Linguistic Profiling
for Professionals

Generation Z: Communication and campaigns to support and protect young people during Covid-19

Professor Louise Mullany and Dr Lucy Jones have launched a research project examining the effectiveness of communications to young people.



Together with Dr Victoria Howard and Tristan Emerson, they are investigating communication and campaigns aimed at supporting and protecting young people who might be at risk during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project, funded by a Research England QR award,  examines how organisations, including the government, charities, local authorities and NGOs, have communicated with Generation Z (young people between 16 and 23) and those working in organisations which support them during Covid-19. It focuses in particular on those who may be experiencing violence, abuse or harassment in person or online.  

Lockdown scrabble

The research project uses discourse analytic techniques to investigate the effectiveness of information and campaign materials produced by these organisations aimed at supporting young people.

To ensure that the voices of Generation Z are heard, the team is gathering the responses of young people to these materials through focus groups and a survey.

The project team is also collecting the views and experiences of people working in youth and support services which support those from diverse ethnic heritages, cultures and groups who are under-represented in mainstream cultures.

This strand of the research sheds light on the information available to such services as they strive to help and protect young people through the various stages of the pandemic. It also offers insight into the changing needs and pressures on young people.


The research aims to identify groups which may be underrepresented in these materials due to their gender, race, ethnicity, culture and/or sexuality. It will also assess which strategies and campaigns have worked best, and whether there are any issues or gaps in the information available. 

This will help to identify good practice, which the team will use as the basis for a set of recommendations to government and organisations about which approaches work best for communicating important information quickly and effectively to young people and services supporting them in future.  



Linguistic Profiling for Professionals

Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics
The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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