The Goods, May 2023

This month’s newsletter delivers insights on public perception of artificial intelligence (AI) and highlights why it is important to educate the public about AI and the opportunities it presents. We also discuss why investor relations and communications teams need to be closely aligned and why ESG reports should not be the only way you communicate your sustainability efforts.

The Goods is a newsletter for social impact communicators that helps you keep track of the latest updates, trends, industry best practices, and much more. This content is compiled and curated monthly by Jade Floyd and the team at Global Strategy Group.

It is safe to say that the media is abuzz about AI and how the technology could change life as we know it. This month, GSG released research exploring American perceptions on how AI is fundamentally changing the economy, the workplace, and so much more.

Our key findings include:

  • With just a small group of voters closely following news about AI, the broader public is reflexively skeptical and concerned about the technology. In fact, only 24% of voters think AI will have a positive impact on society, while 28% think it will have a negative impact. 
  • There is strong bipartisan support for federal regulation of AI – 52% of voters support having a federal agency regulate the use of AI, while only 27% oppose.  
  • Only 12% of voters say they would trust companies that rely mostly on AI more than companies that rely mostly on people.
  • For companies wading into this space, the data shows that proactive efforts to familiarize and educate the public about the opportunities presented by the technology will be paramount. 

And for more on the subject…

Quick Hit: The rapid rise of AI could potentially disrupt search engine optimization as we know it, as there may be changes in how search engines rank and evaluate content.  

Your Takeaway: Use more natural and conversational language as experts believe that people will still be able to differentiate between high-quality human content and poorly generated AI content. Discuss the benefits of AI as a starting point for your communications strategy, but continue to utilize human writers to shape crucial messages. (Ragan

Quick Hit: Investors are concerned about AI’s impact on ESG, specifically that the potential downsides may not be adequately accounted for and safeguarded against. The current lack of ESG disclosure makes it challenging to evaluate companies’ AI usage and make informed investment decisions.

Your Takeaway: Be transparent about the data you are using, how you are using it, and any investments in new technologies like AI. ESG investors want to be certain that you are maintaining a level of transparency and many use AI themselves to compare the impact of their ESG investments alongside regulatory standards. (CNBC

Quick Hit: ESG reports are points of pride for many organizations but can go unseen by many stakeholders. These reports should not be the only means of communicating sustainability.

Your Takeaway: Foster collaboration between corporate communications and ESG teams to create a long-term communications strategy detailing when and how to speak out on social and environmental issues to ensure data-informed storytelling. (Green Biz

And for a quick political update… 

Democrats continue to push back against the weaponizing of the term “woke” by Republicans and argue that organizations need to consider and implement ESG initiatives when making business decisions.(The Hill

Quick Hit: As a communications professional, having a diverse skill set can make the fast-paced and ever-changing profession a place for lifelong learning. 

Your Takeaway: Communications practitioners must be avid learners with a sense of curiosity to uncover unique and captivating stories. Empathy allows you to better comprehend and connect with the audiences you are trying to reach.  (Forbes

Quick Hit: Aligning investor relations (IR) and public relations (PR) teams early on can help ensure potential investors and other audiences receive consistent messaging and engagement from the company. 

Your Takeaway: Coordinate PR and IR work timelines and maintain regular communications so that there is consistent messaging and a cohesive approach to communicating with target audiences. Make decision-making a collaborative effort so that there are fewer discrepancies. (Nasdaq

Quick Hit: Organizations and corporations are now expected to have authentic diversity statements, but if not done properly, a diversity statement may instead hinder progress on DEI goals. 

Your Takeaway: Your organization needs to build a strong institutional culture and identity to tell the story of your progress on diversity. Make a conscious effort to regularly consider whose perspectives, voices, and needs are guiding DEI goals and strategies. (Forbes

Quick Hit: There are concerns about the lack of representation in technology research and development, which could result in biases.

Your Takeaway: These teams need to include diverse talent so that different communities within our society are represented and together, we avoid repeating biased systems. Prioritizing diversity in coding teams will reduce bias and improve diversity in AI algorithms. (Adweek)

And for a quick political update… 

As the conflict between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Disney over the infamous ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill dominates the news, Nike’s CEO stated that brands do not need to be involved in every political disruption, but they do need to stand by their values and speak out when they are challenged. (CNBC

ICYMI: STAFFER Show – Quentin Fulks and Tiffany Muller 

This month, we released two episodes of STAFFER, featuring Quentin Fulks and Tiffany Muller.  

  • Quentin talks about his new role as the Principal Deputy Campaign Manager for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ reelection campaign, the values that drive him, and the twists and turns that brought him to this moment. Listen here
  • Tiffany Muller talks about her journey from Topeka City Council to End Citizens United and Let America Vote – and how she still stays inspired to fight day in and day out. Listen here

Client Spotlight – Sustainable Ocean Alliance 

Daniela Fernandez, founder of Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), was highlighted by the Associated Press in their recent reporting series on volunteering. Daniela spoke to SOA’s success attracting volunteers to her organization by adopting a bottom-up approach and giving their youth advocates an opportunity to see how their efforts are moving the needle in real time. Daniela has increasingly become a thought leader in the ocean conservation space and has attracted volunteers from over 165 countries around the world to help support SOA’s mission to restore the ocean’s health in our lifetime. Read about it here

The Goods Revamped 

We are excited to share that there are two new writers on The Goods team, who will add new viewpoints and insights. Learn more about them below!

Alvin Jordan, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, is an award-winning communication strategist specializing in crisis communications, media relations, and public affairs. At GSG, Jordan supports the firm’s communications and corporate reputation practices in Washington, DC. He is passionate about advancing diversity, equity & inclusion and is dedicated to aiding organizations in cultivating diverse POVs to ensure client messages are understood by all audiences.

Victoria Dellacava, Manager of Communications and Public Affairs, has focused her career on raising awareness for organizations advocating for important causes and supporting underserved communities. She brings her media relations, thought leadership, and digital and social media expertise to her work with GSG’s clients and team. At GSG, she works with a variety of nonprofit, corporate, and public affairs clients.

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