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New AI guidelines for U marketing and communications

It’s been just over a year since ChatGPT burst on the scene, bringing unprecedented new access to generative artificial intelligence tools. Since the launch, more tools, including Claude, Bard, Perplexity and many others, have made a massive impact on how the world’s coders, communicators and others work.

Because of these exciting opportunities, University Marketing & Communications set out a set of AI policies and guidelines last fall to help guide the U’s marketers, public relations professionals and other communicators to responsibly enhance their productivity with AI tools.

“It can be scary for us marketing and communications folks,” said Seth Bracken, editor of University of Utah Magazine. “When ChatGPT was first released, I wasn’t convinced I’d have a job in a year’s time.” And while that fear has proved false, the power of AI to augment and enhance productivity for marketing and communications professionals is undeniable.

“A quote you often hear about AI in this field is ‘Your job may not be replaced by AI, but it might be replaced by someone who knows how to use AI,’ ” said Melody Murdock, director of editorial content and strategy. “We want to provide the guidelines, training and resources so communicators at the U can stay on the cutting edge, grow professionally and bring the best possible work here to advance our mission.”

The policies include a broad set of guiding principles and then delve into examples of acceptable and prohibited use. For example, the guidelines advise employees not to use generative AI tools to create entire pieces of content or images. Rather, the tools should be assistive in tasks such as brainstorming or refinement. “The landscape is changing too rapidly for us to list every acceptable and prohibited use,” said Lisa Anderson, associate editor of University of Utah Magazine. “So, we took an approach to provide high-level guidance and we’ve created a committee to review questions about how these tools should and could be used.”

The guidelines are designed specifically for marketing and communications professionals. Other AI guidelines available at the university include how generative AI tools should be used in research, privacy and security measures from IT and instructional guidelines from the Martha Bradley Evans Center for Teaching.

The marketing and communications AI policy working group meets regularly, and if you have a question or would like to request training, please reach out to

View the AI guidelines for marketing and communications at the U.

Members of the Marketing and Communications AI Policy Working Group

  • Lisa Anderson, associate editor, University of Utah Magazine
  • Collin Barrett, senior account executive, UMC
  • Seth Bracken, editor, University of Utah Magazine
  • Jana Cunningham, director of communications, College of Humanities
  • Evan Lerner, director of communications, College of Engineering
  • Mattie Mortensen, communications specialist, UMC
  • Melody Murdock, director of content and editorial strategy, UMC
  • Mitch Sears, producer, University of Utah Health
  • Scott Troxel, director of digital strategy, UMC