May 6, 2024

Connecting with Gen Z in Washington, D.C.

How Washington DC can tackle their "Gen Z Challenge"

Marketing & Communications
Social Media

By Kaitlyn Ridel, Director of Communications and Marketing at Free the Facts

Last week, Free the Facts had the opportunity to host the National Digital Roundtable and digital communicators and content creators from across the District to talk through Washington's Gen Z Challenge and how to create meaningful connections with this audience. Here's what we learned:

Authenticity is key to connecting with Gen Z: As Meg Kilgore from Social Driver shared, Gen Z can spot inauthentic content within seconds. To foster authenticity and create content that resonates, The Washington Post Alexandra Fayer Delgado highlighted how important it is for brands to communicate not just what they do but why they do it. To build trust, Grubhub's Dominic S. emphasized how important it is for communicators to demonstrate the impact their brand has on real people.

"Faces are the new logos": This generation often connects with the people behind the brand rather than just the brand itself. Brynne Krispin of Cause Fokus shared how personal accounts or messaging from brand executives on LinkedIn can lead to more connections and conversions than content coming from brand pages. From executives, staff, subject matter experts, brand ambassadors, and creators, to people from the communities they serve, organizations can create real connections by highlighting the faces that make up the brand.

Find the faces authentic to your brand: TikTok creator Patrick Kelly emphasized that brands should be intentional about the creators they are partnering with. While communicators know their brand goals, creators know what resonates with their audiences. Communicators should think about influencer strategy more in terms of intentionality and long-term goals versus one-off transactions. TikTok creator Maria Comstock also shared how helpful it can be for brands to have open and honest conversations with creators – so both the brand and the creator can be successful.

Media literacy is crucial to combating misinformation: Marianna Pecora of Voters of Tomorrow noted how important media literacy is for young voters across the country to be informed on the issues that matter to them. Freedom Forum's AJ Neuharth-Keusch shared the importance of empowering readers to evaluate news confidently and make decisions for themselves by creating content on how to spot misinformation.