For the past week, I think we’ve all been shaking our heads wondering how it is that someone with the profile and resources of Prince Andrew not only got his interview so wrong, but isn’t aware that we no longer live in a world where the vile abuses of young women will be tolerated—that includes having registered sex offenders amongst your friendship groups.
Pizza Express is probably wondering what’s the most appropriate way to turn what will no doubt be a slew of memes mocking his alibi, in their favour—and Her Royal Highness herself was no doubt relieved The Crown made its season three premiere on the same evening, so some of us would wake today wondering which was fiction and which was fact.
Well, here’s the wonderful news—all these questions and more can be answered using AI, and it’s clearly looking like a tool that is desperately needed for public figures, brands and large institutions alike—even The Firm.
Had Prince Andrew invested in some language-based data research prior to his interview—or even when considering the validity of the continuance of his friendship with Epstein, chicken or not—he could have learned that there are strong and deeply negative feelings generally towards sex offenders.
He may have also discovered that there are certain narratives around the abuse of young women that are best to avoid, and terms like ‘unbecoming’ simply do not befit the horror and abhorrence one feels towards these acts.
You see, the myopic view from inside Prince Andrew’s very privileged filter bubble no longer holds as an excuse. There are now tools available to read the global sentiment on the key issues pertaining to everything from the language that should be used when discussing issues of sexual abuse and abusers, to the areas of one’s personal brand that are favoured or disliked.
How machine learning and AI will change marketing, PR and brand management.
While Prince Andrew may have missed the opportunity, through language-based AI data research, we can now gain powerful insights into audience engagement, and emotional engagement in particular. Why is this important? When you understand how people feel about your product, service, brand or advertising campaign, you can better predict their behaviour.
Strong emotions typically elicit an action, and by analysing petabytes of language-based data (the words published online, via articles, social media comments, video, etc.) you can gain a clear picture of whether there has been an intensity of emotional engagement, how deep that engagement is, and whether it’s positive or negative.
I can already sense the excitement brewing in strategists everywhere. And, while these insights are powerful and can help to shape brand engagement—deeply—the execution, and the authenticity of such, is equally important.
So, the good news for Prince Andrew would have been that AI could have helped him navigate the murky waters of what not to say, but unless he could be authentic in his apology and empathy for the victims, there’s little it can do to fix it. Perhaps, at least, he would have been aware that such regret is necessary.
If you think about words, they are always an indication of feelings and emotions. Words can be happy or sad, angry or calm—they literally say so much. Unbecoming, for instance, speaks volumes.
Marketers have long known that great storytelling is critical to effective marketing. Story is built on emotional engagement, and if AI can open the door to better understanding the emotional engagement of an audience, imagine the possibilities for defining brands and building campaigns! Thanks to AI, we don’t have to wait any longer.
If you’d like to learn more about how AI can gather powerful insights to shape your brand, your PR Strategy or for your next campaign, please feel free to reach out.