One in four adults say they use social media and tablets to follow current affairs and the news, although there are mixed views about brands that use Twitter to communicate with consumers, according to new research from elephant communications.
These are some of the preliminary findings from a new study, which has taken an in-depth look at the popularity of a range of new channels and devices - social networks, digital radio, smartphones and tablets - as sources of current affairs information and news.
Whilst each platform proved to be popular with particular audiences and communities, the study questioned the simplistic notion that new media were replacing old media.
The elephant communications study also looked at the factors that drive media and channel choice. The research of 4,000 people suggested that quality of content and trust have become big issues for people when deciding which media to follow for news and current affairs. Young people and students - the broadest adopters of new media – were more likely to be driven by news content that had educational value than the allure or convenience of a particular channel or device.
The study also explored what the general public thought of brands that tried to communicate and market to them via new media platforms and, from an audience perspective, the terms on which this was seen to be helpful or counter-productive.
Lindsay Marino, Director at elephant communications commented: "Our new study into a range of emerging channels and devices has thrown up a number of interesting findings. Following some of the major research events we have run this year and our various university lectures, we will be running some informal sessions on some of the highlights before we publish the study later in May. As a new PR consultancy, we are committed to adopting a research-based approach to the way we do business and the advice we give and, as with our other business and issues research series, there is no substitute for researching the big issues directly with the end-user and seeing the world through their eyes."