Editor’s Note: Michelle Nielsen, Senior Research Associate, Ketchum, is previewing Dr. David Rockland’s session, Strategic Ingredients: Inspiration and Innovation, which will be presented at the PRSA 2014 International Conference on Sunday, Oct. 12, from 3–4:15 p.m. The following is a guest post previewing the session.
Ketchum Global Research & Analytics has conducted PRSA’s Membership Study since 2008, testing concepts related to member satisfaction, likelihood to renew and perceived value of various products/services – with the ultimate goal of uncovering drivers of sustained membership and growth. In recent years, PRSA has been challenged with a declining membership pool, so our research set out to understand what appeals most to members from an educational/resource and industry organization perspective to ultimately offer solutions for maintaining PRSA’s strength in the years ahead.
In this year’s study, we saw a pattern in demographics that revealed an interesting predicament for PRSA: as Boomers leave the workforce and retire, they are being replaced in PRSA – albeit not as rapidly – with younger Millennial members. To put the age differences into perspective, in our 2011 study Boomers outweighed Millennials 45% to 27% of total membership – that ratio in 2014 was 29% Boomers to 32% Millennials – a gap which is only expected to increase in favor of the Millennial crowd. With this shift, we’ve seen a change in what members value, revealing an opportunity for PRSA to hone-in on what these younger, less-tenured members look for in PRSA to help maintain its membership pool.