The Impact of Tone Analysis on Corporate Comms

Large part of my career was spent reading and interpreting emotions. As a journalist and, later, a corporate communicator, that’s what I had to do.

When I was conducting an interview, I would tune into the interviewee’s psyche, read their emotional state and decide on the tone and tactics I had to use.

Later, as a corporate communicator, I had to act as a bridge between the expectations and frustrations of senior management and those of their employees.

I often felt like one of the robots in this new Watson commercial, “Coping with Humans”, in which Carrie Fisher runs a therapy session for bots that don’t like to work with humans.

I am very intrigued by the impact the new Watson APIs (Tone AnalyzerEmotion Analysis and Visual Recognition) are going to have on corporate communication, in a – I firmly believe – not so distant future.

My favourite is the Tone Analyzer that scans text to detect emotional clues and helps people understand the influence of tone on content.

You can see an example here of how a corporate announcement (comms’ bread and butter…) is analysed to determine its tone (anger, disgust, joy…) and spot social traits like openness or conscientiousness.

You can try out the Analyser on your own content.

I input part of a blog post I wrote to try to alert my readers – softly, between the lines… – to the dangers of a risky situation. I ran the text through the Analyzer and…. Bingo!! The language style summary I got indicated a high lever of confidence combined with fear. Exactly the mixture of emotions I was trying to get across!

And this is just an example of how cognitive can support communicators in their work, by helping them calibrate their message and take into account the emotions of their audience as well as their own. There is more to come…

Who knows… we might end up enjoying working with humans after all…


The views expressed here are my own.

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