Category: In the News

New Research on the Buying Habits of Gen Z

Gen Z has become a focal point for many marketers seeking to connect with this up and coming generation with hefty buying power. In the most recent edition of the Piper Jaffray 38th Semi-Annual Taking Stock With Teens® Survey, released this month, new information has become available on the shopping and retail habits of Gen Z. This information is instrumental in forming a marketing strategy designed to tap into the estimated $830 billion contributions to U.S. retail sales made by this young generation.

Gen Z is growing up quickly. These individuals, born between the mid-90s and the mid-2000s, are becoming more independent and are beginning to register their preference when it comes to everyday retail decisions.

How can marketers harness the power of data collected in this survey to make knowledgeable and actionable decisions regarding marketing?

By taking an objective look at the existing habits of this generation, trends can be identified. For example, in glancing through this report it’s clear to see that many recognizable brands are still performing well for this younger generation. Prominent brands such as Chick-fil-a and Starbucks still reign at the top of the list for restaurants. Brands such as Nike and American Eagle still dominate the shopping corner of this market.

What does this tell us? These brands have hit on the proverbial fountain of youth and found a way to continue to market relevant material to ever-younger generations. The staying power of these brands is admirable, as they likely would rank high on the list of popular choices among even older generations.

Staying relevant is an ongoing challenge for brands, so there are some important takeaways here. Emulating the models of these brands that have demonstrated cross-generational staying power can be helpful for brands looking to achieve something similar.

Studying these survey results can also help point to areas that a different brand may be able to break down its own barriers to entry into this younger market. By taking the example of the brands that have ranked as important choices for Gen Z, and by studying the behaviors of these consumers when they’re making purchases, an opportunity may be more easily identified.

Another important takeaway here is the platforms these younger users are spending the most time on. YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat all rank high for social media and video consumption purposes. What does this mean? Advertisers should be looking for programmatic ad opportunities on these platforms when looking to reach these younger users.

Data such as this report can help brands navigate the world of media buying for younger demographics. By also looking at these buying habits, a marketing campaign’s messaging can begin to take shape as well. Remember: messaging matters just as much as platform and delivery. The wrong message that fails to resonate or connect with users will end up being a waste of marketing dollars.

Marketing to Gen Z presents a challenge, as does every young generation. With information such as is found in this report available, the obstacles to success a successful marketing campaign seem less insurmountable. Finding opportunities to reach younger consumers in an authentic way is important, and turning to data is often a key to success when it comes to marketing.

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Cathay Pacific Reverses Position on Hong Kong Protests

One of the hottest and most divisive news stories coming out of the far east this past week was the ongoing “pro-democracy demonstrations” in Hong Kong. Waves and waves of people, mostly students, are out in the streets letting the Chinese government know what they think of the current state of things. 

Initially, renowned airline, Cathay Pacific, put out an internal message that the company would not stop its employees from taking part in the demonstration. That has changed, and the company was quick to let the world know it. Employees were told that, if they participated in the protests, their employment would be terminated.

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The Politics of Preseason Communication

The NFL preseason is one of the most grueling stretches in all of athletics. Teams bring nearly twice as many players to camp as they will keep on the active roster, so competition is fierce and emotions are high. That means there are also a ton of compelling stories, so reporters and broadcasters are on high alert for any nugget of breaking news.

Combine that intensity with a bunch of keyed-up players and coaches, many of whom have limited experience with the press, and you have a recipe for communication chaos. To avoid this, teams need to have clearly articulated plans about who talks to the press (and when), as well as what is or is not said to the press or on social media.

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Duck! Now, What?

The sad and recent tragic mass shootings in two U.S. cities may have caused many folks to not only re-examine their position on firearms and gun control but also how they might react if a similar incident happened to them and their family.  What goes through a person’s mind when a crisis involving them suddenly and unexpectedly occurs?

Public relations professionals should also be asking themselves some questions if an incident occurred involving numerous deaths and their company directly or indirectly.  Here are three possibilities we hope will never occur but for which PR people need to be prepared. They should be considered so you’re not caught totally off-guard and left behind in the media frenzy of what some are now calling an epidemic regarding the latest mass shootings.

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The Growing Pay Gap Between Journalism and Public Relations

Most people aren’t aware that journalists and public relations professionals share a number of mutual goals like communicating with the public, building trust, and sharing stories. Yet in spite of the similarities, there’s a growing gap in pay between these two professions. Why is that so?

For one, there’s been a steady decline in the number of newspapers in the United States. In 1970, there were 1,748 daily newspapers. By 2016, the number had dropped to 1,286. The number of public relations professionals working in PR agencies alone at the end of 2016 was 58,489. And that didn’t include those working for corporations, associations and other organizations.

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Sweden’s Airline Industry has a PR Problem

In recent months, climate activists across Europe have stepped up their efforts to convince travelers to skip air travel, with infamous Swedish schoolgirl and campaigner Greta Thunberg spearheading the trains-over-planes movement. At the same time, “flygskam”, or flight shame, has become a new buzzword in the Scandinavian country, and the airline industry has responded by saying it is “hellbent” on reducing emissions.

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How to Create Community with Marketing

community marketing


Even as the consumer world moves closer to home, with services and commodities available at the push of a button, we all still crave a bit of human interaction.

As more customer service models are going towards outsourcing or automation, industries such as fitness and food are providing options that don’t require customers to leave the house, and more people rely on their mobile devices for communication, it’s no wonder that we all get a bit lonely sometimes.

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Boeing: A Case Study in How Not to Manage Your PR

As one of corporate America’s most recognizable brands, you would think Boeing would be well-poised to deal with public relations crises of all shapes and sizes. Indeed, as a major exporter and military contractor, Boeing has deep pockets when it comes to lobbying in Washington; you would think this kind of spending would carry through to the firm’s PR department.

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Entrepreneur of the Month: Michael Cammarata


Michael Cammarata has been an entrepreneur with a unique business sense for longer than many people even know what they want to do with their lives. Earning his first million dollars at the young age of 13, he invested that capital into industries such as biotechnology, entertainment, advertising, and electronics.

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Apple v. Qualcomm: A PR win

The scene is this: The opening arguments for Apple vs Qualcomm are well underway in the Southern District of San Diego, with the US District Court Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel first disallowing, then reversing his decision and allowing live tweeting. Included in the passionate arguments are allegations of double-dipping, talk of KFC and its secret recipe, debates over chicken and potatoes. Who says the world of corporate law is a dull one?

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