Nothing gets my blood boiling faster than reading the billions of negative articles about us, gen-yers; at this point, there isn’t a name that we haven’t been called: lazy, self-centered, entitled, spoiled…the list goes on and on. The stereotype most commonly portrayed in the press has become that we are over-educated, under-employed, and still living off our parents. So, are we doing anything right? Yes, actually we are.
Shockingly, we also possess good characteristics that are rarely covered in the media. Why isn’t it ever mentioned that we are tenacious, tech-savvy and entrepreneurial? Since we graduated in one of the worst job markets EVER, we have been forced to get scrappy and creative to come out on top. Best of all, we know how to hustle. Lucky for us, all of these characteristics are essential to be successful in PR.
I constantly hear from fellow gen-yers that they are having a hard time finding a job in the industry. These conversations always surprise me because there are many benefits to hiring millenials. So, I challenge PR firm owners to take that chance, and hire a gen-yer. I promise you, you will be pleasantly surprised, and here is why:
We REALLY know social media
It is one thing to learn social media because you knew it would be the next big thing. It is a completely different thing to have it naturally ingrained in your life. Millenials have been inundated with the different forms of social media since the very beginning. Hello, we were the MySpace generation! Yes, and we ACTUALLY did get offended when our friends didn’t put us on their top 8. By now, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are a natural part of our lives, so we have more authentic online personalities. Our personal lives revolve around these channels, so why not hire the experts? It only makes sense.
We know the trends
One of the biggest challenges in PR is keeping your clients on the cutting-edge. To run a successful campaign, your client always has to look fresh and new to the media. It will be easier to pitch your clients if you know what directions the trends are headed. Pretty much any millennial can tell you what is going on in the world, and what is going to be the next “cool thing”. Members of Gen-Y will have no problem in keeping your company and clients up-to-date.
We aren’t scared of rejection
Hello, we are more used to people saying “no” than “yes”. When you are looking for jobs in one of the worst economies ever, you get used to having doors slammed in your face. The good thing is we have become a generation that can dust ourselves off, stand back up and find new ways to get what we want. This is a good quality to have when working it PR. How many of your pitches get rejected? PR is definitely not a profession for the faint of heart.
We can keep it short
Nowadays, the key to success in PR is keeping everything as short as possible. In my opinion, the days of monologue pitches and press release are far-gone. My rule of thumb is that pitches should be no longer than 4-5 sentences at the most. This can be a challenge for those who are not used to writing in 140 characters or less. In PR being able to chose your words careful, and keep pitches concise is an extremely important tool.
To agency owners and those with decades of expertise: I am not naïve; I understand that these negative stereotypes do come from somewhere. And I admit that some are can be true. But I urge you to think about how to capitalize on the skillset a millenial employee can offer your company.
Millenials: The job climate is tough out there, but you should be confident about what you bring to the table. When you are out there interviewing, don’t let people write you off because of your age!
Rebekah Epstein is the founder of fifteen media, an agency that works exclusively with PR firms to streamline media relations in a digital era. She specializes in business, lifestyle, fashion and beauty. Rebekah also blogs about all things Gen Y at Neon Notebook. Follow her at @BekahEpstein