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Want To Reach Millennials? ‘Social Dialogue Is Key’

group of millennialsNew research from The McCarthy Group finds that 84 percent of millennials “don’t like or trust all forms of advertising.” (Chances are, there’s a big chunk of other demographics that would say the same.)

When asked to rate how much they trust advertising on a scale of 1 to 5, respondents (136 people, ages 18 to 34) gave an average answer of 2.2.

On the other hand, this group places a great deal of trust in their peers, averaging a trust rating of 4 on that same scale. Millennials also think highly of social and digital media, with 57 percent of respondents answering positively about those channels. Coming in a distant second behind digital technology is television at 20 percent.

So if you can somehow mix a young consumer’s personal social network with digital technology, you might have a winning PR campaign, even if advertising isn’t a millennial’s cup of tea. We asked Tami McCarthy, CEO of The McCarthy Group, for a few suggestions for how to score with this important demographic.

Her tips after the jump.

Getting into the social dialogue is key.  Bite-sized bits of content and shareable images and video.  A story should have a couple of different parts so it can be used in different ways.
Target media outlets that are really good at getting pieces of content shared.  A media outlet with lots of Facebook followers can be more powerful to distribute a message than an outlet that is primarily known for web traffic.
Sharing Sharing sharing.  Make sure all your brand channels, including your own website, are “millennial-friendly.” That means yesterday’s static site won’t do. As our research shows, this tech savvy group of consumers presents a huge opportunity to marketers who understand their desire and quest for information. Gaining their attention is the key to winning their trust.

We would also add to this the importance of going offline. Live events that draw a crowd — concerts, movies and festivals of just about any kind — are sure to draw a crowd. And this demographic is always looking for something cool to do with their friends and (as you get to the older end of the age spectrum) their young families. Moreover, these events can go viral, with attendees posting clips, photos and live tweeting what’s happening for all to see. Organizers and publicists can do the same. And don’t forget other networks like Instagram and Vine.

image via Shutterstock

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