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Brands in motion: New WE Communications research shows lopsided AI vision-to-action gap—and 4 ways comms can help

by | May 20, 2024 | Public Relations

Besides the clear images of those piles of money saved by getting AI fully operational in their companies, business leaders have been rather vague about communicating their strategic vision for their fully realized AI-empowered entities of the future, according to new research from comms giant WE Communications—and the firm identifies a set of communications strategies that could be central to moving beyond ideation into action.

The firm’s latest “Brands in Motion” study, Bridging the AI Expectation Gap, which surveyed business executives across the globe, reveals a growing opportunity for business leaders to turn their AI vision into action—beginning with articulating that vision across both internal and external stakeholders.

AI vision

“Successful AI initiatives must align with the real-world challenges that an organization has to navigate,” said Tiffany Cook, president of client development at WE Communications, in a news release. “Having an effective communications plan directly addressing AI in real-world terms will be essential to maximize AI’s business impact.”

Tiffany Cook

Tiffany Cook

The study points out that proactively sharing leadership’s point of view is one of the most significant ways to build momentum for AI initiatives—yet few businesses have plans in place for implementing and communicating AI integration.

Key findings:

  • 83 percent of business leaders are optimistic about the benefits AI will bring to their organization.
  • 37 percent actively talk about AI’s benefits within their organization.
  • 92 percent have at least some concerns around the greater adoption of AI in their organization.
  • 54 percent have no current investment in AI training.

There is broad recognition about the opportunity for AI to drive significant impact across a range of business functions. The leaders polled identified customer service, marketing and communications, and product development as the top three areas that would benefit most from greater adoption of AI in the workplace.

Key strategies to turn AI vision into action

According to the research, clear and consistent communication will be key for aligning all stakeholders around a company’s AI vision. The study recommends four strategies that can lay the communications foundation for AI initiatives:

Build the AI employee engagement strategy

Audit employee sentiment and optimize to address gaps and areas of interest and exploration in the build out and implementation of the organization’s AI content and engagement strategy.

Link to the company’s transformation journey

Modernize the company narrative and messaging to account for how AI is advancing the overall transformational journey, showing the potential to drive growth, change and innovation in ways that are most relevant and specific to the organization.

Employ executive communications and thought leadership:

C-level and company leadership messaging and platforms need to go beyond topline proclamations to spotlight consistent examples, AI progress updates and the specific behaviors and change management needed to fully harness AI.

Update crisis and issues preparedness plans

Conduct risk assessments and scenario planning on the potential AI-related issues and considerations for your business, incorporating these into overall preparedness plans. 

The study recommends greater transparency across stakeholders as a cornerstone for AI efforts: 74 percent of the study’s participants believe their organization should be more or equally transparent about its use of AI compared with their vendors, partner businesses and customers.

AI vision

“With today’s business leaders bullish on the benefits of AI, the true leadership challenge is not whether executives will embrace AI but rather how adeptly they’ll bring their organizations, stakeholders and customers along on what promises to be among the world’s most transformative tech innovations,” Cook said.

Download the report here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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