Why Your Content Needs a Personal Touch

Mar 19, 2024Strategy

Over the past year, businesses have quickly embraced artificial intelligence as an apparent “fast fix” for all their writing needs, from social engagement to email marketing to thought leadership and beyond. 

While I’m a big fan of tools that boost efficiency and can appreciate AI as one of those tools, I can already see the downside of companies relying too heavily on AI “magic:” all too often, they’re generating low-quality content that lacks uniqueness and personality.

As a PR professional, I’m acutely aware of what makes content compelling, and AI ain’t it.


Treat AI like a Co-Writer, Not a Ghostwriter 

If you look closely enough, AI-generated content is easy to identify. AI assistants like ChatGPT overuse certain words (“profound” and “elevate” come to mind), spit out odd phrases, and even confidently proclaim facts that are not the least bit factual. 

I advise clients to think of AI more as an enthusiastic intern than an experienced member of the C-suite. Leverage its benefits, recognize its limitations, and take ownership of the content you publish. If you “wouldn’t say it that way” or can’t even decipher what your AI writer is trying to say, it’s time to step back from the robot and reevaluate your approach to content creation.


Good Stories Drive Good Content

People love good stories. Stories allow us to relate to one another and help us feel connected. They trigger our imaginations and challenge our assumptions. In business, stories form a strong foundation for marketing, selling, educating, and growing. That’s why I encourage my clients to share their stories from the trenches, talk about their trials and triumphs, and communicate openly and honestly—and don’t count on AI’s formulaic, stilted writing style to tell your story!

This doesn’t mean you can’t use AI to get the ball rolling. AI is ultra-effective for drafts, outlines, and basic research. But content isn’t complete until you’ve infused it with a personal touch. 

Remember: you built your business from a place of passion, and if your content doesn’t reflect that passion, you’ll lose your audience’s attention.


Case Study: Your Story Is Your Greatest Asset

Have you ever had to give your pet a pill? You probably wrapped it in a slice of cheese or coated it in peanut butter, right? That’s because medicine goes down easier when it’s coated in something sweet or savory.

The same holds true for content. Generic information and dry data have real value, but stories are what draw media interest and captivate an audience. 

I love using my PR client, Catania Oils, as an example. When customers buy Catania Oils products, they become active participants in the story of Italian immigrant Giuseppe Basile who came to the United States at the turn of the 20th century and began selling olive oil door-to-door. Well over a century later, Catania Oils is a multi-million dollar global business with Giuseppe’s great-grandchildren at the helm.

Could Catania Oils tell their story using AI? Sure; with the right prompts, an AI tool could generate factual information, but it could never capture the impact of watching Stephen Basile’s eyes well up when he describes his great-grandfather’s struggles. AI could also not relay Stephen’s recollection of walking his own grandfather through the facility and hearing him say, “I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would see this company grow to where it is right now.” 

Your story is your strength. Without it, your business would be just another corporate entity with stale social engagement, and your company culture would collapse. 


When in Doubt, Engage a Content Partner 

Now that we’ve explored the value of personalized content, it’s a good time to encourage you to find the right content partner. AI is a solid technology tool, but skilled content creators can empower you with hands-off storytelling that reflects your voice and values.

If writing isn’t your forte or you’re strapped for time, partner with content professionals who can turn your ideas into compelling thought leadership. Because I stay busy creating content and generating PR for my clients, I work with the content team at Every Little Word. They convert our monthly Content Conversations  into blog posts that are authentically me—like this one! 


Stay True to What Got You Here

Above all else, companies should cling fiercely to the stories that got them started. Proudly acknowledge the blood, sweat, and tears that brought you this far, and honor the journey ahead with boldness, openness, and authenticity. 

If you need a guiding hand to help you stay the course, Goodwin Consulting is here to help.

Find out how.