D&D fans win battle against company, AP mocked for style tweet and more
Plus: More employees are disengaged at work.
Fans of Dungeons & Dragons revolted against the publisher of the popular roleplaying game — and won.
The furor involves anger over a revamped version of the game’s Open Gaming License —” a legal framework by which people have been able to build their own tabletop RPGs alongside the Hasbro-owned brand,” as Polygon reports. The new version was far more restrictive and would have made it far more difficult for the robust community that has grown up around D&D to continue to produce games.
The proposed framework led the community to push back vocally, with some saying they would abandon the brand altogether and others looking for alternatives that would allow them to continue creating, Polygon reported.
But now Wizards of the Coast, D&D’s publisher, has walked back its hardline stance and offered a full apology.
Over the past few weeks you, the community, have made your voices heard. And we’ve listened. OGL 1.0a will remain untouched AND the entire SRD 5.1 is now available under a Creative Commons license.🧵 https://t.co/hJTm2Rgruo pic.twitter.com/qiBODaB7oj
— D&D Beyond (@DnDBeyond) January 27, 2023
In a Twitter thread, WotC made clear that they listened to feedback, and even included specific metrics from a customer survey. “Thank you for your continued dedication and love for Dungeons & Dragons,” one tweet read. “We are sorry for the pain we’ve caused to the community. We look forward to building what comes next with our players and creators.”
Why it matters: In business, we all make missteps. We think there’s a clear path forward and we want to pursue it and assume our audience will just get over their irritation.
That doesn’t always happen.
D&D is only as good as the huge community it’s built over the last 40 years. They had no choice but to find a way to mollify that fan base. The question now is, is their about-face too little, too late? They stuck to their guns for some time, but they also have decades of goodwill built up.
Their apology is a good one: specific and unreserved. But we’ll see if players stick with them or roll another character.
Real estate agents find innovative uses for ChatGPT
AI is going to change the way we write. That much seems clear, even just a few months after the widespread rollout of the eerily smart (but not infallible) chatbot.
CNN reports that real estate agents are finding clever uses for the tool. Perhaps the most obvious is using it to write descriptions of homes — a somewhat tedious endeavor that can be made much faster using the AI.
But JJ Johannes, the realtor for the home, created the description in less than five seconds by typing a few keywords into ChatGPT, a viral new AI chatbot tool that can generate elaborate responses to user prompts. It’s a task, he said, that would otherwise have taken him an hour or more to write on his own.
“It saved me so much time,” Johannes told CNN, noting he made a few tweaks and edits to ChatGPT’s work before publishing it. “It’s not perfect but it was a great starting point. My background is in technology and writing something eloquent takes time. This made it so much easier.”
But the uses go beyond even that simple task. The article details how another agent used ChatGPT to rewrite a homeowner’s letter asking a homebuilder for help with her stuck windows — this time emphasizing the builder’s liability in the matter.
After months without response to purely human letters, the AI-juiced version got the homeowner help.
Why it matters: AI isn’t ready to do all your writing for you. CNET learned that the hard way. But with clear direction and a human intelligently editing on the backend, it can speed up basic tasks or even augment your own knowledge by applying a legalistic lens when you lack the background.
Again, we urge you not to fear this as a job killer, but to look for creative ways to let AI free you to spend your time on higher-level tasks that it simply can’t do.
AP tweet on ‘the French’ earns ridicule
Look, it’s no secret PR Daily loves AP style. It’s an essential skillset for most comms pros. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a little ridiculous at times.
A recent, now-deleted tweet from the style meister went viral for all the wrong reasons.
The AP Stylebook’s Twitter account on Thursday posted recommendations to avoid the use of “the” before certain descriptors “such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, [and] the college-educated” because that phrasing can be “dehumanizing.” The post went viral with many Twitter users responding and making jokes about the inclusion of “the French.”
The tweet was derided for lumping a generally stigmatized group (the French) in with genuinely dehumanized groups, such as disabled people. Its clumsy phrasing also didn’t make clear that the problem was the lack of a noun following the descriptive adjectives, as you can see in this joke tweet from the French Embassy.
I guess this is us now… https://t.co/YFybgfI2AB pic.twitter.com/LrKvgjiw1X
— French Embassy U.S. (@franceintheus) January 26, 2023
It’s also worth noting that in the French language, the people of that nation are referred to by the term “
The AP followed up with several clarifying tweets.
We deleted an earlier tweet because of an inappropriate reference to French people. We did not intend to offend.
Writing French people, French citizens, etc., is good. But "the" terms for any people can sound dehumanizing and imply a monolith rather than diverse individuals.
— APStylebook (@APStylebook) January 27, 2023
Why it matters: Yes, AP style is the benchmark for communicators. But you always need to make sure you’re adapting the style in a way that makes sense for your organization and your audiences.
It’s also a cautionary reminder of the need for precision in social media posts. This important discussion about addressing stigmatized groups with respect was completely derailed by one inartful example.
Less than one-third of employees are actively engaged at work
Employee engagement has fallen again, with just 32% reporting they are actively engaged at the workplace — and 18% reporting they are completely disengaged, according to a new survey from Gallup. Both at increases of 2 percentage points since 2021.
According to Gallup, the biggest declines from pre-pandemic engagement to 2022’s rates were centered around:
- clarity of expectations.
- connection to the mission or purpose of the company.
- opportunities to learn and grow.
- opportunities to do what employees do best.
- feeling cared about at work.
Why it matters: Employee engagement is a big problem for all of us, whether we’re people managers, working in mixternal communication or employee branding, or we’re actively disengaged ourselves.
Look at those areas of decline and ask yourself how your organization is acting on and communicating each of them. Are you truly providing opportunities for growth, purpose and fulfillment? Are you acting in ways that show care?
If not, it’s time to change either your communications strategy or your management philosophy — or both.
Allison Carter is executive editor of PR Daily. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.