Posted by: stuartbond | November 30, 2009

PR Publications Through the Generations!

 Any public relations, marketing, advertising, or any creative professional for that matter will be tasked with applying the right message to an intended audience.  But what do we do when there are many different audiences with their own ticks and perks?   Fortunately, Professor Linda P. Morton of the University of Oklahoma and author of the Strategic Publications: Designing for Target Publics 2nd Edition text book provides a few generation characteristics to keep in mind.  The following four generations and their characteristics are not to be ignored when designing a message or work aimed at them.

 1)      World War II Generation (all the way to 1946)

  • These members have become active problem solvers and can adapt to major historical and economic changes.
  • Morton suggests these members live simple lives where fewer women worked.
  • This generation also tends to be frugal
  • Just 17% of this generation holds a college degree

 2)      Baby Boomers (1946-1965)

  • Typically have fewer children
  • Expressive
  • Morton suggests this group is socially-active and work-dominated

 3)      Generation X (1966-1978)

  • Ambitious and independent
  • Distrustful of the media
  • Frequently shop online
  • Well educated

 4)      Generation Y (1977-1994)

  • Risk averse and value oriented
  • Mistrustful of mass media
  • Respond to loud and quick visuals with humor and emotion that represents their own lifestyle

 There are more characteristics of these generations, as suggested by Morton, but I would like to take the time to remind all readers and practitioners the need to recognize any and all important factors relating to any audience.  For a piece or campaign to be successful, the practitioner must know who he or she is attempting to reach.  Research may need to be done in order to be successful.  I suggest digging deep and taking the time to learn about your audience before attempting to appeal to them.  

 I suggest Morton’s book to any practitioner ready to employ his or her own creative side.  For more tips to help you breakdown your publics, visit Morton’s site at


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