In the shadow of a deeply divided Congress, our Research and Insights leads – Graeme Trayner and Katie Cissel – shared what they’re learning from listening to policymakers and voters and what it means for communicators:
Two Americas. Republicans and Democrats often inhabit different worlds, choosing different media sources and seeing issues as zero-sum matters of values and identity. With this comes often active hostility toward the other side.
Generational tension. Divisions are generational, not just political. Gen Z and younger millennials will expect large companies to weigh in on social and cultural issues, but are also the least likely to give big business the benefit of the doubt.
Economic anxiety. Many voters see and feel rising prices but often replay what they hear in the media and about the economy – rather than their own direct, personal experiences.
Lead with their lens. If your message doesn’t match voters’ experience, they will immediately dismiss it. Communications should be grounded in their understanding of the issue, not just yours.
Tuning out. Simply telling your own story as a company or organization isn’t enough – audiences often don’t care or won’t pay attention when there are so many other demands on their time. Instead, you’ve got to show your part of the solution to a large-scale problem they actually care about or speak up for a group that matters to them personally.