By Erin Ally, R&J Public Relations
What does it mean to be a millennial? Most people refer to millennials as the generation born between 1980-2000. Other people refer to them with a few other choice words (ahem!). There are a lot of stereotypes attached one’s resume based on date of birth alone. But here’s something that maybe you didn’t know: millennials can bring much more to your public relations agency than what stereotypes would lead you to believe.
Here are seven common stereotypes about the generation – which is expected to make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025 – that could surprisingly work to your company’s advantage.
We are naïve. We may not all be expert publicists just yet, but younger generations have something very valuable to bring to bring to the table — a fresh perspective, enthusiasm, and high energy that your office may be missing. We might be able to look at a problem in ways no one has before and come up with a creative solution.
We are superficial. We have a habit of taking things at face value. But wouldn’t you rather your company be represented by someone who knows the importance of first impressions? We understand brand management and how to represent the company and their clients in the most positive way.
We are “stalkers.” I read an article recently about how millennials are expert stalkers, and as much as it made me laugh, I realized it’s true! Millennials can research like no other. Have a new client coming on board and need some information on the company? With just a WiFi password and a keyword, a millennial can dig up all the information that exists on the subject — and in record speed.
We can’t pay attention. In this day and age, the average person’s attention span is just eight seconds long. With constant updates and news being delivered at record speeds, millennials are not exempt from the information overload, but it taught us to be concise and to get to the point quickly in everything we do. Emails, pitches, phone calls, and meetings will be concise and to the point with a millennial.
We are self-absorbed. We want a lot of likes and know just how to get them. This means that we want people to like all of our work, big or small. We aren’t going to settle for mediocre. We know that well thought-out, creative and quality work gets the best results. A millennial isn’t going to submit projects unworthy of likes!
We are always on our phones. Millennials grew up in an era where technology permitted us to be constantly connected. We’re quick to navigate our way through software updates, apps, and social networks. We taught ourselves how to use the newest electronics and we are the ones who create online trends. Being constantly connected helped us learn how to adapt to the latest technologies and trends quickly and efficiently. You won’t have to spend too much time training a millennial on your company’s technologies, programs or databases; just a brief overview and we’ll take it from there.
We are risk-takers. … but in the best possible way. Since we know we are the young ones in the room, we accept our own imperfections and understand mistakes will happen. In other words, millennials aren’t afraid of failure. We’ll put ourselves out there with new ideas time and time again. Even when these ideas don’t get implemented, they help produce an engaged environment where creative, strategic public relations can cultivate.
Before you write off the millennial in the cubicle next to you, give them a chance. They may be able to bring a whole new set of skills and perspective to your company, and even change your perception of an entire generation.