Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Empowering Women for the Future Summit and to a group of Young Republicans about engaging millennials in politics.  As a millennial female myself, I have an inside perspective on  understanding this often misunderstood group.

Millennials, the youngest generation of voters who were born in the early 1980's to the 2000's, make up the largest voting bloc today.  Currently, two thirds identify as a Democrats and only a third consider themselves Republicans; however, by improving their techniques, conservatives and the Republican party can better communicate and court this generation. Here are my five tips:  



To engage this population, the first question one must ask is “how or why does my issue involve them personally?” Millennials, otherwise known as "Generation Me" care about issues that affect them personally.  While conscious of global issues, they care more and will make more of an effort with regard to an issue if it is explained how the details will enhance or disrupt their lives. Interestingly enough, millennials are a generation that holds older generations, especially their parents, in high regard and are willing to listen to and learn from them.

 Additionally, faster is better. To speak the language of millennials, consider a quick note or meme rather than a newsletter. Millennials are fast-paced and are often multitasking, which makes long and detailed messages unreadable and so such messages are likely to be ignored. If you have something to say to this generation, it is suggested to briefly outline the important parts in a sentence or two and link to the rest where one may follow up or get more information.



Technology is king in the millennial’s world. Any person or group wanting to engage them must be willing to embrace new and different forms of technology, including the latest social media platforms. Basically, if you’re not social, you don’t exist to this generation.  

There are the tried and true platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, but newer and easier to use apps are being introduced every day.  Younger millennials, on average, are connected to four or more social networks so, don’t be afraid to try out communities such as Snapchat, Vine, Keek, Instagram, and Periscope to name a few. A recent study showed that 89% of the news information millennials get is from Facebook with YouTube (83 percent), and Instagram (50 percent), and places of active involvement such as Reddit right behind. It goes without saying that with the amount of information coming to millennials, they no longer have to seek out new information. 


3.     ISSUES

To reach millennials, conservatives need to stay away from divisive issues and to focus on areas where gains can be made. Since millennials are very self-driven, issues such as finding a job, student debt, and housing are real problems that millennials are facing in their own lives. They want to succeed and are open to different perspectives that will solve their problems. Millennials have high levels of optimism about the economy and this is an area where we can open minds and sway opinions.



Conservatives know that policies such as free markets, limited government, and personal responsibility lead to greater prosperity for the individual, family and population as a whole. Simply telling millennials this won’t achieve anything. We need to show them. Liberals have been very successful at pulling on the heart strings of this voting population. More real life stories are needed showing that conservatives have the answers to guide the future and more involvement in the community, where one-on-one interaction can foster discussion, is necessary to win over this generation.



Last, but not least I suggest to get out of your comfort zone and get to places where there is a diverse population. For example, a bingo hall may be the perfect place to foster a connection with veterans, but few, if any, millennials will likely be in attendance.  Don’t be afraid to attend minority driven and non-partisan events to reach this younger crowd. Additionally, community sponsored events show that you and your group authentically care about what is going on in the local community. For conservatives to sway younger populations, different organizations need to work together.

There are a number of outside organizations in states around the country looking to work with millennials and we need to support each other to influence opinions and win on the issues.  Millennial-driven groups such as Turning Point, Students for Liberty, and NeW have local and state chapters around the country that focus their attention solely on millennials.  Only if conservative groups work in collaboration on issues, informing the public, and driving the same message across the board will they be able to win over persuadable groups such as millennials.  

These five tips will help guide conservatives in reaching the often misunderstood Millennial population. They can start conversations and open a door to a new generation of conservative voters.