Engaging Millennials in Science Media: The Struggle

June 10, 2019

Millennials. They are now between 25 and 39 years old, and the rest of the world is still trying to figure out how to communicate with them—particularly with respect to science.

KQED, a public media outlet in Northern California, in April announced a new collaboration with Texas Tech University and Yale Law School to adapt research on science curiosity to increase current, and reach under-engaged, millennial audiences. Its three goals are:

  • identify and analyze millennials’ interests, motivations, and behaviors in relation to various types of science content
  • test a range of science content types and engagement tactics with millennial audiences
  • develop a set of practices to help journalists and media companies better reach and engage millennials with science media.

This is promising, because in 2018 KQED and collaborating partners—including Twin Cities PBS—found that millennials are more curious about science than older generations but consume less science media content.

So what does this mean for those looking to push out their content more to millennials or the following generations? Answers are slowly emerging.

A KQED survey found that online video and social content are the top two science media sources for younger generations.

In University Relations, we encourage more visual content. For example, when a faculty member is working on a research brief or expert alert, an infographic or a video recorded in our broadcast studio can be a great way to get noticed.

As a communicator, exercise your creative side to come up with ways to ensure your message is read—not just by millennials, but by all generations.

To learn more, contact Katrinna Dodge with University Public Relations at kdodge@umn.edu.