Why we should embrace the lingo of Millennials
Research constantly tells us that Millennials are the fastest growing population in the U.S. Like every generation, they bring their own vocabulary. What does that mean for the rest of us? For starters, if you haven’t already, you need to understand how important it is to embrace their language along with their perspectives and opinions. I am honored to employ several Millennials who are smart and savvy. Quite often, they abbreviate their thoughts and ideas in 140 characters on Twitter, through videos on Snapchat, and text-messaging using acronyms and emojis. I know these methods are not actual conversations, but since it's one of the ways they communicate, the onus is on the rest of us to embrace it rather than run away. We all have a bit of Millennial in us. According to the Pew Research Center How Millennial Are You? quiz, I have some Millennial traits. Who knew? Find out if you do too.
TBH I’ve learned to embrace and immerse myself in all of this including their lingo and encourage you to do the same.
Millennials are indeed consumers. While they may not purchase your product right now, they do pay attention and want more for their hard-earned money. They research, compare, study, and analyze before making a purchase. Forbes reports that Millennials are expected to spend “more than $200 billion annually by 2017 and $10 trillion in their lifetime as consumers.” Millennials, ages 18-34 and about 80 million strong, are making a name for themselves and no doubt will leave a footprint in society. They are leading the U.S. purchasing power.
Millennials are an important target audience no matter your industry. Especially in PR, we have to speak and understand their language and unless we do, it’ll remain difficult to appeal to their interests.
Not all of the language Millennials use is new to us, but the meaning is certainly different. In my generation “the struggle is real” had to do with activism and the real challenges facing people and the communities where they live. For Millennials, “the struggle is real” has trivial meaning. “It’s 4:00 pm on Friday and I’m ready to leave, but this meeting is taking too long. Man, the struggle is real.”
Millennials are a lot more eager, and I will admit, at times may seem arrogant and overzealous, zero chill, characteristics one would consider narcissistic and self-indulgent. Sorry, not sorry. It’s the big FOMO situation. While we may not be fans of these traits, we still need to make the effort to know their attitudes, from shopping preferences to what their pursuit of happiness is, not throw shade at them. Millennials are trying to make it out in the world just like we did in our time. I say slay it or be slayed by it. Amirite? And if you don’t know what all of this Millennial lingo means, just do what they do…Google it.
Comunicad has been leading the conversation on Hispanic PR for more than 25 years.
By Gloria Rodríguez, President & CEO, Comunicad, LLC