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Posts Tagged ‘millennials’

First Step For Marketers to Understand Millennials: Dump the Stereotypes

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Much has been made about marketers’ attempts to reach millennials. This group, probably more so than others, is fragmented by all of the media options at their fingertips. They’re struggling right now with an economy that has made some of the traditional milestones, like buying a house, out of reach. And they have a different set of criteria to determine what’s valuable enough to spend money on.

Learning more about their lives and how they’re managing the obstacles they face is the first step to reaching them with a message that makes sense. Continuing with stereotypes — lazy, entitled, narcissistic, etc — will not.

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5 Generation Gaps in Need of Bridging in Public Relations

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I was having a spirited conversation about the state of public relations with a journo buddy of mine last week when this question came up: “How in the hell can anyone build a bridge long enough for the widening generation gap in the media and PR?”

After he downed a few shots of a certain toxic adult beverage following that stress-induced question, it got me thinking about another 5 Things topic for all us flacks to enjoy and discuss. It should scurry up some conversation, so here’s to hoping.

Here are 5 Generation Gaps in Need of Bridging in PR. If you have tools to build this structure, we will set up the contractor site immediately.

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STUDY: The Public Wants More Information from Food Brands

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It’s no secret that consumers are more concerned with the health benefits, purity, and environmental impacts of the food they buy than ever before.

But a recent Cone Communications survey polled more than 1,000 people to dig a bit deeper for specifics, finding that generational divides exist within these trends and that food brands have a fresh opportunity to define and differentiate themselves via consumer preferences. 74% of participants said that companies need to do a better job of explaining why they stand apart in terms of environmental concerns.

Some more key stats from the “2014 Food Issues Trend Tracker” after the jump.

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Millennial Investors More Focused on CSR as a Value Indicator

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Ever had trouble convincing your clients of the value of CSR efforts? We’re guessing the answer to that question is “yes” because, in most cases, businesses judge the importance of public sentiment on the degree to which it influences investor relations.

We found a recent piece in The Guardian encouraging in that regard, however: as the average age of the investor class goes down, its interest in CSR and “profit with purpose” goes up.

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STUDY: 5% of Millennials Check Their Phones Once a Minute

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Today in Things We Already Knew news: everyone accepts mobile as the future, but a recent British study* performed by “customer experience” brand KANA turned the why into science: the average Euro-Millennial aged 18-24 checks his or her phone every ten minutes…or every nine minutes and fifty seconds, to be precise.

More shocking was our headline stat: 1 in 20 respondents checks the phone an average of sixty times every waking hour.

You’re right to be curious about the generation gap: 25-34-year-olds only check their phones once every nine minutes and fifty-five seconds because 34 is the new 17, spoiled entitlement, blah blah. The number increases to once every 20 minutes or more once we cross the 35 threshold, but the trends still apply across demographics.

It’s almost as fascinating as oh hey, I got a Snapchat!

The key finding for PR, though, relates to customer service:

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The WSJ Tells the Olds How to Work with Those Pesky Millennials

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MIT researcher and aging specialist Joseph Coughlin has a bit more credibility than other Wall Street Journal “experts” like Morgan Fairchild and Suzanne Sommers, but a recent post in which he discusses the challenges of employing “the kids today” (and the very fact that someone titled it “A Survival Guide to Working with Millennials“) is a pretty good example of why this discussion grows so dull. Some “key takeaways”:

“…your younger colleagues…have grown up believing that productive interactions are online, on text and on video”

Because that couldn’t possibly be true.

“Just because there is not a rectangular table with you sitting at the head does not mean that work isn’t being done.”

We hear they make square tables now.

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How Do Millennials Feel About Charity?

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On Giving Tuesday, we thought it would be appropriate to explore the relationship between charities and that most important demographic: Millennials (yes, we dislike the word too, but it seems we’re stuck with it).

Truth be told, we were initially inspired to write this post because of an irritating quote that “The Millennial Whisperer”, aka psych professor Dr. Jean Twinge, offered Digiday last week:

“One common [claim] is that this generation really wants to help people and they want jobs where that’s the No. 1 goal and that they’re very interested in getting along in government. And that’s not true. They’re even less interested in that than previous generations.”

So Gen Y talks a good game on generosity but doesn’t follow up, huh? Other researchers beg to differ.

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‘Big Brands are Coming to the Millennial Game Late’

At TV Week in New York City, MediabistroTV talked to the heads of a couple new TV networks aimed at millennials. Though the thought of starting a new TV network for the generation that famously eschews traditional media seems a little ill-advised, it’s not like brands have this whole millennial thing down either. So what can PR pros learn from these media upstarts about their target demo? “A number of big brands are coming to the millennial game late,” said Evan Shapiro, president of Pivot. “There’s a misperception that [millennials] don’t care about anything but themselves. That’s absolutely incorrect.”

New Target Market Alert! Millennials Have A Taste For The Vino

WineClassyPeopleYoung drinkers (those just above the drinking age) are consuming more wine than previous generations of new wine lovers and, of course, the wine industry is all kinds of happy about that. Fox says companies are responding by creating and marketing wine to Millennials in ways that they hope will keep them hooked. Doesn’t sound like it would be too hard to get people excited about drinking bottles of wine, but hey… kids these days!

Melissa Saunders, the owner of importer Communal Brands, says, “[Millennials] don’t care about the pretentiousness of a wine, they want something that is authentic and speaks to them. This is a huge marketing opportunity.”

Let’s hope they don’t mess up wine by doing something completely lame.

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Study: Young Folks Love to Travel (and Complain About Your Travel Clients)

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Here are some alternately encouraging/frustrating results from the latest Harris Interactive poll on the behavior of those pesky Millennials: they travel a lot and they’re not afraid to spend money, but they’re also far more likely to share their disapproval of less-than-satisfactory hospitality experiences with the rest of the world.

The basic findings:

  • Professionals 30 and under travel significantly more—for both business and pleasure—than their older counterparts. They’re much more likely to turn business trips into personal vacations.
  • While traveling, they spend money freely: 42% of the “Millennial” contingent say they would use company funds to buy “a fancy meal” and 32% said they’d spring for room service.
  • Yet they’re quick to warn the public about bad service: 26% said they’d posted at least one negative review online over the past year.

So they’re liberal with their definition of “business expenses”, but they’re very critical of the service they receive.

You’re probably aware of this, but most travel brands have begun creating campaigns aimed specifically at this demographic: USA Today names Marriott‘s “Travel Brilliantly“, but expect more campaigns that emphasize quality of experience over price point to appear on mobile and social platforms.

Also: those negative reviews will just keep coming. So…yay?

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