Spoiler Alert: Millennials Will Change the PR World
Everyone is talking about millennials these days. Every week there seems to be a new article or story criticizing, questioning or praising this generation. Are they really going to change our society and the future of the world via social media? Should we all immediately adopt their über-collaborative attitude? Do the rest of us need to focus more on only working in things we thoroughly enjoy, as they do? Shall we just stop worrying when we make mistakes because it is all beta, anyway?
Having more than a couple of millennials working in our offices and also having given a series of university lectures with more than 600 millennial students, I can fairly say that my exposure to the millennial way of thinking feels very current. For some reason, I have felt very attracted to this topic for the past two years and I always find myself observing how they respond to business and communications challenges. I have kept little notes about my observations in the back of my notebook, and here are my conclusions:
1.- Millennials are changing what a good reputation should look like
Because they’ve grown in a world with spell and grammar check, mistakes are a different thing to them. Mistakes have a different value, they are actually ok, and they are tolerable and weaved into innovation. So while for the previous generations a company or a brand would have a good reputation by being mistake-averse, polished and focused on operating impeccably, this generation values assets like transparency, willingness to collaborate and the ability to positively transform the environment
2.- They are changing the way client service works
Because they are constantly providing feedback. Yes, many of the descriptions of the millennial generation say that this group is particularly difficult to deal with because they are unstoppably asking for feedback, but, what I’ve observed is that they are also very frequently providing feedback. This is a tremendous skill, and one that is definitely relevant and useful in terms of client service. Keeping the client always properly informed and always in the loop? Having someone that naturally wants to provide 140 character-short-but-newsworthy updates on a communications program? Organizing client information so that it works in an on-demand way across devices, locations and teams? Yes, please.
3.-Millenials are changing how media relations works
Because they grew up in a global world. Millennials think it is possible to pitch a story about any client, to any journalist or influencer from any country. It is a trend now, tomorrow it will be the standard. PR agencies filled with millennials not afraid to open any and all doors, will have the capability of pitching any story to any editor in any country in the world. Their ability to network and be insightfully informed will make them a highly skilled workforce that is able to sell any story or content to anyone.
Future observations will prove my theory right or wrong. In the meantime, I will celebrate the positive assets millennials bring to the PR table.