There are new challenges. Public relations is being called upon to transform itself in the face of a generation placing high value on investigations, studies, surveys and conclusions. It’s a fact – Millennials, who are referred to by TIME Magazine as “The Me Me Me Generation” and composed of those born between 1980 and 2000, impose themselves, and force us to adapt to a world consisting of 30-second videos and 140 characters, requiring effective messages and new communication methods.
We ask “what is the influence of Millennials in the Caribbean?” Let’s explore. It was Millennials who helped decide the May 15 national elections in Dominican Republic by representing (in terms of votes) 40.4% of the Central Electoral Board, which has 6.7 million registered voters. For reference, in the island, there are 2.7 million Millennial citizens.
In addition, in the first formal research that took place in Puerto Rico regarding Millennials, which sum 22% of the island’s population (830,000 people), it was described as “a generation of unity, but full of contradictions.” The study, done by the market research company, FootPrint, focused on the tremendous influence of millennials on trends and their outlook on relevant themes.
Extending the scope of our radar to Latin America, we can analyze the results of a study focusing on Millennials done by Fundacion Telefonica. It included 3,000 Latin Americans from countries such as Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Results are summarized as the impact of technology in our lives being overwhelming. Eighty-five percent consider that technology has made finding jobs easier and that it has generated circumstances of equality for all. More than half (53%) consider that technology has narrowed the difference between the rich and poor and 91% consider that it has helped eliminate language barriers. A piece of information found in this study helps to give us an idea of the force of this generation: 82% of the surveyed Latin Americans feel more comfortable in their capacity to change circumstances in their countries, when compared to the 62% surveyed in the entire world.
Viacom International Media Network, The Americas performed a study titled “The Next Normal: An Unprecedented Look at Millennials,” gathering data from 24 countries. Out of the 15,000 interviews that took place, 1,350 were representative of Latin America, and the results reveal interesting data. Ninety-one percent of Millennials consider that the era of privacy has come to an end and that their lives are now public and visible online. This generation constantly checks for social media notifications, texts, and emails, whether it be in bed (3/4 of all surveyed), in the dinner table (nearly half), in the restroom (1/3), or driving (1/5). As they graduate and integrate into the workforce, they challenge the corporate culture and politics with expectations of freedom in terms of social media, mobile device usage, and their “on-the-go” lifestyles.
Not only that. Out of the 10 countries with the highest percentage of Millennials, six belong to Latin America: Colombia, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, and Brazil. Amongst them, Colombia has the highest percentage of residents from this generation.
It is crucial to meet them, understand them, and march to their rhythm of their drums.