• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Artifical Intelligence – Bad for website content and sharing valid info?

600 332 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Every day, I get several requests from people (or robots?) wanting to corroborate, write stories or add backlinks to my website. Where does this stuff come from? How valuable is it? How do you tell what post is AI-generated?

by Leon Pantenburg

Disclaimer: John Furgurson is a friend of mine who writes real advertising and promotional copy. We have often bemoaned the proliferation of Artifical Intelligence and how it is diluting real writing and journalistic credibility.

Generally, the AI-generated content I get sent is not worth reading or editing. I gave a few sources a chance, thinking they might actually provide valuable content. Big mistake.

One “writer” wanted to do a post about learning to hunt.  The “post” was a mishmash of cliches’, was very superficial and had no sources. He/she/it referred to sporting firearms as “weapons.”  It was evident that it had never been out in the field hunting, or for that matter ever been outside. Then, after offering to pay, it didn’t want the post to be labeled “Sponsored.” 

It’s easy to tell AI content – it all sounds or reads the same, and there is not any degree of indepth knowledge evident. And there are never any sources, nor photos of the author! 

John Furgurson is a veteran writer, photographer and public relations professional. He’s a real person!

My friend John Furgurson probably gets more of these queries than I do and he was spot on with this post.

This from John Furgurson:

These days every business needs content, and lots of it… For Facebook posts, blogs, YouTube channels, TicToc videos, Instagram reels and a dozen other tactical marketing activities.
It seems like everyone’s racing to the bottom of the pile, just to keep up. Here’s what most of your competitors are doing:

• They subscribe to AI services that generate unlimited blog posts for only $7.95 a month.

• They buy software that automatically generates video content from a library of stock video clips, aka visual cliches. Just upload a logo and voilà — they have “killer” video content, branded just for them.

• They hire content marketing companies that outsource all the work to writers oversees who then use Google translate to deliver their posts.

It’s not a very good model for those of you who want to stand out from the crowd.

So what should be you looking for when you’re evaluating the stream of content that you’re putting out there?

Just do the three letter test. Every piece of content should have at least two out of three of these: D R C Distinctive. Relevant. Credible.


If the content you’re producing is not distinctive, it will not differentiate your brand from anything.

Sure, generic, cookie-cutter content might be a little bit better than nothing because it will make your website visible to the Google spiders. But it’ll be nearly INvisible to humans.
The latest breakthroughs in Neuro Science prove that our brains are hard-wired to ignore the familiar. We only pay attention to the distinctive, unfamiliar things we stumble across.
If you’re not careful, your content will be exactly the same as what your inferior, cut-rate competitors are saying, showing and doing. Do you really want to be lumped in with those guys?

Does the post include original illustrations/photos that demonstrate the author actually uses the product?

No. You need to separate yourself every chance you get.

There are plenty of ways to make content distinctive… Mix up the words. Use original, branded images instead of generic stock shots. Commission an artist. Do short videos or Reels. Use analogies, metaphors and myths to bring your brand narratives to life.

Do something — anything — to differentiate the look, feel, and tone of your content. It’s not about conveying information, it’s about distinguishing yourself and making an emotional connection.
If you’re trying to accomplish that with AI, you’re going to have to be exceptionally creative and persistent with the prompts. And after that you’ll still have to edit mercilessly. Otherwise it’ll just be more of the same ‘ol noise that we’ve all learned to tune out.


In the branding world staying relevant means always finding a new story to tell. Or at least new angles on an old, tried and true story. For instance, food and beverage brands are always coming up with new flavors, different packaging options and new retail outlets to expand their relevance. Golf club manufacturers release new product lines every year in order to tempt past customers into buying the latest, greatest club.

But constant product innovation isn’t realistic for one-hit-wonder companies that have only one product or one service. If that’s the case, what can do you do to stay relevant?

Create new experiences and new reasons to buy. The Arm & Hammer brand was becoming irrelevant in the 1980s. A cultural shift was killing their sales of baking powder, as fewer and fewer people were spending time in the kitchen baking. So they came up with new uses for their product… Open the box, put it in the fridge and eliminate odors.

Reconnect with your true purpose. Resorts stay relevant by having a constant list of infrastructure improvements to tout. They’ll build new pool complexes, remodel outdated lodges, build pickleball courts, add new golf courses, redesign old ones and introduce new dining options.

But those are just product feature stories with a short lifespan. If you want to keep your brand relevant even when there’s nothing new being built, you have to go back to the core brand purpose. Your reason for being. That’s the common thread that stands the test of time.

Tap into cultural shifts.

It’s important for brands to stay up on cultural trends and shifting attitudes. Have you noticed that Diet Pepsi is no longer a thing? The marketing execs at Pepsi found out that Gen Z and Gen Y consumers have a distaste for the word “diet”. It’s now “zero sugar” Pepsi.

Big, successful retail chains, like Tie Rack, Dress Barn, Forever 21 and JC Penny failed to shift with the times. And then there’s Victoria’s Secret… The in-your-face sexuality and supermodel skinniness just does not play well in 2024.

Yes, you need to constantly refresh your product offerings and update your stores, but the easiest way to stay relevant is through advertising and content creation in general. For that, you need a bottomless well of creativity that’s in tune with the times.

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Differentiation and relevance without credibility is not productive in the long run. Anybody can add special effects and animated gifs to their content to catch attention, but it won’t help if the underlying message is weak or untruthful.

​Truth in Advertising seems to be an ongoing issue. No one’s policing TicToc or YouTube for truthfulness.

The most visible marketing companies in the golf industry produce a constant barrage of ridiculous products with outlandish claims of more distance. It’s blatantly false advertising, and it’s built into their business model. They know that only a tiny percentage will ever return a product, even when it’s horrible. Instead, golfers just blame themselves.
Those products have short lifecycles, and the brands behind them are often veiled. So there’s no brand credibility whatsoever.

So this year when you’re producing new content take a step back and ask yourself… “Does this pass the DRC test?

Does it differentiate you, or just put you in the same unfortunate category as everyone else?

Is it relevant in today’s world, with your most likely prospects?

Is it credible, or just hype?

No five-buck content farm will provide the answer to those questions. You have to do it yourself, or with a marketing partner that fully grasps the nuances of your brand and the needs of your customers.

Cheers to your success!


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