I was talking to one of our team the other day about music and the Boomtown Rats classic song from 1979 came up. The scary thing was the person concerned had never heard of it. I played her the song – still no recognition.
And that got me thinking. Here is a song from my childhood, that I love by the way, and here is this 24 year old to whom it means nothing and to be fair why should it? She wasn’t even born until years after it came out. But what else has this child of the Eighties missed out on that it looks like she is about to experience?
The last recession effectively ended 16 years ago when she was eight years old. She wasn’t even born when the previous one ended in the early 80’s. But to be fair this doesn’t just apply to a 24 year old. If you were born in the year IDLM was released and are therefore 29 now you would have only been 13 when the last recession ended. You may have some appreciation of that period – maybe your Mum or Dad lost their job or your house was repossessed, but I suspect a very high proportion of people in their 20’s can’t really recall what life was like living and working during an economic downturn.
So what has all this got to do with the PR Industry you ask? Well I don’t have the exact figures but I would hazard a guess that the proportion of staff working in the PR Industry who are 29 or less will be somewhere around the 60-70% mark. If my guess is right then that’s the vast majority of people working in an industry who have never known what it is like to work in a recession.
How will they respond? Positively because they won’t be laden down with feelings of inevitability? Or negatively if they don’t recognise the need to up your game big style during times like these?
Only time will tell, but in the meantime let us console ourselves with a truly great piece of music (even if the story behind it is clearly not a pleasant one). Particularly anyone for whom it is new.