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This report is provided by the IPR Digital Media Research Center

In, “Generative AI in Organizations: Insights and Strategies from Communication Leaders,” the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) conducted interviews from November 2023 to January 2024 with 30 communication executives, chief communication officers (CCOs), agency CEOs, academics, and leaders to examine how generative AI is impacting their function and organization. This report specifically examines the role of AI tools like ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot, DALL-E, and others, probing how they are shaping communication and marketing strategies.

Topics covered in this report include:

— What is generative AI?
— Comfortability of communication leaders with generative AI
— Comfortability of organizational Leaders with AI
— Ownership of AI in organizations
— Concerns about generative AI
— AI guidelines and frameworks
— Impact on communications function
— How communicators are using generative AI
— AI training and professional development
— What communicators need to know
— Impact of generative AI on the business
— Who to follow
— Tips and prompts

Based on the interviews with the 30 communication and technology leaders, the following key findings were identified:

Comfortability with Generative AI: Communication leaders are generally comfortable with using generative AI, emphasizing continuous learning and the need for proper guardrails. Communication leaders seemed to be more comfortable using the technology than other organizational leaders.

Concerns about Generative AI: Concerns around security and the need for validating AI-generated content are common, with many leaders emphasizing the importance of reviewing/editing AI outputs. Other risks noted include leaking sensitive information, misinformation, plagiarism, hallucinations, data security, and copyright infringement.

Ownership and Governance of AI in Organizations: There is no consensus on who owns generative AI in organizations, with responses varying from centralized ownership to shared responsibilities across different departments.

AI Guidelines and Frameworks: Organizations are creating guidelines, frameworks, and policies for the ethical and secure use of generative AI. A few said they are waiting to roll out AI in their organizations until they can test and experiment with it.

Ethical and Transparent Use of AI: There is a strong emphasis on the ethical use of AI, particularly in maintaining transparency with stakeholders, such as labeling, and ensuring compliance with industry regulations, especially in sensitive sectors like healthcare.

Use in Communication: Generative AI has positively impacted the communication function, enhancing tasks particularly in the realm of idea generation, content creation, and workflow efficiency. 

It’s a tool, not a strategy: Generative AI is seen as a tool augmenting communication tasks, especially repetitive ones. Most respondents emphasized generative AI enhances work, rather than functions as a strategy, emphasizing the importance of humans in the process.

Training and Professional Development: Communication leaders emphasize the importance of AI training and professional development, focusing on ethical use, usage guidelines, and the creative potential of AI tools.

Societal and Ethical Implications: The broader societal and ethical implications of AI, such as its potential impact on equity, bias, accessibility, and power dynamics, are areas of consideration.

About the Institute for Public Relations
Founded in 1956, the Institute for Public Relations is an independent, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations™. IPR creates, curates, and promotes research and initiatives that empower professionals with actionable insights and intelligence they can put to immediate use. IPR predicts and analyzes global factors transforming the profession and amplifies and engages the profession globally through thought leadership and programming. All research is available free at and provides the basis for IPR’s professional conferences and events.

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Brittany Higginbotham
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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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