Archive for the ‘Mentorship’ Category

Generation Z: Forget Everything You’ve Learned About Millennials

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Amanda Kemsley, Account Manager 

 

Move over Millennials, we have a new target market in town: Generation Z (A.K.A Gen Z). The marketing stream has been hyper-focused on millennials for awhile, but now enters the next generation to be in the spotlight, and not one to be ignored. Born in the mid-nineties, Gen Z has grown up in the digital age, with ubiquitous internet access and bred to navigate the world with ease. Making up approximately 17 per cent of Canada’s population, it is a generation worth watching and brands are noticing.

For many, especially marketers, it seems obvious that digital would be the only channel worth connecting with this generation. But, do we have it all wrong? If you were to guess the generation that prefers print books over digital ones, enjoys shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and as few as 14 per cent own a smartwatch, you probably wouldn’t associate this with Gen Z. But those are Gen Z preferences, including characteristics of being more inclusive, accepting and risk-adverse.

There’s a fine balance with this generation between digital and traditional. Even though their lives revolve around a digital sphere, they tend to ignore the constant stream of ads and messaging and turn away from the digital noise. Information consumption for Gen Z is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Engaging with them digitally isn’t enough. To help accurately market to Gen Z, it is important to differentiate this generation from others. Here are a few things we know that sets them apart from their millennial predecessors:

 

They are digital AND non-digital.  

They haven’t forgotten traditional mediums such as TV and paperback books and they easily straddle between digital and non-digital. While, Gen Z does receive most of its information from social media, it’s not solely digital for their means of information.

Key takeaway: e-commerce strategies are important for marketers, but don’t exclude in-store service – focus on the shopping experience.

 

 

Instant gratification is everything.

Thanks to social media and technology, the retrieval of information can happen whenever and wherever, making immediate gratification a must. Convenience is important here, more than any generation before. With same-day shipping, Google at your fingertips and apps to keep you from having to stand in line, patience is not a virtue.

Key take-away: this is not to be mistaken as laziness, but rather efficiency and simplicity – there’s no need to overcomplicate a message or product.

 

 

Gen Z is realistic and cautious about finances.

They grew up alongside the recession and were taught to be mindful with their money, even more so than millennials. Being internet-savvy, this generation knows how to find a great deal and get the most out of their money. They can find hundreds of similar products, so what makes yours stand out?

Key takeaway: it’s not enough to be price conscious, this generation is also looking for the value add.

 

 

Gen Z is not just an exaggerated version of millennials. They are unique, open-minded, money-conscious and resourceful. It is an important group of potential customers, clients, employees and employers who can help influence the future. As a brand or company, understanding these characteristics will help to accurately deliver products, services and experiences to this up-and-coming generation.  Welcome Gen Z, we’re glad you’re here!

 

Amanda is an Account Manger at Brookline Public Relations. She has an insatiable appetite for exploring – ironically since she doesn’t like getting lost. She flourishes on bringing broad-minded, creative ideas to the table and trying things outside of the norm – perhaps these are millennial traits?

 

When Your Employees Go Rogue – How employees can do more damage than your competition

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Lisa Libin, Vice President

An employee can be a company’s strongest asset.  However, when an employee goes “rogue” – going against company policies and values, a PR crisis can ensue, reflecting and ultimately damaging a company’s brand.

From Starbucks employees choosing to have some loitering customers arrested to Tim Horton’s franchisees publicly lashing out over cuts to their benefits – although these issues are caused by rogue employees – it is still the responsibility of the brand to respond and clean up the mess.

What can a brand or company do when its reputation is tarnished by others? Below are some response recommendations for brands to follow when handling a PR issue not of their doing:

 

  1. Move quickly

With the power of social media, an incident is likely to go public, and potentially viral, like rapid fire. Gone are the days of having the luxury of sitting around a boardroom table for days to discuss a response – companies need to respond now. And fast. However, before distributing a response, ensure you are also following recommendation #2:

 

  1. Don’t be generic

Too often, companies are quick to respond with a generic statement – which can often cause additional frustration among consumers and the public who are looking for a more specific response or a call to action. Create a response that speaks to the problem – something as simple as “this isn’t acceptable, we are looking into it” can at least show the public you are taking the issue seriously.

 

  1. Tailor your reaction to the incident

There is no formulaic approach to a PR incident. Each crisis requires its own tailored response and outside counsel can often assist with creating a crisis communications path specific to the incident at hand.

 

  1. Go above and beyond when you can

This lesson can go all the way back to the Tylenol incident of the 1980’s where Johnson & Johnson recalled all of its products from the shelves, not just Tylenol products. An expensive business decision? Absolutely. But what it showed consumers is that Johnson & Johnson was willing to put customer safety ahead of profit margins to ensure all products were safe. When a brand goes beyond the simple response to an issue, it shows its audience that it truly cares and values their business.

 

While a number of recent incidents in the media have involved only one or two employees who made questionable or downright wrong decisions, it is always important to remember that all employees are representatives of the brand and it is important for the organization to act swiftly but act smartly.

 

 

Lisa Libin is Vice President at Brookline Public Relations. Lisa loves a good crisis (as long as it’s not a personal one!) and has vast experience in issues management and brand reputation issues, working with local and global communications teams to handle ongoing and current industry issues.

The program for the next generation of PR pros

Monday, May 7th, 2018

Ottilie Coldbeck, Public Relations Intern

Throughout university, the terms ‘internship’ and ‘co-op’ are thrown around frequently, with advisors professing the importance of “real world” experience – it can be overwhelming. As a public relations student at Mount Royal University, internships are a key element of the program and are required for graduation. During a four-year course, PR students must complete two four-month internships to provide them with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.

During the application and interview frenzy, students are often told to embrace any opportunity as there are not many times in a person’s life to ‘trial run’ a job. However, the usual hesitations around starting a new job set in – will it be fulfilling? Will I gain the experience I am seeking? Will agency life be the right fit for me? These are valid concerns and ones that I had felt personally before starting my position at Brookline Public Relations. I have now been with the Brookline team for just over four months and I can definitively answer yes to the above questions.

 

 

Public relations agencies, specifically boutiques, offer new grads entering the workforce an opportunity to hone skills required in the communications world. Agencies provide opportunities for its employees to continually develop their skills while working with a diverse set of clients who require unique communications strategies. In agencies, a teamwork atmosphere is crucial, and this could not be more true at Brookline.

Working alongside some fearless and fabulous women, Brookline PR has introduced me to the wonderful world of agency. At Brookline, no day is ever the same – I am constantly learning from the team and from clients, and the one-of-a-kind work atmosphere has set the standard for what I want to accomplish in coming years.

 

 

However, it’s true that at Brookline, not only do we work hard, we play hard! Brookline acknowledges hard work and celebrates the team in many ways. From Thank Tanks and coffee runs to quarterly team workouts and fun days – Brookline goes above and beyond to recognize the team’s dedication to delivering quality work for clients.

 

 

Public relations agencies offer budding PR pros opportunities to grow as communications professionals and develop a range of skills from the get-go. The agency is a unique and rewarding start to a career in public relations and I am excited to grow as a communicator and work with the Brookline team.

 

– Ottilie Coldbeck is an Intern at Brookline Public Relations. As a self-proclaimed adventure seeker, Ottilie challenges herself to remain outside her comfort zone in all aspects of her life. Ottilie has a passion for story-telling – helping brands communicate their messages in an authentic manner.