Edelman U.S. executive vice president of U.S. strategy and brand Courtney Miller tells Doug Simon that while marketers say Gen Z is one group "they need to get to know," there is also "a lot of misinformation and lack of understanding" about them.

To get a better handle on what Gen Z really wants, Edelman U.S. did a Gen Z survey, and Miller discusses the results of that survey with Lynsey Stanicki, a Gen Zer who also produces the “PR’s Top Pros Talk” program.

Safety is front and center for the Gen Z audience. "I think the stat that really stuck out to me is that they prioritize feeling safe over building strong friendships, that just goes to show just how strong of a pull needing to feel safe and insecure are." Miller says. "For marketers and brands, this is such an interesting finding and has so many implications in terms of the kinds of claims you can make, how you back it up, the order in which you communicate, where you communicate, knowing that's a priority for them."

Other important values for the Gen Z audience include "taking care of people, and the world, and uniting for change." Because of their interest in those values, Miller says, "they trust differently with safety, care, and unity being the 3 things that really underpin that trust."

Gen Zers want brands to "partner with them" on the issues they care about, Miller says. She tells Stanicki that getting together with Gen Zers on finding solutions to handle such issues as climate change, COVID and social justice issues is "critically important" and can help marketers build stronger relationships with the Gen Z audience.

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.