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Industry Focus: Preparing for Generation Z

Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials have been around and researched for ages. In fact Millennials may be the most researched generation in history. While Millennials may be front and center, Gen Z is coming up fast with some noticeable differences from previous generations. Now is the time to start thinking about how to engage with Gen Z. Here are three key differences:

Screen Multitasking –

Hundreds of articles have touted the second screen attachment of Millennials. Gen Z takes that much further, averaging up to 5 screens at a time. This generation multitasks across platforms with ease. Gen Z was raised on technology and is at home reading, working and being entertained online. Many stations currently have content that crosses between on-air to online. The Gen Z audience will expect even more information to be available across web and mobile platforms.

Visual Communications –

Gen Z is the ultimate consumers of “snack sized” media. As multi-screen time increases, studies suggest that Gen Z brains are evolving to process more information at faster speeds. They are much more visual than their predecessors, preferring to communicate with emoticons and emojis instead of text. Visuals may sound obvious to TV but to adapt to Gen Z, stations will have to feature more than one graphic and a voiceover. Use multiple graphics/videos, like maps, radar, time lapses, etc to get the message across quickly and clearly.

Increased Activism –

Where social and community activism is concerned, Millennials have long been classified as slacktivists. (minimal effort to support an issue that has little effect beyond making the person feel like contributed.) Gen Z, however, wants to change the world! They are hyper-aware and concerned about man’s impact on the planet. Connect with Gen Z by featuring stories about people and organizations that are making a difference in the community. Beyond reporting on the issues and events your news team and anchors are the face of your community and showing they care about the people and its causes can be invaluable.