using AI for research
Internal communications teams are responsible for helping employees to understand business strategy. What are we trying to do as an organisation? Why? How do we know it will work?
Convincing employees to buy-in to the organisational vision and associated targets often requires communications professionals to undertake research to support key corporate messaging. For example:
- If you are expanding into a new market, research about that market opportunity can help to excite and inspire.
- If you have acquired a new business, research about that business will help you to tell a better-together story and communicate benefit.
- If you are communicating growth targets, sharing an industry benchmark and growth projections for the market(s) you plan to grow in, helps to land feasibility.
This blog series, written
by Microsoft MVP and AddIn365 CEO, Suzy Dean, is designed to jump you straight to the practicalities of harnessing new AI technologies across internal communications.
Throughout this series
Suzy will share practical advice for communications professionals about how
to use AI.
Bing Chat can rapidly bring together research for communications professionals, saving hours of time.
The next blog in our series will focus on how to use Bing chat to get accurate and credible information, quickly.
Content production, powered by AI
Internal communications teams are often the centre of excellence for content creation. Supporting the business with content creation best practices such as tone of voice and content structure is commonplace.
To deliver this level of support, it requires internal communicators to understand the subject at a high level then write some content, often liaising with the subject matter expert on specifics. This can be a time-consuming activity when the content is to do with business processes or is technical in nature.
Communications teams can empower their business partners to produce great content using Bing Chat. Why? Specialist content rarely suffers a lack of specialist insight, but often suffers from a lack of context, which is essential for those that do not live and breathe the subject to understand the significance of what is being communicated. Bing Chat is a great tool to bridge this gap and can also provide information that aligns to your organisation’s tone of voice.
In this series we will create a business guide together, to help operational communicators to write better communications, using Bing chat.
Improving findability using AI
Most digital employee experience requirements lists say something like:
- We need to improve search.
- We need our intranet to be intuitive.
- Our employees can’t find what they are looking for.
This is because organisations recognise there are direct productivity gains to be had when employees can find what they need, when they need it. Yet, improving the findability of content often requires a combination of project activities to be executed well to meet the stated goal. Most organisations will user-test their proposed navigation, which is one aspect of improving findability, but this only scratches the surface. If we think of navigation as a top-down experience of the content, we should think of using Syntex – an AI product from Microsoft – as a bottom-up capability.
Microsoft Syntex improves content search in several ways, including:
- Deep Learning Models: Syntex uses deep learning models that encompass semantic understanding, question-and-answering, and natural language processing to help you intuitively discover information.
- Automatic Reading, Tagging, and Indexing: Syntex automatically reads, tags, and indexes high volumes of content and connects it where it’s needed – in Microsoft Search amongst other surfaces, making the search experience more accurate.
Syntex also adds value to document libraries.
- Metadata-Based Queries: The Syntex content query feature lets you perform specific metadata-based queries on SharePoint document libraries. You can make faster, more precise queries based on specific metadata column values, rather than just searching for keywords.
These features help to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of content search.
This year Microsoft changed the pricing mode to pay-as-you-go for Syntex. I include this point because often new products are out of the reach of large enterprises until IT have renegotiated their Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft and made the investment. Syntex can be invested in outside of the Enterprise Agreement renewal with a low level of commitment thanks to the pay-as-you-go model. For communications, this means you can begin to leverage the benefits at a small scale as part of your digital employee experience investment, then expand as and when budget permits.
In this blog series we will look at where communicators can practically start with Syntex, to get some early experience and demonstrate ROI.
Hybrid working and flexible working have provided many benefits, but have also had the drawback of making colleagues more elusive in the 2020s than perhaps they were in the 2010s. I have heard more than a handful of c-suite tales that are a variety of “We had an important pitch/client meeting/management meeting and because our subject matter expert wasn’t around, we lost the work/didn’t reply promptly/delayed a vital decision.”’
The most familiar aspect of AI today is the chat bot control, and it can add a lot of value to the digital employee experience by scaling your subject matter experts, both in terms of the volume of help they can give and in their availability.
We will learn in this series how to train your subject matter expert bot to understand the questions asked, have the right information available and to evolve with business needs.
So, thinking caps on, as we will start our next session looking at how communicators can use Bing chat to get accurate and credible information, quickly.
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