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The art of AI prompt writing for charities

Headshot of Nicholas

11 July 2023

by Nicholas McDonald

Communications Officer.

Article

Article

This guide delves into the importance of AI for your charity and offers examples of prompt formulas to amplify the impact of your copy and imagery.

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is starting to become a major tool for charities looking to amplify their impact. AI tools are revolutionising the way organisations engage with their audiences, create content, and drive fundraising efforts. One key aspect of using AI tools effectively is mastering the art of prompt writing. In this guide, we will explore AI’s significance for your charity and provide you with examples of prompt formulas to enhance your copy and imagery.

Background to AI

AI has taken off all over the world – from movies and art to science and technology. This development is here to stay, for better or for worse. We understand that charities are concerned about the ethics surrounding AI, and for good reason. You can read about these concerns in this piece by Charity Digital. However, in this resource, we will be examining the flip side. Since we know AI is not going anywhere, how can you embrace these new technologies to your advantage?

The impact of AI will, and already is, making waves in the charity sector. Tools such as ChatGPT (text-to-text), Midjourney (text-to-image), Adobe Firefly (text-to-video), LOVO (text-to-audio) and many more are starting to become important and commonplace in daily working lives – with constant updates and new developments.

These tools can help you to automate your boring admin emails, create templates for your blogs or inspire you with exciting new content ideas. And that’s where prompt writing comes in!

Prompt writing is a whole new technique and skill that acts as the key to utilising AI tools. This is such a crucial factor that AI Prompt Engineers are being hired by organisations!

Understanding prompt writing and why it’s important

In simple English, an AI prompt is the text or information you input into an AI model to generate its output.

Prompts are essential for interacting with AI systems like ChatGPT because they guide the tool’s generation process. By providing a prompt, you can convey your intentions, ask questions, or request information in a way that the AI system can understand and respond to. The quality and specificity of the prompt play a crucial role in determining the relevance and accuracy of the AI’s response.

The importance of AI prompts lies in their ability to shape the output from the AI. By carefully crafting prompts, you can influence the tone, style, or direction of your desired content. Well designed prompts help ensure that AI-generated responses align with your goals and expectations. It takes time to perfect this technique, but it can be so useful once you get it right.

(Fun fact: The intro to this guide was written by AI!)

How to get it right

So, how do you get it right? There are four key elements to effectively writing prompts and using AI tools: thinking about the end-product, including details, tailoring with follow-up prompts, and human-reviewing!

Starting with the end-product is the best way to craft an AI prompt. Ask yourself, what exactly do you want to achieve with this text, image, video, or audio? What should it look like and what is its purpose? Once you have a clear vision in mind, you will want to include specific details to help the AI generate the desired outcome. This may involve considering the tone of voice for a piece of text, the lighting in an image, or the artistic style of a video. You don’t want to overcomplicate it, but providing clear details is crucial to obtaining the perfect result.

After creating your initial prompt, you can further tailor the AI’s response by providing additional details or context to refine the content. Lastly, it is important to remember that AI still has limitations, especially in these early stages of development. Fact-check every piece of content created as these tools are often incorrect as they are simply picking up information from online – which is often wrong! Always review the content generated by the AI for any errors and make necessary edits. Never post AI-generated copy or images without examining them first.

Another note to remember is to make sure the tool is aware that you are creating content for a charity, and to understand your audience. For example, if writing copy aimed at possible donors, tell that to the AI, or if you want to create images that include children, include terms such as ‘from behind, face not shown’ in your prompts!

By following these steps and taking into account the limitations of AI, you can enhance your prompts and achieve better results in your AI-driven content creation. And remember, like any skill (particularly one as new and as uncharted as this), it takes time to perfect it! The more you practice writing and designing prompts, the better you will get and the more you will understand about how the AI works and responds.

For a more detailed guide to making the most out of ChatGPT, check out this best practices guide from Open AI themselves.

Prompt writing formulas

Below are some prompt writing formulas you can use right off the bat or edit to your needs! 

  • If you want to get your copy proofread, but don’t have the time to do it yourself or send to others…
    “Check and proofread the writing below. Correct any spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as making any edits for clarity and brevity. [Insert text]”
  • When you’re searching for content ideas…
    “Come up with some social media content ideas for [insert charity name]. We work in [write what you do], and need content for [insert audience], that appeals to [audience]”
  • If you must write a boring event reminder email…
    “Write an interesting but simple reminder email for our upcoming [insert info]. This taking place [insert date/location] and is for [insert audience]. Keep the email short, to [insert word limit], and use a [insert tone].”
  • Or a thank you letter…
    “Write an [e-mail] to [name] for [what they did] including [the difference that made to your charity’s work]. Keep the tone grateful and sincere, keep it short to [insert word count].”
  • When you want to create an image for your socials…
    “A graphic optimised for [insert social media platform]. It will show [insert subject/background/details]. Use [insert lighting, camera angle, camera style preferences].”
  • When you want to create a graphic/illustration but are bored of Canva…
    “An illustration of a [subject/details] with [background context], in the style of [art style], viewed from [perspective].”
  • When you need to voiceover a social media but you have a cold…
    “A short voiceover, with [insert text].” 

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