Survey Roundup: Ad Council, CNN and FleishmanHillard Take Pulse of Shaken Consumers

Information gathering is one of the most straightforward ways PR pros can stay informed and productive amid the current crisis, and several groups have published useful surveys in recent days. Perhaps your firm has already begun developing similar polls of its own. For inspiration, here are the PRNEWS editorial team’s top picks.

Coping With COVID-19—Ad Council

A new field survey from the Ad Council—set to be a weekly occurrence—looks at consumer perceptions throughout the pandemic, useful for PR professionals in understanding what audiences are going through. The survey sample was made up of 1,000 English-speaking adults ages 18+ across the U.S. online from April 3-5.

Key findings:

  • Four in five Americans are financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Nearly all respondents ages 18-24 report they’ve already been impacted (92 percent), compared to 65 percent of those aged 65 and up.
  • Differences can also be seen by geography, and by race/ethnicity. Almost a quarter (23 percent) of Midwesterners report no financial impact from COVID-19 so far, compared to just 17 percent of respondents in the Northeast. People of color report a greater financial impact than those who are white: Nearly a fourth (23 percent) of white respondents report no financial impact to date, compared to 15 percent of non-white/non-Caucasian respondents.
  • Americans most need personal protective equipment (PPE) and peace of mind. When asked to rate how much they need immediate assistance with various categories, two items stood out the most among respondents: getting protective equipment like gloves/masks (33 percent) and peace of mind (i.e., knowing or feeling comfortable and/or stable) (29 percent).

Majority of Americans Say Federal Government Has Done a Poor Job Preventing Coronavirus Spread—CNN

A CNN poll testing sentiment around the federal coronavirus response was conducted via telephone from April 3-6 by SSRS, an independent research company. Interviews were conducted among a sample of 1,002 respondents.

CNN noted an eight percent jump in public disapproval of federal policy; perhaps most telling was the public’s concern for medical equipment shortages, a worry also present in Ad Council’s survey above:

  • In answering the question, "Thinking about how the federal government is handling the shortage of personal protective equipment and medical devices used in the treatment of coronavirus, do you think the (federal government should be doing more to address that shortage), or do you think the (federal government is doing enough as it is)?" 69 percent of respondents said the federal government should be doing more to address the shortage.
  • Eighty percent of respondents feel the worst of the outbreak is yet to come, with most (55 percent) feeling President Trump could be doing more to fight the outbreak.

Coronavirus worries appear to be deepening the party divide, CNN reported. "Perceptions about the federal government's handling of coronavirus are deeply divided by party, with 80 percent of Republicans saying the federal government has done a good job preventing its spread and 85 percent of Democrats saying the government has done a poor job. This polarization has only widened in the last few weeks," wrote Jennifer Agiesta, CNN Polling Director.

COVID-19 Mindset: How Pandemic Times Are Shaping Global Consumers—FleishmanHillard 

Global PR firm FleishmanHillard’s TRUE Global Intelligence division, which specializes in reputation and sentiment data analysis, released a study today taking the world consumers’ temperature in regards to the virus. "With a clear understanding of how the crisis has changed our expectations and beliefs, organizations can make decisions and communicate relevantly and meaningfully among employees, customers and communities," said Natasha Kennedy, senior partner and global managing director of the practice. Simultaneous surveys were conducted in the U.S., China, Germany, Italy, South Korea and the United Kingdom with about 1,000 respondents in each market.

Key findings:

  • Major corporations are receiving higher satisfaction in China (66 percent), but ratings range from a high of 28 percent (U.S. and Korea) to a low of 17 percent (Germany) across other markets.
  • Estimates on a return to "normal" life varies by country, with the average individual in China believing it’s as close as nine weeks away. Other countries believe it will take longer (15 weeks on average in the U.S.).
  • 63 percent of employees want new benefits offered during the pandemic to be made permanent.
  • 65 percent of consumers are currently postponing purchases and travel.
  • 71 percent of consumers will find ways to continue to patronize businesses, such as opting for delivery and pick up (50 percent) or through holding appointments by phone or online (44 percent).
  • 34 percent of consumers will purchase or pay for things they can’t currently use, like gift cards (19 percent), and continue paying for memberships and services (17 percent).
  • 14 percent of consumers are willing to tip more and 9 percent are willing to pay higher prices.
  • 17 percent of consumers will donate to employer-administered funds that support workers.

This article is part of PRNEWS' daily COVID-19 coverage, click here to see the latest updates.