The importance of the human touch

By Victoria Richardson

I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. For me, reading is as important as exercising.

In my university entrance interview, I’ll always remember the course leader saying they wanted people who ‘read the back of the cornflake box.’ I knew then, it was the course for me.

A lifetime’s experience devouring words helps me greatly in my role today, writing content on behalf of clients in a plethora of sectors.

Over the years, I’ve written about everything from propeller polishing to inheritance tax planning to SpongeBob SquarePants bedding. As someone who spends huge amounts of time honing messages and crafting copy, last year when a collegue demonstrated an AI blog writing tool, I was aghast as words seemed to be magically appearing from nowhere, and what’s worse, it wasn’t gibberish (as I was really hoping it would be.)

I wanted to hate it but must admit to being impressed and feeling just a little bit threatened. Things have moved on rapidly since then and in the last couple of months ChatGPT has been the hot topic of conversation in our office.

So, should all us copywriters fear for our jobs?  Where do we go from here? For me, the key is that any AI system is ‘human-like’ and will never be human and will, therefore, never be a substitute for the real thing – i.e., an actual human!

Really understanding what drives your clients and getting to grips with the personalities behind a brand takes time and experience.  To do a good job, you have to know your clients on a human level, and this can only be achieved through meetings, causal conversations and off the cuff comments you’re tuned into. That throwaway remark at the end of a meeting can change the whole course of a content campaign.

Yes, AI can play an important role in providing insights to help formulate content campaigns and as a research tool it can save huge amounts of time, but for me, client relationships and content creation is about so much more than churning out words.

Being a good account handler and an excellent copywriter requires a huge amount of emotional intelligence. And this is where we trump the machines.

We’ll always need the human touch, so for now, I think my job is safe.