Reframing Ageism in PR as a Commercial Opportunity
The PR Cavalry
The PR sector continues to struggle with a serious issue; ageism— and the subsequent discrimination against older professionals that it causes. It’s also well known that the industry is facing a talent shortage and has difficulty attracting skilled individuals to key positions.
A solution to both of these problems would be to reframe it as a commercial rather than ethical question and recognise the value of hiring experienced and mature individuals who can understand the mindset of consumers in their thirties, forties, and beyond. They are, after all vast the majority of consumers.
According to research conducted by Global Women in PR, two-thirds of women currently working in PR agencies could not see themselves being there beyond the age of fifty. Further to this, around half of those surveyed who had faced issues with discrimination, mentioned ageism as a key factor.
The findings here have been corroborated in a recent article published by Influence Online, where the issue of ageism in the PR industry was discussed at length. The article highlighted the fact that many experienced PR professionals are often overlooked for promotions or job opportunities simply because of their age.
Needless to say these findings are alarming and need to be tackled head-on through change in the industry, as much by framing it as a commercial problem to be solved as an ethical issue.
Recognising that older professionals bring a wealth of experience and knowledge that can be invaluable to the success of a campaign is vital. But more than this– it is also essential for businesses to actively challenge ageism within their recruitment processes.
It’s naïve to think that the youth oriented culture of an entire industry can change radically, but incremental steps are easily taken.
One way to do this lies in hiring a PR freelancer through platforms like The PR Cavalry which offer a diverse pool of talented freelance PR professionals, representing a range of ages able to bring authentic knowledge of how audiences across the generations think and behave.
By taking this approach of plugging in the campaign insights of a range of people as and when required, companies can access skills who can help them to better understand the mindset of consumers from a variety of age groups. These staff can provide a fresh perspective and a wealth of experience, without the cost of hiring a full-time employee.
In addition, companies need to actively change their recruitment processes to be more inclusive of more mature-aged professionals. Businesses should actively seek out experienced candidates, and seek to work with an array of ages, rather than focusing solely on youth as the main factor in employability. In doing so, they will be able to tap into a wider pool of talent, which will ultimately benefit their business.
By hiring professionals who understand the mindset of consumers of ages thirty and above, companies can connect with a wider range of consumers and deliver better results for clients. Additionally, embracing a diverse workforce that includes professionals of all ages can lead to greater innovation, stability, and mentorship opportunities. At The PR Cavalry, we have a wide range of experienced PR professionals available for companies looking to enhance their PR strategy and connect with a broader audience. With the right mix of experience, innovation, and fresh perspectives, we believe that the PR industry can continue to thrive and achieve its goals for years to come.