PR pulse: Divided opinions on indicators to end social distancing

by | Jun 1, 2020 | Covid-19, Public Relations

As social distancing measures loosen around the country, new research from survey sampling solutions firm InnovateMR explores consumer perceptions in the U.S. New results from the second wave of the firm’s ongoing research to understand the impact of COVID-19 on consumer sentiment and behavior indicate that political affiliation is a strong driver for what Americans look to as an indicator to end social distancing efforts.

Of conservative Republicans, only 20 percent are turning to Dr. Fauci or CDC officials to recommend a return to regular activity, a figure that jumps to 47 percent among liberal Democrats.

A mere 3 percent of liberal Democrats have an eye towards an announcement from President Trump to recommend an end to social distancing, a figure that only extends to 7 percent among other Democrats. At 24 percent, conservative Republicans represent the most significant swath of Americans waiting on Trump to give the go-ahead before they stop social distancing.

PR pulse: Divided opinions on indicators to end social distancing

While Americans stand divided on some fronts, support of social distancing efforts crosses party lines, with nearly 9 out of 10 Americans supporting the initiative. Surprisingly, no significant regional differences emerged, despite recent protests covered by the media as well as regional hot spots for the virus.

PR pulse: Divided opinions on indicators to end social distancing

“As we look forward to this next chapter, it is crucial to understand Americans’ priorities related to loosened social distancing measures,” said Lisa Wilding-Brown, Innovate’s chief research officer, in a news release. “Receiving a signal to move ahead from one source may work for some Americans, but not others. The results of our study indicate lifting stay-at-home orders may not be the immediate all clear Americans are seeking to resume typical activities, including a return to purchase behaviors to help stabilize the economy. We hope by sharing the results of our research, organizations are empowered to adapt for success in this rapidly changing environment.”

PR pulse: Divided opinions on indicators to end social distancing

Download an executive summary of the survey results here.

The second wave of the project surveyed 2,000 US consumers. Leveraging the company’s proprietary online consumer panel, PointClub.com, the sample was census balanced by age, gender, region, race, household size, and employment status. Insights were collected from April 17-April 23, 2020.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter