by Christopher Zahn
Generation Y – otherwise known as millennials – are commonly accused of being coddled and self-interested individuals who are incapable of commitment in the working world. But the PR industry can attest that this is far from the truth, with 70 percent of consultancies confirming their intention to recruit junior staff last year.
However, gen Y is the largest and fastest growing segment of the workforce so the PR industry would be wise to harness the unique skills and qualities that gen Y can offer. Interestingly, distinguishable from former generations, this generation is commonly regarded as the most influential, with the internet being employed as their biggest and most powerful tool.
Generation Y’s adaptability
Generation Y’s have a unique set of skills and qualities that could potentially enhance the ever-evolving world of PR. Adaptability, for example, is at the core of Gen Y’s ability to constantly change and evolve in sequence with the rapidly shifting landscape of modern media.
Generation Y’s social media prowess
The social media-savvy nature of Gen Y naturally complements the nature of PR in gaining maximum exposure in both traditional and contemporary media platforms. Years of experience in crafting a personal “brand” on our own social media profiles puts us in good stead for moulding and promoting our clients message into the world. This changing mechanism of communications allows gen Y to reach a broader audience than preceding generations.
Generation Y’s spirit of teamwork
Although having a team-oriented approach to work is an obvious benefit to any organisation, this quality is imperative in the world of PR. Millennials were brought up to recognise and appreciate the value of the team as a single entity, a value that has given them the tools to connect with anyone and everyone, irrespective of their background. This is an essential skill in PR – due to the people-centric nature of the industry, connections need to be made in order to successfully collaborate with a wide variety of media professionals.
Generation Y and the importance of authenticity
When collaborating with the media, millennials are at a particular advantage when it comes to their communication style. More so than former generations, gen Y seeks authenticity, be it in their consumer trends or how they broadcast a message when pitching to the media. This coincides with what has been referred to as the “age of authenticity”, a quality clients demand when using a public relations service. Millennials were brought up in an age of information overload, with access to a wide variety of news sources, so determining authenticity from “news spin” is something this generation has become highly attuned to.
Ultimately, despite the public relations industry being crafted by former generations, millennials are now primed for driving this dynamic industry forward into the digital age. By applying inherently forward thinking principles to press content, Gen Y is well equipped to bolster the communication links between clients and the media.