We all have that moment in our first job out of college, wondering: “Did I choose the right career?” “Can I see myself in this type of job 10 years from now?” There are almost too many options in life at this point – the world is really our oyster – and for the first time, we can do almost anything.
Though, for some of us – you may know them as “Type A personalities,” we’ve had our lives planned out for as long as we can remember. When we will be established in our careers, when we will get married, when we will have kids, where we will live, has all been planned out down to the last detail. This latter portrayal describes me, and many other people I’ve met in my three years working at a PR agency. For PR pros, planning is in our blood – it makes us excited to see our plans pan out just the way we envisioned them. We plan for our clients on a daily basis, so of course it’s natural to plan for ourselves.
As a millennial working in PR, although I do have similar character traits as many of my other colleagues, it is absolutely true that different generations have different ways of thinking. And with all the negative millennial articles floating around, I feel like we can oftentimes get judged prematurely based on our age. However, I think it’s just simply a different mindset or thought process, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. It’s always better to have a fresh perspective on things, right?
Here are three tips for millennials working in PR based on our most common stereotypes:
- If we wouldn’t even read the pitch, what makes you think a journalist would? We’re known to have extremely short attention spans – so use that to your advantage in pitching (whether you’re pitching a millennial or not). Is your pitch so long that you have trouble getting through it? Chances are, the reporter isn’t going to read it either. Keep it short, simple, and direct. Put your “ask” up front and give additional detail in a follow-up or below your signature. That way, the reporter can get the idea, and then access more information if interested.
- Leverage your knowledge and years of experience with social media: It’s assumed all millennials know their stuff in regards to social media. If that’s true, I suggest you use it to your advantage at work. You’ll be amazed by how little others will know about the different social channels and best practices for each, just because they didn’t grow up with it like we did. Use this to your advantage by providing recommendations and being the point person on your team in terms of social. You’ll find yourself running Twitter handles, Facebook pages and social media contests in no time!
- Remember, some people actually do like talking on the phone: So maybe texting is our preferred method of communication with our friends and family – and why wouldn’t it be? It’s quick, easy, and continuous. It might be habitual to only want to pitch media via email, but learn to get to know your audience. Are you pitching another millennial? Maybe they would like emailing best, too. But if you’re pitching someone your parent’s age, they may want to do everything over the phone – even down to confirming and scheduling a media briefing. I’ve even experienced a reporter who would prefer if I left him voicemails, and he would communicate back to me via email. Don’t be afraid to ask them directly! Everyone has their own preference, so take the time to figure that out for best results and good relationship building.
So whether you are a millennial or not, take advantage of the most commonly used stereotypes (while acknowledging they are not always accurate) to help you make daily decisions in PR around email pitching, phone pitching and social media.