The Spark

ChatGPT’s arrival, sustainability developments, and the best time to pitch to a journalist are just some of the topics that have got the team talking this month. Here, we discuss the latest news from the communications landscape and how these updates can influence brands and businesses in refining their own strategies.
‘Queen’ is UK children’s word of the year for 2022

Oxford University Press (OUP) announced that a survey of 4,000 children aged six to 14 across the country chose ‘Queen’ as their word of the year for 2022. ‘Happy’ and ‘chaos’ followed in second and third place.’ 

Interestingly, OUP also announced that Queen Elizabeth was regularly in the Top 10 list of famous people whom children wrote about over the years. It’s eye-opening research that highlights how attuned younger generations are to the news and the impact current affairs has on them when they grow up.

In asking the same research group how they felt about the future, 14% said they were worried, and only 29% felt excited. This is a great example of the power words can hold. Words are strong enough to change minds, influence behaviour and ultimately, shape the world. As such, being more considered in our language on a day-to-day basis is crucial.

Rosie Holt, copywriter

ChatGPT takeover

It’s what’s got us all talking this January, AI-generated ideas here, job takeovers there, but really what threat does ChatGPT pose and what opportunities does it bring? It’s still super early days for a tool like this and not strange for sectors like ours to be wondering (and worrying) about the capabilities of such a tool. If you’ve not come across the function, Chat GPT is a popular AI-based program that people are using for generating dialogue. 

Originally created for online customer care, the chatbot has a language-based model that a developer fine-tunes for human interaction. It also has the ability to write code, draft articles, as well as translate and generate market research. Our take? If you’re managing great volumes and are struggling with an on the ground resource, Chat GPT is a tool that might be worth looking into. But no matter how clever a programme it may be, the impact a skilled writer has on a piece of content is what will really make a customer convert, or stick around for longer!

Grace Lenihan, account director

The best time to pitch

“When is the best time to pitch to a journalist?” is a commonly asked question when starting out in your PR career. But given the ever-evolving media landscape and the often seemingly conflicting advice out there, it’s a topic that even seasoned PR professionals should keep coming back to. 

PR software brand MediaHQ suggests avoiding Fridays, weekends and Mondays — guidance that appears to have widespread consensus — with mid-morning being hailed as the best slot of the day itself. But a great infographic from media intelligence firm Roxhill advises that we focus on early morning dialogue — although things vary from one publication to the next. 

It perhaps reminds us that — just as is the case with so many elements of our working lives — we can’t adopt a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to interacting with the media. Yes, over-arching tips and tricks are great, but building 1-2-1 relationships and satisfying the needs and wants of individual journalists is where real results can be achieved.

Katie Mallinson, managing director.

Sustainability is still a hot topic

Unsurprisingly, sustainability remains a word on everybody’s lips in these early stages of 2023. And, as this year is set to be one of the hottest on record, the next 12 months could prove to be crucial in tackling the climate crisis.

As the public continues to join the environmental movement, greater scrutiny will be placed on corporations’ long-term strategies to ensure they’re truly putting their money where their mouths are, and making tangible efforts to achieve bold carbon reduction targets. 

In fact, a huge proportion of 2023’s climate progress could happen in courtrooms, as hearings and judgments all over the globe shed light on the worst perpetrators of climate inertia, and prompt defiant governments and organisations to finally take action. As a result, The Guardian has predicted a “watershed year for climate litigation”. 

Now, more than ever, is a time for breakthroughs. 

Alice Kelly, account manager. 

To keep up to date with all the latest in the communications sphere and find out what’s got the team talking, sign up to our newsletter.

Back to all Words

Written by Alice Kelly