How Millennials Can Be an Asset to Your Agency

31 Oct How Millennials Can Be an Asset to Your Agency

Happy Halloween, Sounding Board readers! I thought I’d celebrate the day by talking about something that Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers find truly spooky…Millennials, specifically the 20-somethings in today’s work force.

If you’ve been paying attention to the media lately, you’ve probably seen a lot of attention directed towards the Millennial generation and the stereotype of being lazy, narcissistic, and entitled, that goes along with us.

Popular opinion seems to be that a childhood of participation ribbons and being told that having fun comes first has made us soft. Before you write off Generation Y as a group whose utopia involves spending their days texting and watching Keeping up with the Kardashians, take a second to think about what they could do for you.

The question is…how can PR agencies harness those stereotypes for good?

 

Did you see the picture on instagram of the tweet about that Facebook post?

One of the most common complaints about Millennials is that they are too interested in Social Media. While I’m not a fan of posting selfies or cataloguing everything I’ve had to eat in a day, a little media obsession can be a great thing in PR.

Millennaials have been a part of just about every social media trend. From top 8’s on MySpace to trending hashtags on twitter, Millennials are experts on the latest in social media because it is embedded into just about every aspect of their lives. They know how to go beyond their news feed and find trends and create strategies to keep an account relevant. It’s not all about pictures of faces and food…In fact, 68% of Millennials get their news from social media.

 

Oh, that? Of course I know how to do that.

Boomers tend to take issue with Millennial overeagerness and seemingly conceited attitude. Millenials are not of the mindset that something can’t be done—and that’s something PR Pros can work to their advantage.

If you say you need it, we think it must be possible. Our logic is that somewhere out there is a YouTube video, tutorial, article, or some kind of collateral that will piece together anything we need to know. Not only are we willing to learn, we want to learn to prove we’re capable of expanding our skill set. That kind of tenacity can be a great asset in PR, and the belief that anything is possible as long as you put the effort and creativity in behind it is a great driving force.

 

I only multitask when I’m breathing. 

The Pew Research Center recently discovered that 42% of Americans surveyed believe that Millennial’s usage of the Internet causes them to “spend most of their energy sharing short social messages, being entertained, and being distracted,” consequently leading us to lack deep-thinking capabilities; lack face-to-face social skills; and depend in unhealthy ways on the internet.

In contrast, the other 55% in that same study believed that Millennial’s multitasking “yields helpful results” and that they “cycle quickly through personal- and work related tasks.” They also claimed that, Millennials are “adept at finding answers to deep questions, in part because they can search effectively and access collective intelligence via the internet.”

Look at a Generation Y computer. Between social networking sites, news sites, multiple projects, various email accounts, and anything else we stumble across, Millennials are always online. While this “hyperconnectivity” can be nerve-wracking for the pragmatic Generation X it can also be considered a great way to always know the latest news and a great asset for PR pros.

 

Lets face it. The millennial generation was raised to believe that having fun should always be priority number 1 (it isn’t) and if you worked hard to get that degree the universe would reward you with a great job (it won’t).  That doesn’t mean that Generation Y isn’t hard working, capable, and smart. Some stereotypes about Millennials are unfortunately valid, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be morphed in to assets.

Sally McHugh
smchugh@speakerboxpr.com
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