Bill Strauss, I’ll Miss You

I recently lost one of my mentors, Bill Strauss. Bill was the author of several books that share his research and his insight into past, current, and future generations of Americans. Generations, co-authored Neil Howe is as dog-eared as any of the references on my bookshelf.


Sadly, Bill recently lost a long battle with cancer. I am saddened for his family and for all of us who were helped by his insights as well as his considerable humor.


I had the opportunity to hear Bill speak a few years ago at a conference sponsored by the Chesapeake Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (CHESPRA). He gave me some insight into why my dad, a member of the Silent generation, is so likely to accept a doctor’s word without question and why he feels wasteful to throw away food even if he doesn’t like it. And, he affirmed my pride in being the mother of two Millenials, a generation that I am sure will make us all proud with their need to make a difference in this world.


The good news is that Bill’s work has created a spark that I see spreading to the research and discussion of others. The dialogue about the differences among the generations is sure to continue and those of us who seek to communicate effectively with the old, the young and everyone in between will surely benefit.


One excellent example of this is TargetX Communications, an interactive marketing company focused on learning about teens and 20-somethings so that it can help colleges and universities to develop effective marketing efforts. If this is a generation that interests you, I highly recommend subscribing to the TargetX E-mail Minute. It offers great nuggets of information each week.


And, for those of you who are like the 88 percent of marketing executives recently surveyed by the Marketing Executives Networking Group and still believe the baby boomer audience is the most important demographic, wake up! Generation X and Generation Y are knocking at your door. . .