Friday, June 21, 2024

Weber Shandwick Launches ‘Elections Matter: India Report’

* Stark gender and generational differences in news consumption and election sentiments

Weber Shandwick India, today launched the “Elections Matter: India Report”. The survey led by the Corporate Advisory and Public Affairs practice, examined election sentiments around news consumption habits, trust in different information sources and voting behaviours and motivations among Gen Z (18-24 years) and Millennial (25-44) consumers in India.

Key findings

Media consumption behaviour w.r.t. current events, news & politics

Generational differences in news consumption: Stark contrast exists in news engagement between Millennials and Gen Zs. Over 55% of Millennials followed news daily, compared to about 36% of Gen Z with males significantly more inclined to current events, news & politics. While TV is among the top 3 news sources, there was a significantly lower preference among Gen Zs (44%) compared to Millennials (60%).

Reaffirmation of digital consumption surge: YouTube is the leading platform for consumption of current events, news and politics, in keeping with the digital media uptake. It was the dominant information source across all demographics, particularly driven by Delhi, while TV channels were on top in Chennai and Bangalore. It was followed closely by Instagram, TV, and WhatsApp.

Most watched is necessarily not the most trusted: Google search, print media, and digital news media had a higher trust quotient compared to most social media platforms.

Traditional media resonating stronger for Millennials: Print media continued to have higher acceptance among Millennials. 45% Millennials consumed print media for news and politics compared to only 31% Gen Zs. This preference pattern was evident even in the consumption pattern for television. South India especially Chennai and Bangalore had a stronger leaning to television than the rest of India. Also, 42% males favoured print versus 33% of women. Print media was also high on trust compared to most social media platforms.

Concerns about misinformation: After fake news websites, social media influencers topped the list for spreading misinformation. Males in particular were especially distrustful of them.

Sentiments towards elections & voting

Motivated Millennials and less enthusiastic Gen Zs: Millennials were significantly motivated by elections and voting due to a strong sense of civic duty and the desire for educational reform. Chennai and Hyderabad had a higher sentiment comparatively towards elections.

In contrast, Gen Z showed less enthusiasm, hinting at a potential apathy in political engagement.

Priority issues for elections and new government expectations: Civic and social factors such as infrastructure development, outweighed economic concerns and party manifesto promises as primary voting motivations across gender and generational cohorts. The state of the economy and education were the most pressing issues both for the current elections and future government focus, reflecting widespread concerns about socio-economic and educational development. This shift suggested a future-oriented approach to polling, with voters seeking macro-level changes for a better future.

Regional differences in voting motivations: Voters in Delhi focused on infrastructure development, while those in southern regions, such as Chennai and Bangalore, prioritized voting for candidates who promised to bring about change and impactful leadership.

Gender-specific concerns towards elections: While economy, education and public safety were perceived to be among the top priorities for the recent elections, women were particularly interested in women empowerment issues, highlighting the importance of gender-specific policy agendas. Also, over 55% would like the new government to focus on economy, education and healthcare agendas.

Commenting on the consumer survey findings, Rohan Kanchan, MD – Consulting and Head of Public Affairs, Weber Shandwick India, said, “This report underscores the dynamic nature of news consumption and electoral engagement in today’s digital age. Even as broader generational trends are known, nuances within the cohorts reveal a break from the pattern. For instance, the connection of Influencers in consumer motivations vis-a-vis trust in perception, might have implications in analyzing corporate reputation and development of future strategies. Our national commonalities peppered with our regional disparities, continue to provide an interesting lens to any consumer study such as Elections Matter.”

The survey was conducted by YouGov among 1,000 respondents from the top 10 cities in India, including Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad. The demographics of the survey were balanced, with a near-equal split between males (51%) and females (49%), and evenly distributed between Gen Zs and Millennials.

About Weber Shandwick:

Weber Shandwick is the earned-first global communications agency. Led by world-class strategic and creative thinkers and activators, Weber Shandwick has won some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including being named #1 in the Public Relations and Brand Strategies category on Fast Company’s 2024 Most Innovative Companies list, PRWeek’s 2024 Global Agency of the Year, one of Fast Company’s Best Workplace for Innovators in 2023, PRovoke’s Global Agency of the Year in 2023 and being the most awarded PR agency at the 2023 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Weber Shandwick has been honored on Ad Age’s?A-List in 2024 and 2020 and Best Places to Work in 2019, in addition to being awarded PR Agency of the Year by?Campaign US?in 2021, honored as?PRovoke’s?Global Agency of the Decade in 2020 and ranking #1 on PRovoke’s Global Creative Index in 2021 and 2022. Additionally, the firm was named PRWeek’s?Global Agency of the Year in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 and was awarded PRWeek’s Purpose Agency of the Year in 2020 and 2021. Weber Shandwick also received?Honorable Mention (and the only PR agency) on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Global Marketing Agencies in 2021.?Part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), Weber Shandwick is the anchor agency within The Weber Shandwick Collective (TWSC) –?the strategic communications and consulting network. Cumulatively, TWSC has earned more than?190?Cannes Lions. For more information, visit?

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