AI chatbots: Why do fish need to learn to ride bicycles?

ChatGPT and Bard are two of the most advanced and referenced AI chatbots. So, I asked them an arbitrary, whimsical, and capricious question – to see if either one – or both – could provide me with a thought-provoking way to persuade PR and communications professionals to consider signing up for a Google Analytics 4 (GA4) course.

First, I asked ChatGPT 3.5, “Why do fish need to learn to ride bicycles?

And ChatGPT responded, “Fish do not need to learn to ride bicycles. Bicycles are human-made objects designed for terrestrial transportation, and fish are aquatic animals adapted to life in water. The concept of fish learning to ride bicycles is likely a humorous or absurd scenario and not a real-life necessity for fish.”

So, I modified my prompt and asked, “Why do PR and communications professionals need to learn to use Google Analytics 4?

And ChatGPT replied, “Public relations (PR) and communications professionals may find it beneficial to learn how to use Google Analytics 4 (GA4) for several reasons:

  • Data-driven Decision Making: GA4 provides valuable insights into website and app user behavior. PR and communications professionals can use this data to make informed decisions, measure the impact of their efforts, and optimize strategies based on audience engagement.
  • Audience Analysis: GA4 allows users to understand the demographics, interests, and online behavior of their audience. This information is valuable for tailoring communication strategies to better resonate with the target audience.
  • Content Performance: PR professionals can track the performance of content, such as press releases or blog posts, by analyzing metrics like page views, bounce rates, and time spent on pages. This helps in identifying what content is resonating with the audience.
  • Goal Tracking: GA4 enables the setup of specific goals and events. PR professionals can track the success of campaigns by monitoring goal completions, such as newsletter sign-ups or media downloads.
  • Campaign Attribution: GA4 provides insights into the customer journey, allowing PR professionals to attribute website interactions to specific marketing or PR campaigns. This helps in understanding the channels that contribute most to conversions.
  • Real-time Reporting: GA4 offers real-time reporting, allowing professionals to monitor live data and quickly adapt strategies based on emerging trends or issues.
  • Cross-Platform Tracking: With the increasing use of multiple devices by users, GA4 provides cross-platform tracking, giving PR professionals a holistic view of user interactions across various devices.
  • Integration with Other Tools: GA4 can be integrated with other Google tools and platforms, enhancing its capabilities. This integration can streamline workflows and provide a comprehensive view of online activities.

“In summary, learning to use Google Analytics 4 equips PR and communications professionals with valuable tools for analyzing data, understanding audience behavior, and optimizing their strategies for better results.”

It’s worth noting that ChatGPT’s response to my revised prompt is in the form of a listicle, an article written in a list format. The chatbot’s training seems to have taught it that this format is the “popular” way to answer “real-life” questions.

Next, I asked Bard, which Google recently upgraded with Gemini Pro, “Why do fish need to learn to ride bicycles?

Bard responded, “The question of why fish need to learn to ride bicycles is a humorous one, as fish are perfectly adapted to their aquatic environment and have no need for bicycles! Their fins and streamlined bodies allow them to move efficiently through water, a feat which bicycles would be completely inept at replicating.

“Additionally, bicycles require specific physical adaptations like limbs and balance that fish simply don’t possess. Riding a bicycle also necessitates breathable air and the ability to navigate on land, both of which are foreign concepts to most fish.

“Therefore, the idea of fish riding bicycles is primarily a nonsensical scenario, often used for comedic purposes or to spark creative thinking. It might be a fun thought experiment, but from a biological standpoint, it serves no practical purpose for fish.

“Perhaps what you might be interested in is the amazing adaptations of fish in their natural environment, or the challenges faced by aquatic species due to pollution and climate change. These are real and fascinating topics that would be worth exploring!”

So, once again, I modified my prompt to ask, “Why do PR and communications professionals need to learn to use Google Analytics 4?

And Bard replied, “Just like fish wouldn’t need bicycles, PR and communications professionals wouldn’t need to learn Google Analytics 4 (GA4). However, much like how a bicycle can be a helpful tool for getting around, GA4 can be a powerful tool for PR and communications professionals to navigate the ever-changing landscape of digital media and communication. Here’s why:

“1. Deeper understanding of audience and campaign performance:

  • Traditional metrics fall short: PR and communications have often relied on metrics like press clippings or website traffic, which don’t tell the whole story. GA4 goes beyond these vanity metrics and provides deeper insights into user behavior, such as how users interact with your content, where they come from, and what actions they take. This allows you to understand what’s actually working and what’s not, and to tailor your campaigns accordingly.
  • Cross-device tracking: In today’s multi-device world, users might start their journey on their phone, continue on their laptop, and finish on their tablet. GA4 tracks users across devices, giving you a holistic view of their behavior and helping you understand how your campaigns are performing across different touchpoints.

“2. Proving the value of PR and communications:

  • Data-driven decision making: With GA4, you can move beyond gut feelings and anecdotal evidence to make data-driven decisions about your PR and communications efforts. This can help you justify your budget, secure buy-in from stakeholders, and demonstrate the ROI of your campaigns.
  • Attribution modeling: GA4 offers flexible attribution models that help you understand which channels and touchpoints are driving the most conversions. This is crucial for proving the value of your PR and communications activities, especially when they are part of a larger marketing mix.

“3. Future-proofing your skills:

  • GA4 is the future: Universal Analytics, the previous version of Google Analytics, (was) phased out in July 2023. Learning GA4 now will ensure that you’re future-proofed and able to keep up with the latest trends in digital analytics.
  • In-demand skill: As businesses increasingly rely on data to make decisions, the ability to use and interpret data from tools like GA4 is becoming a highly sought-after skill. Learning GA4 can give you a competitive edge in the job market.

“Of course, learning any new tool takes time and effort. But for PR and communications professionals who want to stay ahead of the curve and prove the value of their work, GA4 is definitely worth the investment.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I think Bard’s training reflects the philosophy behind Google’s helpful content update. And according to Google Search Central Blog, “The helpful content update aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well.”

How do you know if you – or a chatbot – is creating helpful content? Google says, “Answering yes to the five questions below means that you’re probably on the right track:

  • Do you have an existing or intended audience that would find the content useful if they came directly to your business or site?
  • Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge that comes from, for example, having actually used a product or service?
  • Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
  • After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
  • After reading your content, will someone leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?

So, I learned something from this little experiment: If you want to create a listicle, then use ChatGPT, But, if you want to create helpful content, then use Bard.

And, hopefully, you’ve learned something from this article. If you are a PR and communications professional, then you may not “need” to learn to use GA4, but it is certainly beneficial and worth the investment. And to learn more, visit Google Analytics 4 for PR & Communications on Paine Publishing’s site.

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