Media Relations Takes On New Meaning in Reaching Gen Y

The Cisco Connected World Technology Report
shows that Internet connectivity—especially on
mobile devices—has shaped the mindset and
behavior of the Gen Y workforce.

For PR pros, file this one under “Automatic Press Release.”

PR execs are going to have to rely on such software if they want to have a puncher’s chance at reaching Generation Y, which is generally defined as people born in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

That’s because the vast majority of Gen Y (90%) surveyed worldwide said they check their smartphones for updates in emails, texts and social sites, often before they get out of bed, according to the 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR).

Based on a survey of 1,800 college students and young professionals aged 18 to 30 across 18 countries, the report examines how Gen Y uses both the Internet and mobile devices.

The report helps to illustrate that, for PR execs, reaching younger professionals requires a different mindset than reaching professionals who have been conditioned by analog media, as opposed to digital media. Gen Y has spawned an “always-on” mentality that is going to become more pronounced in the months and years ahead, particularly as mobile marketing goes mainstream. 

Indeed, what people with a touch of grey (or more) might think is rude—texting or emailing during meals with family and friends—members of Gen Y see as the norm.

Both companies and PR agencies will have to increasingly cater their media messaging (and distribution models) to respond to the trend, or risk irrelevance with tomorrow’s decision-makers.

Here are a few nuggets from the study:

  • Nine of 10 respondents globally will get dressed, brush their teeth and want to check their smartphones as part of the morning ritual for getting ready for school or work.
  • More than one in four Gen Y respondents (29%) said they check their smartphones so constantly that they lose count.
  • Globally, one in five checks a smartphone for email, text and social media updates at least every 10 minutes. In the U.S., two out of five check at least once every 10 minutes.
  • Almost half of the global respondents (46%) said they text, email and check social media during meals with family and friends. 
  • Almost 90% upload photos to share or store on Internet sites while 62% upload videos to share or store on Internet sites.

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About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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  • Michael F Kelly

    The birth date range you give would not coincide with the ages of the respondents. So not Gen Y but some other Gen?