How to use generative AI to write government website content

Posted on December 4, 2023

icon with a robot and a pencil writing

Generative AI (gen AI) is a useful tool that can help you write draft content for your government website. At this point in time, you can’t completely trust it to write perfect and accurate content. But using it can save you time.

There are several free gen AI tools available. The most common ones are ChatGPT, Bard, and Claude.

Here are several ways you can use it to help you write as well as what to keep in mind.

How gen AI can help you write

Spark ideas

If you are feeling stuck or not sure how to get started, you can use gen AI tools to help write an outline or rough draft of your topic. It can also help you write certain parts like:

  • Page titles and headings
  • Introductions or conclusions
  • Keywords and meta descriptions

Simplify complex language

GenAI can help you make something easier to understand. Ask it to rewrite some text with instructions like:

  • Use clear, plain language
  • Write for grade 5 reading level
  • Avoid idioms, metaphors, and jargon

Find new ways to express an idea

GenAi is great at rephrasing or rewording something. You can use it like a thesaurus and ask for synonyms. If there’s a phrase that feels clunky or repetitive, ask it for another way to say it.

It’s helpful to ask it to provide multiple options, such as:

  • Give me 5 synonyms for [word]
  • Write 3 other ways to say [phrase]

Summarize long reports

GenAI is an excellent research assistant. It can quickly provide summaries or highlights for large amounts of information. This can be helpful if you need to write about something you are not familiar with yet.

It can help you generate summaries for documents. This way you can include a summary with a document so someone can decide if they want to download it or not.

Some AI tools cannot access links or documents, so you’ll need to copy and paste the content into them.

What to keep in mind

Review for accuracy

Don’t rely on ChatGPT to write perfect and accurate content. It might look correct at a glance, but sometimes generative AI makes up information. It’s important to always review it carefully with subject matter experts.

Don’t enter sensitive information

Anything you enter into a gen AI tool could become public. Do not enter confidential or private information, especially personal identifiable information (PII).

Adjust style, tone, and formatting

You may need to adjust style, tone, and formatting. Make sure it’s use plain language, headings, and sentence case. If your organization has a style or content guide, you may need to make other tweaks to follow it.

Useful prompts to try

  • Write 5 headlines for a news article about [topic]
  • Summarize this information: [text]
  • Write this in clear, plain language for a grade 5 reading level: [text]
  • Give me 5 synonyms for “[word]”
  • Write 3 other options for this phrase: [phrase]
  • What are some keywords for “[topic]”?
  • Generate 5 meta descriptions for this: [text]

Final thoughts

To make the most of gen AI, use it as a writing aide for developing website content. It can help spark ideas, simplify, and summarize. Using it can save you time and often lead to a better quality.

Be careful not to trust the output completely. Always review it closely with subject matter experts.

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