Survey: Americans want positive media coverage

NEW YORK: Americans don't think the media pays enough attention to acts of charity, according to a new survey by advocacy marketing consultant Tiller.

NEW YORK: Americans don't think the media pays enough attention to acts of charity, according to a new survey by advocacy marketing consultant Tiller.

The Tiller Social Action survey found 85% of respondents believe news coverage focuses too much on negative acts, like the Tiger Woods adultery scandal, and ignores good deeds of the average citizen. The survey also found that 97% of Americans believe volunteering is a worthwhile venture, despite the current economic climate.

“We did a version of this survey in 2006, and in light of the tough economic times and new administration, we wanted to see if the needle had moved and if so, in what direction,” said Tiller CEO Rob Densen. “[This year] was one of the worst economic years in the last 60 years. Unemployment was at a 25 year high. Intuitively, a lot of us thought there would be no appetite to do good works. We found out there was indeed an appetite.”

Densen said the results show consumer sentiment isn't all cynical, noting the data could be used by company PR teams to create a positive campaign strategy.

“More consumers are skeptical about corporations. The best way to win back confidence is to align what your company is good at with what the consumer wants and needs,” Densen said. “It goes beyond just PR and communications. Data like this can reveal a need in the industry and act as a real tool for marketers and PR professionals to align themselves with consumer sentiment.”

The online survey, conducted by Mathew Greenwald & Associates, polled 1,000 respondents ages 21 and over between November 27 and December 2, 2009.

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