Generational Differences and PR

| Written by: Agata Wlodarczyk

Last month the Capital Chapter kicked 2014 off with a half day professional development seminar called “Talkin’ Bout My Generation: Decoding the Differences Among Us.

The day began with a presentation by Dr. Jean Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and author of more than 100 scientific publications and books, including The Narcissism Epidemic:Living in the Age of Entitlement and Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before. Dr. Twenge joined the Capital Chapter via video conference and gave a data packed presentation on generational differences and trends. Though much of the presentation focused on self-esteem and narcissism as they relate to different generations, Dr. Twenge pointed out that generational differences are based on averages, and there are always exceptions.

The second presenter of the day was Jenny Schmitt, First Employee and Senior Spark at CloudSpark, an award-winning strategic communications and social media company that specializes in helping companies answer the key questions of “What now?” and “What next?” Schmitt’s presentation, Decoding the Differences, took the Capital Chapter through 4 generations, breaking down the differences in work paths, life paths, and work identities. Schmitt peppered her presentation with practical examples from her own experience, and offered key facts about each generation that PR pros can use to reach their target audience.

The final speaker was Karl Ahlrichs, SPHR.  Arlrichs has lived (and worked) in the real world of business all over the country. Ahlrichs’ talk built on the data from Dr. Twenge’s talk and on the strategy from Schmitt’s presentation drilling things down to tactics the PR Pros can take back to work. Ahlrichs gave practical tips for delivering effective and memorable presentations. One of the presentation’s key takeaways was shifting the focus from searching for “best practices” to what he calls “next practices,” a great takeaway for those in the PR industry who are always looking to stay ahead of the next big thing.