Millennials are early adopters of the latest in communications with one another. This article take a look at the techniques and technologies they use and what it means in relating to them.
One of the most popular trends in communication today, especially among Millennials, is that of Instant Messaging (IM). Instant messaging is more than just an AOL Buddy List; Brainstorm’s work with Motorola over the past several years has proven how much users are demanding IM in the form of SMS and EMS services on wireless devices.
Many university resident directors tell the tale of roommates and friends in the same hall finding it more convenient to instant message rather than to move about. A recent wedding of two Millennials that I witnessed told of the start of the relationship as a budding romance communicated via SMS phones.
While some may argue that instant messaging and the propagation of it only breeds inward narcissistic tendencies in today’s younger generations, the on-demand communication only flows from their experience of an on-demand world. Nextels’ recent “Done” campaign communicates beyond the personal and entertainment side of IM and illustrates how business can get “done” by utilizing seemingly wasted time to communicate with associates. Today’s world thrives on instant gratification, 24 hour shopping, fast-food dining, on-demand programming, and overnight delivery only illustrate the point.
This on-demand world translates to an on-demand need for information. No longer will students be willing to fill out a BRC, place it in “snail mail” and wait 3-4 weeks for a return admissions brochure. That quickly translates over to alumni relations and advancement work as well. What was the standard will now be the hated exception. Higher education communications must change the communications model away from traditional broadcast methodology to a real-time feed of information. Phone calls will be come passe as constituents demand more instant information. Schools that are savvy toward this trend will earn the respect and the loyalty of the Millennial with a stronger and more trusting relationship that will ultimately translate into an active alumni and advancement audience.