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New research shows that over half of opinion formers never use Twitter

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New research by corporate communications consultancy, Open Road and pollster to The Times, Populus, reveals that trust in newspapers is higher than for any other form of media, despite the increasing popularity of social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
The findings, disclosed in the joint report ‘Influencing the Influencers’, show that while opinion formers increasingly use social media to access breaking news quickly, its influence is often exaggerated.
·         Radio, TV and print newspapers remain the most popular way for opinion formers to consume news. 89% of opinion formers get information from the radio every day, 88% from TV, and 86% from newspapers. Just 29% use Twitter every day and 46% don’t use it at all.
·         A quarter of those asked (26%) said that they turn to social media for accessing information quickly. However, respondents were more likely to trust information once it had been verified by traditional media or company’s official websites.
·         Opinion formers are more likely to respond immediately to something negative on a TV or radio programme than if it was on Facebook or Twitter. 62% of the panel would respond immediately to something negative on national TV or radio news while just 21% would take a social media story seriously.
·         The BBC tops the list as the most trusted media outlet in the UK with BBC’s Business Editor, Robert Peston, cited as the country’s most respected commentator on economic issues and the BBC’s Nick Robinson on political affairs.
·         MPs elected post May 2010 are more likely to be digitally connected than those previously elected. In fact, this younger generation of MPs is so much more likely to be digitally connected than their older peers that they skew the results of the panel overall. Without these, our opinion formers would be less digitally savvy than first appears
The research also highlighted a growing divide between ‘traditional communicators’ and those who are ‘digitally connected’. Digitally connected communicators are more likely to trust online newspapers, twitter and blogs and place a high value on speed when accessing information.
Commenting on the findings, Populus Director, Rick Nye said;
“Embracing social media is a good thing but in the rush to have a greater digital presence, it shouldn’t be forgotten that it is traditional media outlets to which the public still turns.”
Open Road Director, Rebecca Reilly said:
“We often talk about the death of the newspaper and the growing influence of social media, but this research shows that it’s still traditional media that win people’s trust. Influencers consume radio most frequently, but trust national newspapers the most.
“Social media remains an important tool for reaching large audiences quickly and its influence continues to grow. However, we shouldn’t overlook that, while nearly a third of opinion formers use social media every day, almost half aren’t using it at all.”
Populus interviewed 232 Opinion Formers online or by self-complete postal questionnaire between 27th April and 24th May 2011. 102 Opinion Formers were drawn from the Populus Opinion Former Network and 130 were drawn from the Populus Parliament Panel. The Populus Opinion Former Network consists of four categories of Opinion Formers - City & Business, Media & Communications, Politics & NGOs, and the Public Sector - and each category is weighted equally. The Populus Parliament Panel draws respondents from across the House and is weighted to be representative of the party make-up of the House of Commons.
Populus interviewed 2047 adults aged 18+ online from 17th-19th June 2011. Interviews were conducted across Great Britain and data has been weighted to be representative of all adults aged 18+.
Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.


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