Playing the Generation Game in Communications
Published on Wednesday 7th of November, 2018
A survey carried out by O2 and NSPCC has revealed a digital language gap between parents and their children when it comes to understanding the phrases they use. As a result, they’ve teamed up to create their ‘Parents v Kids’ quiz using Amazon’s Alexa to pit parents up against children in a battle of digital wits.
The survey of 1,000 parents and children showed that nearly half (48%) of parents with children aged between 8 and 13 years feel confused with the language that younger people use and that there is a huge language divide between the generations.
This quiz is a great initiative, using technology to create a better inter-generational dialogue between parents and children. Whilst the quiz is designed to be fun and inclusive, there is a serious side to it all.
The digital world is constantly evolving with, unfortunately, too many people finding new ways to trick and defraud us. It’s vital therefore that parents and children are able to talk openly and confidently with each other about the great things the internet has to offer but, more importantly, about how to explore the online world with greater safety.
Reflecting on this, could there also be an emerging challenge in how this language gap will follow through to the business world? How prepared are companies at being able to relate to the younger generations, both as customers and colleagues? We’re seeing a gap with Millennials and it will clearly only get more prevalent.
As the digital world develops at an exponential rate, so too does the way we perceive and interact with the world around us, and thus how we transact business. Companies have to be agile and innovate to keep up, remain relevant and competitive.
In all of this, communication should not be forgotten, and this too will need to flex and be able to support the changing business needs as well as the developing audiences.
The O2 and NSPPC survey highlighted, good and open communication is critical between parents and young people to help create better understanding, open dialogue and, ultimately, help protect more children from lurking dangers on the internet. This same principle applies to companies, and we can draw a parallel between internet dangers for children and in the business context it’s about as adults not falling foul of data security scams.
Move over millennials, here comes generation z
The millennials or generation y is now pretty much old news as generation z has started entering the workforce. Companies must continue to adapt communication strategies if they want to engage this new cohort.
Generation z are digital natives and even more diverse than millennials. Just like millennials, they want all of the following, but in more extreme measures – their attention span is shorter, preferring images and videos over long streams of text, punchy headlines and micro-messaging. Memory recall is reducing whilst the ability to research is increasing, so more on-demand content is essential. they want to be heard, so creating ways for two-way dialogue and feedback loops are a must.
There’s plenty of research to prove that good communication is a fundamental building block to strong engagement, a resilient culture and ensures people are clear on company purpose and values. This ties in with generations y and z wanting to work for companies with strong purpose and values, so it’s something communicators need to bear in mindless functional ‘what’ and ‘when’ and more of ‘why’.
Playing the generation game with a fresh perspective
EXIMIA was founded to help organisations communicate more effectively – to help bridge the gap between corporate technical subject matters and a generationally diverse audience. The team use creative written and design expertise, alongside strategic thinking to produce engaging communication campaigns that speak to audiences of any age. There is great enthusiasm in challenging the process and introducing new ways to help clients tell their story to connect people through shared understanding across generations y, z and beyond!