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'Entitled' Gen Y: How They Add to the Integrated Hybrid

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What are the first words that pop into your head when someone says Gen Y? Go-getter, enthusiastic, tech-oriented? Entitled was more than likely among the more colorful adjectives. Those 'My Kid is an an Honor Roll Superstar' bumper stickers really went to our heads.

So, why should you want Gen Y on your marketing or public relations teams? Besides the obvious need for molding, educating, engaging and reverse mentoring, Gen Yers bring unique perspective to the table; those willing to research and learn know how to network and revitalize campaigns.

Target Demographic
Oh, the 18-35. This general consumer demographic is one that is very general, but with social media in the mix, brands are trying to reach everyone and constantly come back to this specific one. Instead of focus groups and crowd-sourcing, it's easy to have a Gen Y give insight and ask questions of their friends (who they trust more than a brand) and help cultivate more strategic tactics and objectives.

It's Sometimes Difficult to Blog with Authority
Successful Gen Y bloggers are willing to admit when they don't know everything ... and will craft open-ended blog posts to drive conversation and discussion in the comments. Utilize the comments section as an open brainstorm, where many ideas can delve from. We don't have the 20+ years experience that seasoned professionals have. We have a thirst for knowledge, keen research skills and the ability to process a lot of information at once.

Integrated Marketing Communications
Those that stand out in the Gen Y crowd are amazing networkers. They know how to talk with people of all levels and bring together teams. With Marketing/PR/Creative/Ad/social coming together for a kind of Marprosocial hybrid, its imperative to have those on the team that aren't entrenched in the silos mentality. They just haven't been exposed to it as much.

Pride in Agency/Organization Work
The Gen Yers you want on your team? They want to learn from you. They want to engage. If they don't ask you first, take them out for coffee. They want a dynamic where everyone can work together. It's not so much individualism as it is pride in an agency or organization. PR professionals can sometimes be their own worst promoters when it comes to promoting their firm. It's in our framework to always put the client first. Utilize them in a community manager type role in conjunction with traditional duties.

So, what do you think? What would you add?


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Lauren Fernandez is a public relations and digital communications professional based in the Midwest. She is dedicated to providing clients with hybrid expertise and commitment to their brands. In her current role at Fleishman-Hillard, she works on the consumer team and digital/social media approach for the agency. Lauren has been recognized among PR Week's "Top Tweeters", as well as one of the '30 under 30' and 'Top 100 PR Professionals' on Twitter. Her blog, LAF, was named 'Best Up and Coming' in the 2009 PR Blog Awards. She is a regular contributor for MarketingProfs Daily Fix. She is also the co-founder of #u30pro, a Twitter ongoing conversation that focuses on working professionals and bridging the generation gap. The chat started in Aug. 2009, and has grown into a robust community with a weekly chat, digest, FB/LinkedIn groups and Brazen Careerist partnership. Lauren is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan and graduate of the University of North Texas.

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  • by Matthew Ray Mon Mar 8, 2010 via blog

    Loved this post. All we Gen Y's ask for is for teams to work together, communicate fully, and to keep us in the loop! We like to see the big picture and have a visual into everything that is going on. We grew up multi-tasking, we can take it!

    The more open and fluid organization can be up front to their "Gen-Y's", the better they can get something done quickly and perfected. If you bring them in last minute expecting them to know what you want (without keeping them in the loop over the past month as you had meetings with other teams), don't expect their best.

    Invite the new Gen-Y into your meetings - there is a good chance they'll disrupt your normal process for getting something done, but it may be for the better in the long run! And you may even learn something new!

    We are not the experts.. YOU are! Teach us something - we aren't all arrogant and know we can learn from the folks that have been doing this for years :)

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