Executives Underestimate Americans' Interest in Research-Driven News

     Executives Underestimate Americans' Interest in Research-Driven News

Both execs and average Americans see catchy headlines as a top
attention-getter

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2012

NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --High-level executives at American
companies typically differ from mainstream Americans in some key ways – and
not just salary. Their jobs typically require them to keep abreast of
national and world events, as evidenced by the 99% indicating that they at
least keep up with the news (compared to 82% of Americans in an August 2012
Harris Poll). The demands of their professions can also leave little room for
leisure time, hence the majority (58%, vs. 36% of Americans overall)
identifying online as their preferred way to get the news (with print and TV
battling for the distant second position, at 20% and 19%, respectively),
contrasting sharply with the TV-led news consumption of Americans overall
(50%).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO )

But ultimately, no matter how far they veer from the mainstream, executives in
many industries nonetheless need to understand the average American. From
retailers to restaurants, manufacturers to service providers, their end users,
or those of their clients, are in many cases the average American. So – are
they on target? According to a recent Harris Poll focusing on executive
perceptions of American news consumption, executives are missing the mark on
some key areas of how to best reach the average American.

These are some of the results of a Harris Poll of 300 corporate executives at
companies with revenues of $1 billion or more; all interviews were conducted
online in the United States between October 4 and 11, 2012 by Harris
Interactive.

Under-valuing research, over-valuing "People like me" perspectives

When asked about thoughts and preferences when reading online or print news,
executives appear to overestimate Americans' enjoyment of seeing news articles
which include what people like them think about something; 91% of execs agree
with this statement, vs. the 77% of Americans agreeing that they enjoy this in
the aforementioned August poll.

In contrast, executives appear to underestimate Americans' interest in and
understanding of research in news articles. While the majority agree that
Americans prefer to read news articles that include research results (67%), as
well as that Research needs to be conducted by a credible organization in
order for Americans to trust it (75%) and When reading articles which cite
research statistics, Americans think it is important to consider the person or
company that conducted the research (67%), these are all well below Americans'
agreement levels (80%, 88% and 85%, respectively) when asked a parallel set of
questions on their own news-reading opinions.

One thing executives and the average American appear to agree on is the
importance of a good headline: when asked which factors they believe make
Americans more likely to read an online or print article, a catchy headline
(67% executives vs. 54% Americans), while a stronger selection among
executives than among U.S. adults discussing their own news consumption
habits, is the top-rated draw for both groups.

So What?

"These results illustrate the need for utilizing research in communicating
with the American public," asserts Harris Poll Insights Vice President Deana
Percassi. "Americans are more discerning and critical readers than executives
give them credit for. They like to see claims backed up with data, they want
that data to be credible, and they want to know that a credible person or
organization performed the research in order before forming opinions on it."



TABLE 1
NEWS INTEREST
"Which of these statements best describes you?"
Base: U.S. executives / U.S. adults
                                            October 2012 U.S. August 2012 U.S.
                                            Executives        Adults
                                            %                 %
I am a news junkie; it's a favorite leisure 19                13
time activity
I like to keep up with the news, but it's
just one of many ways that I spend my       80                69
leisure time
I am not really interested in the news;
there are other ways that I prefer to spend 1                 18
my leisure time

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 2
PREFERRED NEWS MODE – BY GENERATION & NEWS INTEREST
"While you may get your news in multiple ways, which one is your preferred way
to get the news?"
Base: U.S. executives / U.S. adults
                                   October                August

                                   2012 U.S.              2012 U.S.

                                   Executives             Adults
                                   %                      %
Online [NET]                       58                     36
Online – on computer               36                     29
Online – tablet                    13                     4
Online – mobile device             10                     3
Print                              20                     10
TV                                 19                     50
Some other way                     2                      3

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 3
INTEREST IN RESEARCH-BASED NEWS
"How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?"
Summary of "Strongly agree" and "Somewhat agree"
Base: U.S. executives / U.S. adults
                                October
U.S. EXECUTIVES                            U.S. ADULTS             August 2012
                                2012 U.S.                          U.S. Adults
                               Executives 
                                %                                  %
Americans are more likely to               I am more likely to
trust an online or print                   trust an online or
article if there is research in 91         print article if there  86
it which supports the story                is research in it which
                                           supports the story
Americans enjoy seeing news                I enjoy seeing news
articles which include what     91         articles which include  77
people like them think about               what people like me
something                                  think about something
Americans' purchase decisions              My purchase decisions
are often influenced by                    are often influenced by
research conducted about a      79         research conducted      70
product or service                         about a product or
                                           service
                                           Research needs to be
Research needs to be conducted             conducted by a credible
by a credible organization in   75         organization in order   88
order for Americans to trust it            for Americans to trust
                                           it
When reading articles which                When reading articles
cite research statistics,                  which cite research
Americans think it is important            statistics, the person
to consider the person or       67         or company who          85
company who conducted the                  conducted the research
research                                   is important to
                                           consider
Americans prefer to read                   I prefer to read
articles that include research  67         articles that include   80
results                                    research results

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 4
PERCEIVED REASONS FOR READING ARTICLES VS. ACTUAL REASONS
[U.S. Executives] "Which of the following do you believe makes Americans more
likely to read an online or print article?"
[U.S. Adults] "Which of the following makes you more likely to read an online
or print article?"
Base: U.S. executives / U.S. adults
                                         October              August

                                         2012 U.S. Executives 2012 U.S. Adults
                                         %                    %
A catchy headline                        67                   54
An interesting picture with the article  43                   44
An interesting infographic (e.g. visual
representation of information, data or   39                   28
knowledge)
Interesting data or research which       36                   43
supports the article
Who the author is                        14                   13
Something else                           7                    13
None of these                            1                    9

Note: Responses may not add up to 100% due to rounding

Methodology

Harris Interactive® conducted the Executive Omnibus survey online within the
United States from October 4 – 11, 2012, among a total of 300 corporate
executives at companies with revenue of $1 billion or more. Figures for
company revenue and number of employees were weighted where necessary to bring
them into line with their actual proportions in the larger universe of
companies with revenue of $1 billion or more.

The August 2012 Harris Poll of U.S. adults was conducted online within the
United States between August 13 and 20, 2012 among 2,307 adults (aged 18 and
over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household
income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual
proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to
adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling,
are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to
quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error
associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and
response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris
Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All
that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different
probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates.
These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this
ideal.

Respondents for these surveys were selected from among those who have agreed
to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to
reflect the composition of their respective populations. Because the samples
are based on those who agreed to participate in Harris Interactive panels, no
estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National
Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or
promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

The Harris Poll^® #64, November 29, 2012

By: Larry Shannon-Missal, Harris Poll Research Manager

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms,
leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant
insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for
pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary
solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and
reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and
communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of
industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy,
telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant,
and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of
multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing
our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries
and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris
specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our
clients—stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit
www.harrisinteractive.com.

Press Contacts:
Corporate Communications
Harris Interactive
212-539-9600
press@harrisinteractive.com





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