Meng, Juan., & Berger, B. K. (2017). Preparing future communication leaders: Understand millennial communication professionals better by filling the perceptual gaps. Paper accepted for presentation at the 20th annual International Public Relations Research Conference, March 8-12, 2017, Orlando, Florida.
Abstract: While there is an abundance of literature about Millennials as a unique and influential consumer group generally (Smith, 2012; Valentine & Powers, 2013), there is little research on Millennial public relations or communication professionals. As the largest workforce group in the U.S. (Pew Research Center, 2014), this generation has already generated substantial effects on multiple industries and in various contexts (Kim & Ammeter, 2008; Ma & Niehm, 2006). Therefore, our research seeks a deeper understanding of the generational attributes associated with Millennial communication professionals. Knowing their traits, values and beliefs in work enables us to: 1) explore talent management approaches to attract, engage, develop, retain, and gain from this generation, and 2) assess leadership development opportunities to help prepare these young professionals for leadership in the field. Two online surveys were designed and carried out to recruit two national audience panels that would give us comprehensive self-reported knowledge and balanced assessment of this unique generation.