Gorkana Insight & Analysis Team
This summer’s patriotic bubble will have a marked impact on the topics and issues people choose to follow in the media, according to research by elephant communications.
The elephant summer research suggested consumers had polarised views towards patriotic media coverage driven by this summer’s major events. One group - approximately 42% of those surveyed - chose to follow events closely whilst 58% will tend to avoid the extensive coverage of the summer’s ‘patriotic’ events.
The two groups had quite different reactions on the range of issues and topics they were inclined to engage with through UK media. For those that were excited by events, such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the positive ripple effect was significant, going well beyond the events themselves and encompassed their economic and business outlooks, as well as perceptions on community, identity and were seen to be generally optimistic.
Regionally 66-69% of those surveyed in Yorkshire, The North East and Scotland were likely to avoid the summer’s major events. But in London, East and South East, 45-50% of respondents were more likely to engage.
The research too indicated an audience reaction against spin in the way brands leveraged patriotic themes to promote products.
For dedicated followers of this summer's events the most popular medium for engagement was national TV followed by national newspapers, online websites and then national radio.
Avoiders of patriotic events were more likely to follow online media followed next by national TV, then national newspapers and finally local news sources.
Dedicated followers also indicated the most popular topics they would be inclined to engage with were; news about a boost to the economy, news that makes them feel happy and news celebrating British success at the Olympics.
62% of Britons claimed that television and film would be the key form of media engagement over the summer months.
“For many people, positive patriotic uplift is more a reality than a bubble and even those that are not drawn towards expansive media coverage of this summer’s events share a definite hope for a positive impact on the economy, culture and their sense of community,” explained Guy Bellamy, managing director at elephant communications.
“The research underlines the impact that major events can have in shifting people’s topic and media preferences and stresses the importance of adapting communications strategies to a changed playing field in terms of the consumer’s terms for engagement. And the elephant in the room - for those that see PR as a words business - the audience’s media preference for the summer will be on images, whether still or moving.”