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What do young people want?

Careers are taking a back seat for today’s young people claims recent research, they are more focused on being happy, relationships and giving back to society.

Apparently the youth of today are more relaxed and caring, claims the latest annual Youth Insights and Trends Report for 2016 from agencies Radiator Communications and BigChoice Group.

The report is easily summarised by three Cs: Collective, Considered and Compassion. But C for careers is NOT one of them! Compared to past reports, this generation feel more relaxed and positive than ever before about their future and do not share the same angst as their forebears about kick-starting a career.

In fact, starting a career has dropped down the millennial bucket list – and the opportunity to travel has now taken the top spot. Nearly two-thirds (67%) of respondents said a good work/life balance was more important than a career and actually a hefty 40% believe they have been able to achieve that. As one of the respondents shared: “Spending time with loved ones and having a supportive family with values such as love and loyalty are more important than a career right now”.

Collective action and the opportunity to support charities through “giving back” are big themes for 2016. These emerging trends should be considerations for any youth brand communications – either helping to create those opportunities or celebrating those who do – 87% of those surveyed want to spend more time doing charity work in 2016.

But before we get all dewy eyed – these charitable aspirations haven’t dampened personal wealth ambitions. The spirit of entrepreneurship is still very much alive for the youth-bubble generation with 31% stating that they want to be their own boss and only 13% highly value life described as an employee; This is important for PR campaigns – collaborating with existing young entrepreneurs to inspire a new generation is certainly a brand direction that will maintain momentum.

Role models

Move aside Kim Kardashian – the “do-good” crowd are in town. Celebrities demonstrating the power of empathy and compassion rate highly: Jeremy Corbyn, JK Rowling and Barack Obama come out as our top three role models. In terms of media influencers, these type of positive personalities should definitely influence a PR tool-box.

Media influence

In terms of social media influence, Facebook is still the top social media platform for connecting with friends. However, from a brand communications perspective, achieving a balance between live and digital experiences is important – two-thirds surveyed wish they spent less time on their smartphones.

Interestingly too, most of our respondents catch up with news from newspaper websites and most still purchase from their laptops or tablets rather than their phones so mobile commerce seems still to be slow to catch on. However we do predict – given all the activity in the marketplace - that 2016 will revolutionise sales through social media – starting with fashion brands – watch this space!



The youth lifestyle PR and events agency Radiator Communications combined forces with youth marketing company BigChoice Group to survey 2,000 18-24 year olds about their attitudes and beliefs towards work and play. The respondents were made up of 56% of males and 44% females from across the UK.

Article written by Gaby Jesson, owner of Radiator Communications

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