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A Crypto Implosion, ChatGPT Introduction, and Responsible Use of AI in PR All in One Year!

By Mary Shank Rockman 

With each business anniversary of MSR Communications, I reflect on the many advances in technology and global events we’ve seen in the past year that have impacted our clients’ businesses and universally; any resulting changes that may affect the marketing sector; and how we conduct our business practices. Throughout the past decades, MSR has been at the forefront of many significant technological innovations, global industry happenings, and market changes, and our 24th anniversary is no exception. In fact, it’s been one of the more eventful in recent years. 

Navigating the Evolving Digital Assets Industry 

In Q4 2022, MSR began planning public relations initiatives to support a new Web 3 Fintech conference to explore global Fintech trends and regulatory advancements for the evolving digital assets industry. The event was to take place in The Bahamas in early 2023, where, just two years prior, the Securities Commission of The Bahamas had enacted world-leading regulatory legislation and was preparing to introduce new updates to its bespoke regime for this dynamic industry. 

While preparing to activate our PR campaign, the team suddenly had to pause due to an unexpected turn of events that would put MSR’s 24+ years’ of experience managing crisis communications and reputation management programs to the ultimate test. One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges imploded in our clients’ jurisdiction and immediately impacted millions of people and institutions around the globe. 

Leadership and Strategy in Times of Crisis

While I wouldn’t wish this type of situation on any organization—the least of which our astute clients—for many veteran PR pros like me, the ability to demonstrate leadership and strategic thinking during critical situations such as crises sums up one of the many reasons why I continue to love working in our industry after all these years. When faced with an unexpected turn of events of this magnitude, leaders are forced to evaluate situations and information through every lens while carefully considering the potential impact on all key constituents in their ecosystem—customers, partners, employees, investors, industry leaders, and participants, government agencies and policymakers, community members and media influencers. In times like these, the ability to trust the facts, judgment, and insight gained from decades of experience handling precarious situations is invaluable. 

As a result, we acted swiftly, devised thoughtful, deliberate strategies, and properly advised our clients about the best ways to address their audiences and the media covering the story as it continued to unfold. Fast forward many months of hard work, client collaboration, and media engagement, MSR Communications has become even more intimately familiar with the scope of digital asset businesses, activities, and subsequent regulations captured under international standards and best practices as well as those who cover this space. I am very proud of our strong client-agency partnership, media engagement, resulting in improved sentiment, and the important content we created to introduce the Commission’s new legislative bill, DARE Bill, 2023, which features a greater focus on consumer and investor protections and strengthens existing safeguards for regulating digital asset businesses and activities, that will be presented to the Bahamian legislature this year. 

MSR at the Forefront of ChatGPT and Responsible AI 

And speaking of strengthening safeguards, as the OpenAI Chat GPT and Generative AI tech phenomenon have infiltrated the global lexicon and dominated news cycles over the past six months, the question on the minds of many professionals remains “How can we use AI responsibly and effectively with proper guardrails that protect users and content from a variety of potential risks?”

The MSR team and I are grateful for our many years of experience working with AI and machine learning technology companies and, more recently, large language models and Generative AI–thanks in part to our clients at Conversica, whose Conversational AI solutions have been leveraging GPT technology for the past four years to bolster their humanlike revenue digital assistants. We found ourselves at the epicenter of the news by providing our client’s thought-leading CEO as an expert resource for background, analysis, and commentary about the recent developments in AI and ChatGPT. In addition to the many media opportunities the introduction of ChatGPT afforded us, the deeper understanding gained from seeing firsthand how these systems work—both professionally useful and potentially problematic for all—has been extremely helpful when forming MSR’s own policies around the ethical use of AI in our workplace. 

MSR’s Commitment to Authenticity and Transparency

MSR takes very seriously the many concerns about the use of AI and the potential risks it presents for the public relations, social media, and digital marketing communications disciplines. Issues such as the authenticity and transparency of content creation and ownership, reliability and accuracy of information, bias and impartiality, security, and privacy are too significant to ignore. As an agency, we remain 100% committed to creating and delivering to our clients and constituents original, MSR-crafted content and ideas—just as we always have since I opened the firm 24 years ago. 

MSR’s Dedication to Staying Ahead in a Rapidly Evolving Landscape

We also recognize that Generative AI is here to stay. We must continue to enhance our knowledge, keep our fingers on the pulse, and work alongside as AI continues to evolve just as so many technologies have before it—from the Internet dot com era to social media platforms, the sharing economy, and even the digital assets space. Each has matured–or is in the process–and become integral to businesses everywhere and the livelihood of hundreds of millions of people. Since its inception, AI has always offered features that benefit users, especially with its quick access to data and analyses that help inform business-critical decision-making. Now with ChatGPT in the public realm, we believe we will have an even greater ability to research, analyze, and pinpoint the appropriate targets that are most relevant to our clients’ businesses. With this adoption comes the added commitment to use AI responsibly, protect MSR and our clients’ brands, and operate within legally established guidelines. We will continue to educate ourselves about technology developments in GPT, and Generative AI among other forms, as well as the latest legislation, so we may properly advise clients and apply best practices.

I think it’s safe to say that in the past year, we’ve seen exciting advances in technology and many unique opportunities to up-level our skill sets. As we enter our 24th year, I remain grateful for MSR’s wonderful, talented team members and clients, partners, colleagues, families, and friends of the firm. Thank you for your continued support. May you enjoy the dog (or cat) days of summer, as I am sure autumn will bring more new developments and activity!