AI prompt engineering for comms pros

Three different styles for bossing robots around.

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AI prompt engineering

But it’s actually the process of telling a generative AI model what you want it to do.

This is something anyone can do, provided they can type, but doing it well can be more complicated.

Martin Waxman, adjunct professor at the York Schulich School of Business, recently shared with audiences at Ragan’s Employee Communications Conference the schools of thought on prompt engineering.

A conversational prompt is, well, just like the name. You tell the AI to do something, and it does its best to comply. For instance, you might ask it to draw a picture sitting on a park bench in winter. The AI will probably do an OK job delivering something that resembles your ask, but it won’t be particularly tailored to you or your needs because you haven’t provided any examples. It’s likely to return something serviceable but not exact.

The other option is what Waxman calls a structured prompt. As you might expect, this style of prompt requires a lot more work than conversational prompts.

A structured prompt should include these elements:

Obviously this will all be more work on the front end, but ideally, it should lead to a more refined product on the back end because the AI has a better view of your goals, the end product, what sort of “mindset” it should adopt and so on.

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