Millennials and the PR Workforce

In a recently published article, “Silent & unprepared: Most millennial practitioners have not embraced role as ethical conscience”, Marlene Neill and Nancy Weaver presented their research findings about millennials in the PR workforce.

Overall, their findings found that there is an overall lack of confidence in offering ethical counsel within their role at work. The research surveyed a over 200 young professionals. There also seemed to be a wide gap in responses from those who have had a mentor verses those who had not and those who had had a course in ethics verses those who had not. Those millennials who had had a mentor who they discussed ethical issues with or those who had had a ethics course felt much more prepared to offer ethical counsel than those without.

Also, according to the research, out of those surveyed, many did not think that they would have to deal with ethical decisions in the future – despite having dealt with them in the past.

As a millennial, I found that the majority of this information made sense with few exceptions. When a young professional is new in their career they may not be willing to rock the boat or go against the status quo of their organization. They’re trying to please their bosses and not ruffle any feathers.

Also, it makes sense that the more training they received in ethics, the more likely they were to be confident in their abilities to provide counsel. I think that’s common with any topic or skill. The more practice you have, the more confident you will be to perform.

The one thing I found perplexing in the research, was the disconnect between millenials’ expectations for the future versus their past expereince dealing with ethical decisions. While most had to deal with ethical decision-making in the past, they did not expect to deal with it in the future.

My only explanation for this is that perhaps they believe that they will be in a position in the future where they are “higher up” and will therefore not be asked to partake in an unethical move. Or perhaps, in the past they perceived these things as unethical, and looking forward they may not see these situations as ethical. Whatever the case, I found it to be interesting for our generation, but perhaps it fits our over-confident and optimistic stereotypical nature.

Source: Neill, M. S., & Weaver, N. Silent & unprepared: Most millennial practitioners have not embraced role as ethical conscience. Public Relations Review (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2017.01.002

Goals and Objectives

After our initial meeting, our team had felt pretty good about what was expected and what we needed to accomplish. The goals and objectives that we set out for ourselves are as follows:

Goals

  • The goal of this campaign is to establish a stronger connection between MISD and alumni that will encourage these alumni to donate money to the Midway ISD Education Foundation. One step in making this connection stronger is through an event that will recognize distinguished service award for retired employees that are nominated by alumni.

 

Objectives

  • Motivate alumni to nominate retired staff members for the distinguished service award, and encourage their attendance to the reception recognizing these nominees.
  • Create increased alumni awareness of the Midway ISD Education Foundation that they can donate money and resources to.
  • Encourage a sense of responsibility for the alumni towards their alma mater.
  • Increase the number of nominations by at least 10 by March 1.
  • Promote a recognition banquet for the distinguished service award recipients during Midway’s homecoming weekend.
  • Increase annual donations to the Midway ISD Education Foundation by 10%.

Overall, we are excited to continue helping the Midway ISD Alumni and work towards making this event a reality.

First Meetings

In my senior PR media programming class, we were split into groups of three or four and assigned a nonprofit organization to work with for the semester. The goal of the project is to essentially help the organization by creating a PR campaign that could potentially be implemented. Our group was assigned to work with Midway ISD Alumni Association, and after our first meeting with Suzi Pagel, our contact for the semester, I was feeling relatively well about the project.

The first thing we needed to figure out, was what we needed to accomplish for the organization. So, we began by talking to Suzi Pagel about the current state of the organization and how she feels about their progress. This gave us the information we needed to complete a SWOT analysis. We also talked to her about what she hoped for us to achieve for them this semester.

The main things that we saw were that the organization wants to continue to foster relations within the alumni association. Through this, we decided it would be a good idea to implement an event over the Midway Homecoming weekend to honor distinguished alumni. This would help them reach their goals by creating a reason for the alumni to get together. We ended up trying to flesh out some of the details of what this event would require, logistically.

Overall, I felt pretty good about the meeting. It was productive, and we seemed to all be on the same page and were able to get a lot accomplished. I look forward to working with Suzi and Midway ISD for the remainder of the semester.