generative ai and reputation management

Generative AI & The Future of Reputational Defense

Patrick Danial, Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder

Key Points

  • AI is a major innovation that’s changing how we think about digital content, marketing, and the future of reputation management and defense.
  • Unprepared brands and public figures will face the risk of reputational erosion and narrative control loss as AI takes a leading role in content creation and organic search.
  • Notable brands and public figures need to create a network of owned assets, purpose-built to satisfy AI’s demands for increased content depth, diversity, and freshness.

Generative AI, the machine learning tools for creating all manner of digital content from art to complete blog posts, has quickly emerged as one of the most trending spaces in tech. From chatbots like ChatGPT and Google Bard to full on AI-powered search engines (Bing Chat, Google Search Generative Experience), we’re still at the very beginning of the AI journey. 

Given the disruption and innovation AI promises, we’re sharing our take on it and why the owned asset optimization strategy is so important now, especially in the brand reputation management context.

AI’s impact on reputation management

As generative AI increases in complexity, usability, and utility for content creation, public figures and brands with limited assets and content on the web will face headwinds in their reputational defense efforts. Reputation management relies on having a wealth of current and well-sourced information available online. This is now more critical with the advent of generative AI, which will require even more content on people and organizations of note. 

The new search engine

More and more people are using ChatGPT and Bard as next generation search engines, posing their questions and making queries to these AI tools in addition to Google. Not only that, but Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) and Bing Chat actually are search engines themselves. Bing Chat provides the full search experience through the AI chatbot lens. SGE is trained to provide Google’s search features, answering a given query, and providing sources and suggested follow up questions.

Entities need content that ranks in traditional search, they also need content for the AI tools — often these are one in the same. But more diversity in controlled content is key as these next gen search engine features begin to alter the landscape.

AI as content creator/publisher

ChatGPT and Bard users are increasingly turning to text AI to generate unique content to publish on blogs, content hubs, social media, and more. Since both tools generate content using online data, the results of AI authored content will reflect what’s already out there. 

A few issues:

  • Tools like Bing and SGE won’t provide generative results for public figures with a limited online presence.
  • Until its next training, ChatGPT is stuck with old information. This can’t be influenced by third parties.
  • Generative AI might grab outdated information if new and more accurate content is not available.
  • Generative AI can make mistakes — hallucinating or fabricating information, or conflating similarly named individuals.

Asserting control over the source of AI’s knowledge and providing it with more potential knowledge is critically important.

AI’s content demands

Generative AI and AI search engines’ demands for new and up to date information requires that public figures and brands build defensive walls in the form of great content and optimized owned assets. ChatGPT’s next training — whenever that may be — makes similar demands. 

The defense must begin now. Poor results in search will lead to poor results in generative AI tools, and damage to the preferred narrative will continue to compound. 

Will top iconic brands and public figures be ready for AI’s ascendance?

Reputation management in the AI landscape

The only way to prepare for the growth of generative AI is to create and optimize reputational content across assets and social platforms. This ensures that internet-connected AI like SGE and Bing Chat have access to the preferred narrative. And it increases the chance that reputation-friendly content is included in ChatGPT’s next training. Being prepared with this content asserts much needed control over the stories AI tells about people and brands in the future. 

Building that control starts with:

Grasping the threat

Individuals (and brands) need to identify the risks that AI poses to their online reputations and digital landscapes. Outdated, false, and damaging information will cause AI to spit out more of the same. AI’s increasingly broad use and erstwhile technical limitations create errors and risks  that can harm reputations. These new AI dynamics will amplify potential reputational harm in the wake of controversy and negative news cycles.

Understanding the digital landscape

Individuals (and brands) need to fully understand the state of their digital landscapes — the accuracy, freshness, and diversity of their content, the amount of false or unfavorable content, and the amount of control they have over their content. Start there, and see what sources drive AI answers. This opens the door to influencing those sources and creating new assets that you control, manage or influence.

Creating new content and assets

A well rounded, proactive reputational defense strategy prioritizes wide and deep content creation to ensure freshness, relevance, and preferred narrative adhesion. As explained above, AI puts additional demands on strategy, asking for even more diversity of content.

With AI in mind, public figures should amass a constellation of owned assets, filled with biographical, philanthropic, factual, and positively positioned detail. Brands, organizations, and other entities must take similar action.

Think of AI as a smart aggregator that tells a story. Securing a reputation now requires leaders to be prepared with the story beats, plot points, and throughline, to make sure AI has access to the most complete picture.

Optimizing, revisiting and monitoring the content on existing assets

Beyond developing wholly new assets and content, previously curated materials must be iterated upon to remain as optimized as possible. Old and out-of-date content must always evolve and AI’s increasing use and sophistication will be a major driver of this evolution. As time goes by it will become clearer as to how AI is using recency and relevance of digital content to inform its answers and what that means for reputational defense. 

The AI future

Navigating the inevitable artificial intelligence future necessitates innovative leadership by reputation experts. Terakeet remains at the forefront of creating meaningful connections and curating preferred narratives through content. We are actively using, testing, and studying AI and the seismic shifts it’s bound to create.

This AI future requires that brands and public figures take the necessary steps to avoid reputational erosion and damage. For now, the best defense is a strong offense.

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