The pandemic has impacted all of us but have children and young people born the brunt of it and how do we approach engaging with ‘Generation Covid’?

One of the biggest factors around effective youth engagement is actually valuing young people’s voice. Put simply, tokenism won’t cut it. Just plastering a young person on a campaign, or using an edgy graffiti graphic will be deemed as credible as Gavin Williamson’s sincere comments about wanting the best for young people. I digress!

Having grown up in a time of austerity and somewhat of a single-issue political focus (Brexit) in the UK, youth audiences have a very different context to previous generations and like youth audiences around the world, have grown up amid a far different technological ecosystem which has impacted all aspects of their lives.

The data surrounding physical and mental wellbeing, educational gaps, social inequalities, youth violence and life prospects as well as preferred content channels, trends and innovations can be overwhelming when wanting to ‘get it right’ with a youth audience.

After sharing my Engaging Youth report in May, I’ve been working on a paper to summarise what we know from the data surrounding young people during the pandemic to inform how we may need to consider communicating with them as we progress into the next 6-months… in which, let’s face it, anything could happen.

I’ll be sharing the key themes and things to consider in my Comms Hero week talk on the 30th September, but the starting point remains the same – valuing young people and taking consideration of factors impacting their lives is the surest starting point to making a difference when it comes to engaging them.

Rebecca Roberts

Marketing & Comms Pro, MCIM MPRCA