Why communicators can’t waste time getting up to speed on chatbots

CNN's Messenger chatbotIt feels like 1992 all over again.

I first got online around 1985 via a local BBS. I was on CompuServe a year later, and the pre-graphical web in 1990. Through all this time I kept sounding the alarm: The online world is going to change the practice of public relations and organizational communication. Mostly my warnings were dismissed. By 1992, when the web was just starting to heat up, I would tell organizations they needed a website. “Why would we need one of those?” was the most common answer.

Today, I’m saying much the same thing about chatterbots (or chatbots or just plain bots), and the answers I get sound like this:

FIR Podcast #31: Bring Back the Tourists!

FIR Podcast #31: Bring Back The Tourists!

This is cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network.

Today’s panel includes Blogger Bridge CEO Chris Christensen (who also hosts the Amateur Traveler podcast), Voce Communications Senior VP Christopher Barger (who is about to open Christopher Barger Communications), and CustomScoop founder Chip Griffin.

Our topics included…

  • The implications for communicators of the growing trend of corporations embracing gay rights and issuing public statements opposing statewide legislation that restricts those rights
  • Egypt’s plan to win back tourists despite no recognition in the plan of terror risks, while Mexico has found a way to address… Read More »

Chatbots are coming. Are you ready?

Webinar: Chatbots for Communicators

We’re living through 1992 all over again.

In 1992, the World Wide Web was taking off. While most websites were the creations of hobbyists and technologists, marketers were starting to pay attention. In public relations and organizational communications, though, there was little recognition that the web would even be a factor no less a sea change in the way communicators reach audiences.

According to an executive with Kik, one of the hot messaging apps, “Messengers are the new apps and bots are the new websites.”

Technologists have been developing and deploying chatbots for years. Suddenly, though, marketers are hot to bring them to… Read More »

Friday Wrap #162: April 1 prank goes bad, bots are the new apps, Periscope hits 200M broadcasts

Friday wrap #162The Friday Wrap is my weekly collection of news stories, posts, studies, and reports designed to help organizational communicators stay current on the trends and technology that affect their jobs. These may be items that flew under the radar while other stories grabbed big headlines. As always, I collect material from which I select Wrap stories (as well as stories to report on the For Immediate Release podcast, along with stuff I just want to remember to read) on my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. If you want to make sure you never miss an edition of the Wrap, subscribe to my weekly email newsletter.


Google’s April… Read More »

The next big communication thing is plain text

The Chatbots Are Coming

The next big organizational communication frontier could be plain text, with an occasional emoji thrown in.

Chatbots—or just bots—are the technology behind these text missives that may—and should—become part of any company’s communication toolkit. I have grown increasingly convinced that bots will become vitally important.

Bots aren’t new. Twitterbots have been around for almost as long as Twitter has. Now, bot developers are employing Artifical Intelligence so the bots can learn as they’re used. (One example, Microsoft’s Tay, learned racism, mysogyny, and anti-Semitism from users who decided it would be fun to prank it, leading… Read More »

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