How PR can catch the GenZ vibe?

In the rapidly evolving landscape of public relations (PR), connecting with Generation Z (GenZ) has become a paramount challenge for brands and communication professionals. This dynamic demographic, born between the mid-1990s and 2010, is characterised by its digital-first mindset, tech-savviness, and a strong emphasis on authenticity. To navigate this challenge successfully, PR strategies must evolve to meet GenZ’s unique preferences and values.Orry (Orhan Awatramani), a rising influencer who has successfully connected with GenZ, is the well suited example of the importance of authenticity in PR campaigns. GenZ consumers, skeptical of traditional marketing tactics, value genuine relationships with brands and individuals. Orry’s ability to be himself and entertain people by just being who he is has resonated with this generation, showcasing the significance of building authentic connections in PR campaigns targeting GenZ.Nidhi Madan Verma, Senior Vice President, PR & Corporate Communications, Acko, stressed on the need for a nuanced, multidimensional approach to engage GenZ. She said, “Authenticity is paramount; this generation values transparent communication and is quick to disengage with what feels inauthentic. Brands should also align their messaging with the social and environmental values that GenZ holds dear, such as sustainability and social. Additionally, interactive and engaging content forms like polls, quizzes, and user-generated campaigns foster a sense of community and participation.”Dr Samir Kapur, Director, Adfactors PR, recognises the importance of adapting PR strategies to engage effectively with GenZ. He said, “To connect authentically, PR professionals must embrace authentic storytelling. GenZ values narratives that resonate with their experiences and aspirations. Crafting compelling and relatable stories establishes a meaningful connection, fostering brand loyalty. Visual content plays a pivotal role in capturing GenZ’s attention. Transparency and authenticity are core values for GenZ. PR professionals should communicate openly, addressing both successes and challenges. GenZ appreciates brands that demonstrate a commitment to social and environmental causes. Integrating purpose-driven communication aligns with their values, creating a positive perception.”Dr Samir Kapur further mentioned, “Successfully engaging with GenZ requires a strategic blend of authentic storytelling, visually compelling content, transparency, and a strong digital presence. By understanding and respecting their unique characteristics, PR professionals can forge meaningful connections and build lasting relationships with this influential demographic.”Neha Bahri, Co-founder, Bconnect Communications, highlighted the evolution of PR strategies to cater to GenZ’s unique preferences. She said, “Given the omnipresence of visual and interactive content for GenZ, it has become a mandate for PR professionals to think about bringing together multimedia elements into communications that include short-form videos, memes, and interactive graphics. Various platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat, among others, are go-to social media platforms for GenZ, where they spend most of their time of their day. Crafting the message accordingly to engage the niche target audience specific to the platform is what PR professionals must focus on. GenZ loves contemporary engagement with a short time of attention span. Given this unique preference for consuming content, PR professionals can explore bite-sized PR activities that help them build authentic, in-the-moment connections. Feedback is certainly the key and involving GenZ in co-creation initiatives induce a sense of belonging and active participation.”Bhaskar Majumdar, Head - Marketing Communication, CSR & Digital Egis - India and South Asia, emphasised on the need for a nuanced approach in India, given the country’s large youth demographic. “GenZ consumes media differently, preferring short-form content, online streaming, and interactive platforms. This shift has transformed the media landscape in India, influencing content creation and distribution. GenZ is also socially conscious and values brands that align with social and environmental causes. Communicators need to showcase their brand’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. Create interactive content that encourages participation and engagement, polls, quizzes, and challenges can generate enthusiasm and involvement. Provide opportunities for user-generated content and involve them in co-creating brand narratives.”“One must be mindful of cultural sensitivity and avoid stereotypes. Experiment with new formats and stay agile in adapting to changing communication landscapes. By understanding the unique characteristics of Generation Z and adapting communication strategies accordingly, PR and Communications professionals can build meaningful and lasting connections with this demographic,” Majumdar added.Sonam Shah, Founder and CEO, Treize Communications, noted the importance of connecting with GenZ in a manner that resonates with their digital-first mindset. According to Shah, “Each platform requires a different roadmap. What works on LinkedIn, will not work on Instagram. It is very crucial to build a communication strategy in a manner that resonates with GenZ, therefore, public relations and communications professionals must map an approach adapting to GenZ’s preferences. Polished communication leads to truthful and relatable content. Even when it comes to utilizing PR Tools like Press Release and Guest Articles, the content must be crafted in a manner that resonates and builds recall. The right tonality and language need to be in place. Building authentic connections requires honesty and two-way interactions.”Swati Nathani, Co-Founder and CBO, Team Pumpkin, emphasised on the need for creativity and conciseness in messages to capture GenZ’s shorter attention span. She said, “In order to create authentic connections, professionals must emphasize creating experiences rather than merely selling a product. The engagement and brand recall could be boosted by using polls, quizzes, or other interactive material. It is of utmost importance to ensure the right communication medium and its format. GenZ could find themselves drawn in and have a better overall experience using breakthrough tech-savvy content including AI, Virtual reality (VR), Augmented reality (AR) and various innovative mediums.”Bhaskar Tare, Director, Gloocal Communications, advocated for a real and informal approach in communication with GenZ. He said, “Be real, not too formal. Use videos, memes, and pictures. GenZ loves Instagram and YouTube, so focus there. Make campaigns where they can join in - polls, challenges, and their content. Let them be active participants, not just viewers. It is about being genuine and getting them involved! GenZ really cares about important things happening in the world. Share your brand’s values and how you're helping society. Team up with influencers who GenZ likes and trusts. These influencers can speak genuinely about your brand, making it more trustworthy. Make sure these partnerships are real and match the influencers’ values.”Shalini Gupta, Founder, Secret Sauce Communications, shared the importance of authenticity and purpose in connecting with GenZ and millennials. “As marketers and PR people, we are conscious of this generation that is conscious of their future today and therefore our communication revolves around impactful initiatives that shape the world tomorrow. So, being purposeful, authentic and futuristic will be the need of the hour.”