Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Be a Content Ally for Young Professionals During COVID-19
Monday, May 4, 2020
Coronavirus. COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2. Call it what you will, we all have been impacted in some capacity by this virus. And while a common theme during this time of quarantine is that this too shall pass, for young professionals it’s hard to believe that the situation we all are in will pass.
The last time something had this level of impact was the 2008 economic crisis. While young professionals (18- to 38-year-olds) were alive then, most of us were too young to truly understand what was happening.
So what does this mean for your association? It means now more than ever, your association should be a go-to source in your industry that young professionals (and all professionals) can turn to for assistance and peace of mind.
Here are a few ways your association can be an ally to young professionals via content:
- Provide industry-specific resources. Depending on the industry your association serves, resources will look different. Web pages, blog posts, webinars, podcasts — young professionals are looking for answers and want to know how they can professionally adapt to COVID-19. An association’s industry resources might be the first interaction a young professional has with an association, and while we may not be considering membership just yet, we will more likely remember your association’s name in a positive way. Your content strategy may be pivoting, but we young professionals appreciate the efforts your association is taking to keep those in the industry informed.
- Continue with virtual communication. While events, conferences and meetings have been cancelled, that doesn’t mean your association has to stop any and all communication. Now more than ever is social media’s time to shine, as so many of us are checking our phones more often. That also means we are more likely to see your association’s post through the social grapevine as more and more people share tips, tricks, and resources across all platforms. Just remember to be tactful with what you post during this time and to be mindful of who your audience is.
- Don’t ignore the situation at hand. This pandemic is a confusing time for young professionals, and we are turning to boomers and older Gen Xers for guidance. Please don’t tell us “this too shall pass,” or that we are overreacting. This is uncharted territory for us, yes, but we’re also watching companies, brands and, by default, associations very closely to see what they are doing. We’re taking note of who is taking action, altering their content accordingly, and who is sweeping the pandemic under the rug. One thing is certain: We will know what groups we won’t want to associate ourselves with once this pandemic is over based on how your association is carrying out its content strategy.
Young professionals are looking to industry leaders, including associations, for guidance during this time. Yes, in time, this pandemic shall pass, but what matters most is how your association is handling the now and being an ally to those in your industry.
Monica Roselli is a content associate at SmithBucklin
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