Erdos & Morgan Opinion Leaders Study Reports Global Climate Change, Equal Pay and Retirement Security as Nation’s Top Issues

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The Erdos & Morgan Opinion Leaders Study Reports Global Climate Change, Equal Pay and Retirement Security as Nation’s Top Issues

Erdos & Morgan is proud to announce the recent release of their 2020 Opinion Leaders Study. The Covid-19 pandemic caused turmoil that ranged from mild disruptions to severe hardship. For the 2020 Opinion Leaders study, it caused us to adjust the mailing of the survey to account for people working from home during the lock down and other minor adjustments.

This annual national survey is the industry’s leading syndicated study of contemporary issue involvement and media influence. For over 35 years, the study has provided many of the most prestigious media, communications and advertising companies in the country with the market’s primary source of opinion leader information. 

The Opinion Leaders survey is designed to measure involvement among the most influential people, concerning over 190 of the most relevant issues facing the nation. 

As media platforms have expanded, the study has evolved beyond the traditional measurements. The digital media measurement includes the usage of websites and APPs to create a total digital coverage, which can then be combined with print and/or broadcast figures. This provides the opportunity to evaluate which media brands have the greatest reach and impact on today’s most important issues. Benefits of the study include:

• Respondent involvement in over 190 specific issues that have high impact on governmental policy and the attitudes of others 

• Furnish advertisers and advertising agencies with measurements of the reach and influence of media brands serving the current opinion leader market

• Provide media companies with data and opportunities to sell products and services to marketers and advertising agencies 

• Offer individual media branded qualitative information 

Opinion leaders, for the purpose of this study are defined as those individuals whose influence on a variety of issues including business, social, political, environmental and educational issues far exceed their numbers in the population. They exercise far reach and have a powerful impact on the opinions of their fellow Americans by framing and defining the issues that will largely determine the future course of the nation and/or current issues. 

The defined universe of 664,693 opinion leaders encompasses individuals from both the Public and Private sector. Responses are weighted based on their leadership group to represent the universe of each group. At a 95% Confidence Interval, the study is accurate to an error of +/- 1.1%. 

The private sector consists of leaders from the following sectors: Business/Finance, Communications and Media, Education, Law, Healthcare and Science. The public sector includes those from the Executive and Congressional branch of government and officials at the state/local level.  

The following are the Major Category Classifications of the issues covered in the study. 

  • Business Issues
  • Health, Education and Human Services Issues
  • Law & Legal Issues
  • Environmental & Energy Issues
  • Economic & Financial Issues
  • Science & Technology Issues 
  • Legislative/Government Policy Issues
  • Defense & National Security Issues 
  • The Arts & Media Issues
  • Agricultural Issues
  • Trade/Global Economic Issues

According to the 2020 study, the top 5 specific issues that opinion leaders are most involved with include Global Warming/Climate Change, Equal Pay/Pay Equity, Retirement Security, Science and Public Policy and Cybersecurity. Global Warming/Climate Change was the #1 issue last year and remains so this year. Rounding out the top 10 issues are Alternative Energy/Fuels, Volunteerism, Funding Arts and Humanities Civil Liberties in a Time of Crisis and Gun Control and Self-Defense

While the overall usage of social media remained strong during the pandemic, there was a 10 percentage point increase among opinion leaders in postings to LinkedIn. 

The Erdos & Morgan Opinion Leader Study produces two distinct measurements for each media platform. A coverage figure, which is provided for all media brands within each platform and equates to an audience measurement based upon readership, viewership or unique monthly impressions. 

The second figure is a qualitative composition score that illustrates the attitudes of users of that specific brand. The qualitative composition figure is based upon the perception each reader/viewer has about the media they consume and is provided based on five attributes, which are as follows:

  • Influential
  • Objective
  • Current
  • Credible
  • Enjoyable 

These attributes were used for all three media platforms measured in this study, making comparisons easier between print, broadcast and digital.

Erdos & Morgan also releases a double-based edition of the Opinion Leaders Study. This double database is only available online and is based upon the results of both the current and previous editions of the study. 

Erdos & Morgan, as a subsidiary of Beta Research, is certified as a women’s business enterprise through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). 

For more information about the Opinion Leaders Study, other syndicated or custom media studies from Erdos & Morgan, please contact David March at (201) 236-0469 or