The answer to that question goes back to the early 1900s when my Poppy Slome started a company in Cleveland that made leather straps and buggy whips for horses. When cars began to replace horses, Poppy Slome pivoted and focused his business on manufacturing leather conveyor belts for industry.

Slome Belting launched in 1938 and still exists today.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been asked numerous times about ChatGPT and its impact on my business – writing lawyer bios and related content for law firms and other professional organizations.

Will ChatGPT force me to change my business model and pivot like my grandfather, Nathan Slome, for whom I was named?

According to Fareed Zakaria’s assessment this morning, where he was broadcasting live at the World Economic Forum held at Davos, the primary topics included the war in Ukraine, global warming, and fears of a worldwide recession. Fareed also mentioned AI and said, “… AI is the futuristic topic that almost no one understands, but everyone was discussing.”

While I’m glad to hear key industry and government thought leaders are discussing AI. However, Fareed’s take was that “almost no one understands it,” which I find alarming.

Between the Marketing Partner Forum this week and the LMA Conference in April, the chatter about ChatGPT will be everywhere.

My take on ChatGPT:

  • ChatGPT is an incredible tool. It’s perfect for people who need help organizing big ideas or writing headlines for their posts on social media. But ChatGPT is wrong for someone like me. I have a backlog of post headlines and outlines for the next six months, so I’m unlikely to use ChatGPT in this way. Plus, using ChatGPT feels inauthentic, and authenticity is core to my personal brand.
  • There are legal issues that must be addressed asap. Can clients trust opinion letters if AI is used? When it comes to copyright, I’m sure law firm clients will soon be turning to their in-house and outside counsel to seek advice if they’re not already.
  • And now, the elephant in the room for my colleagues in legal marketing. What about using ChatGPT for client alerts, bios, and general web copy for law firms?
    • Client alerts. The best and most timely client alerts focus on up-to-the-date news. Will ChatGPT work in these circumstances? What if the information is culled from untested news sources? Can clients trust their lawyers to give proper advice?
    • Bios. When it comes to biographies, no amount of prompts can produce a document that can accurately reflect the lawyer’s passion and philosophy about their practice. With so many cookie-cutter and generic biographies still needing to be reworked, ChatGPT will increase the number of undistinguished bios, potentially making it difficult for the prospect to select the right attorney for their personal matter, business issue, or deal.
    • Web pages. What about practice and industry pages on law firm websites? We marketers have enough trouble getting attorneys to memorialize their matters and deals. 
    • RFPs. Here’s something to consider: The structure of RFPs is similar and could be very helpful in creating prompts for ChatGPT to deliver answers. But what happens when firms use ChatGPT to respond to RFPs, and the prospective client receives roughly the same/duplicate responses?
    • Original content. If your firm uses ChatGPT for its marketing materials and has an IP practice – that might be reason enough to hold off deploying this technology until we have a better, more precise picture of its use.

My prompt / question for ChatGPT: “In the past few weeks, I’ve been asked numerous times about ChatGPT and its impact on my business – writing lawyer bios and related content for law firms and other professional organizations. Will ChatGPT cause me to change my business model?”

Here’s ChatGPT’s response:

“It is possible that the increased use of language models like ChatGPT could have an impact on certain types of content creation, such as writing lawyer bios. However, it is important to note that while language models can generate human-like text, they do not have the same level of expertise and understanding of a specific industry or field as a human professional. Additionally, language models can be useful tools for content creation, but they are not capable of replacing the creativity and unique perspective that a human writer can bring to a project. Ultimately, it may be beneficial for you to explore ways to integrate ChatGPT or other language models into your workflow, rather than viewing them as a threat to your business.”

Hey, that works for me! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

Written by : Nancy Slome

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