Thinking About Demographics with Internal Audiences

September 23, 2019

Welcome to our first guest blogger! The following post was submitted by Nora Hayes, communications director for OHR. We encourage our communications colleagues to join the conversation by submitting a guest entry.

Age segmentation of audiences is used across the University, especially to recruit students, and it can offer insights for internal communicating as well.

An informal review of data finds that employees between 39 and 54 years old, also known as Generation X, are the largest segment of our workforce and account for 37 percent of faculty and staff. Millennials, between 23 and 38 years old, comprise 33 percent of employees. Baby Boomers, ages 55 to 73, now account for 28 percent of our workforce.

Technology adoption is one of the more significant generational differences, and millennials lead other generations in smart phone ownership and social media use, according to the Pew Research Center. Ensuring email subject lines are short and easily read on a cell phone is important for internal emails as well as external ones.

Technology and channel are only one aspect of communications to consider. Using a generational lens can point to cultural cues that resonate with the audience. For example, a program with strong traction among millennial women might find the audience receptive to program updates shared in a format similar to a video blogger that’s informal and tip-based.

Do you have other ideas on reaching different generations working at the University with communications? Share them with Nora Hayes.