How Gen Z changes the game for crisis comms

Insights from Edelman on addressing this up-and-coming generation when you make a misstep.

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Gen Z is in the workplace.

“We think about Gen Z and we think about kids in the basement. And they’re not nowadays,” explained Dave Fleet, head of Global Digital Crisis for Edelman, during Ragan’s recent virtual Public Affairs & Speechwriting Conference.

Indeed, Gen Z is defined by Beresford Research as those born between 1997 and 2012 — which means the oldest members of that cohort are 26 years old and well into their prime working and earning years.

Many brands have spent the last decade-plus appealing to Millennials, and approaches won’t need a total reset, but senior leaders need to be aware of their biases.

“[Gen Z] may be an evolution of Millennials, but the business decisionmakers in organizations are often Gen X,” Fleet said. “There’s a stark division between how that generation thinks and how Gen Z thinks and that’s the challenge.”

Though young, Gen Z currently wields power in a variety of ways: by their late career roles in the workplace, their ability to vote with their wallets and their impact on our broader culture.

“These are the people who have a gravitational impact on the culture that they are operating in,” Fleet said.

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