Texas Presbyterian Foundation

Talking to the Generations: Bridge the Gap to Reach Audiences of All Ages

By: Kristi Posewitz, TPF’s Director of Marketing

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. This statement has never been truer than when applied to creating and managing effective cross-generational communication. Effective communication requires understanding the unique characteristics and preferences of different generations. Whether you’re a pastor, fundraiser, church leader, institutional leader, or simply trying to connect with people of various ages, tailoring your message to resonate with each generation can significantly enhance your impact.

What’s the best way to start? Bridge the gap! Be sure to consider the following as you plan your communication efforts:

  1. Understand Your Audience: Conduct research to understand the unique needs and preferences of each generation.
  2. Tailor Your Message: Customize your communication strategies to resonate with each age group.
  3. Use Multichannel Approaches: Combine traditional and digital media to ensure your message reaches a broad audience.
  4. Be Authentic: Regardless of the generation, authenticity and transparency are key to building trust and loyalty.

Here’s a quick guide comprised of actionable tactics you can use to reach audiences of all ages, from Baby Boomers to Gen Z:

Tips for Reaching Baby Boomers (Born 1942-1964)

  • Emphasize Value and Quality: Highlight the long-term effect your church or nonprofit has had on the communities you serve.
  • Use Clear and Direct Language: Avoid jargon and be straightforward in your messaging.
  • Leverage Traditional Media: Don’t overlook print media, TV, and radio. These are still influential channels for this generation.
  • Incorporate Personal Touch: Personalized emails or handwritten notes can make a significant impact.

Tips for Reaching Generation X (Born 1965-1981)

  • Be Authentic: Avoid hype and be genuine in your communications.
  • Provide Detailed Information: This generation appreciates thorough and well-researched content.
  • Utilize Email Marketing: Email is a highly effective channel for reaching Gen Xers.
  • Highlight Practical Benefits: Focus on how your church or nonprofit can truly make a difference in the daily lives of those you serve.

Tips for Reaching Millennials (Born 1982-2000)

  • Engage on Social Media: Use platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to reach them where they spend their time.
  • Leverage Influencer Marketing: Where possible, partner with influencers who resonate with your target audience.
  • Highlight Experiences: Emphasize how your church or nonprofit can enhance their lifestyle or provide unique experiences.
  • Showcase Social Responsibility: Millennials prefer to support organizations that are environmentally conscious and socially responsible.

Tips for Reaching Generation Z (Born 2000-2010)

  • Use Visual Platforms: Focus on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, which prioritize visual content.
  • Create Snackable Content: Short, engaging videos and graphics work best for this generation’s short attention span.
  • Be Transparent and Authentic: Gen Z values honesty and can easily spot insincerity.
  • Highlight Inclusivity and Social Impact: Demonstrate how your church or nonprofit transforms lives as you increase your impact on mission.

By understanding the distinct characteristics and preferences of different generations, you can create more effective communication strategies that resonate with audiences of all ages. Whether through traditional media, social platforms, or personalized messages, connecting with each generation requires a thoughtful and tailored approach.

Are you ready to learn more?

CLICK HERE to register and attend TPF’s upcoming webinar, STORYTELLING FOR ALL GENERATIONS. Hosted by representatives from three of these generations, this exciting conversation will be a deep dive into what makes each generation special and why, along with more information about the best ways to reach them where they are now.