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How to Get Your Message Through to Millennials: Action Speaks Louder Than Words

by | Nov 22, 2016 | 2 comments

According to CDC research, the percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 11.0% in 2011.*  That’s a 41% increase in just 8 years, and there’s no sign of slowdown.

Here’s a few other statistics**:

The average attention span in 2015: 8.25 seconds

The average attention span in 2000:12 seconds

The average attention span of a goldfish: 9 seconds

It’s an easy point to argue: it’s harder than ever to get a targeted message through the noise and the distractions.

Strategy: Use Moving Pictures

Answer this honestly: Which did you do first: read the statistics or watch the GIF of Courtney Cox shaking her chest and sporting a sunglass-wearing Turkey mask? That’s what I thought.

Millenials engage with ‘memes,’ defined as “humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.”

So, here’s the recipe for this engagement strategy.

1. Take a visually compelling image, video, or other cultural memes.

2. Co-opt it by embedding your message and communicating what you want to say in a clever way.

3. Publish and distribute the content through your established channels.

For example… you could take the GIF above from the popular TV show Friends (which I found on the GIF aggregator, GIPHY, which also has a plugin for internet browsers). Then, add your own message… and publish it on your established channels… like this!

Just like the image above, it will stand out from the crowd. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

More to come next week.

In this special guest series, Brett Reisman presents 5 ways to get your message through to millennials. 

Brett Reisman works with media production agencies, digital marketing firms, and technology companies to develop organization’s communication and outreach strategies and build their businesses. Brett has a B.S. in Communications Studies with a concentration in rhetoric and political communications, and a B.A. in Asian Studies with an East Asia specialization.

 * Source: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html
** Source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/attention-span-statistics/

© Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog.

Did you know that we also do customized workshops on how to speak for yourself? 


  1. Crofton

    I’ve been creating memes but the gifs are great. Thanks for sharing.

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Thanks Crofton. Memes are a great way to get your message across. Glad you are using them.

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