Speaking Their Language

DC policy influencers are a powerful audience segment. The key to successfully targeting this group is understanding their media consumption habits, which have shifted dramatically over the past few years. 

Data shows that trust in the media has declined since the start of the pandemic, as influencers maintain that news and media in Washington are partisan. Yet, with a growing number of new media outlets, digital consumption is on the rise. Recent studies give insight into shifting behaviors to help us formulate effective digital strategies. 

FGS Global partner Basis Technologies shared their research on the best way to reach policy influencers: 

  • Research shows a 20% increase in time spent on social networks since 2019. DC insiders have increasingly turned to LinkedIn and Twitter in particular (we’ll see if this holds post-Musk).
  • DC insiders are integrating audio into daily news consumption as the commute returns. Podcast consumption will account for over 25% of digital audio ad spending in 2022. 
  • Newsletter readership has remained steady with 50% of insiders reading e-newsletters for Washington-focused news at least once per day. 
  • National and Beltway media brands remain the most trusted sources for news and information. Leading brands include The Washington Post, Politico, and The New York Times, with over half of policy elites relying on these three sources. 
  • COVID-19 accelerated streaming TV viewership and, for the first time ever, streaming surpassed cable in July 2022. 1 in 3 DC influencers anticipate using a streaming media device more often than they did last year. 
    • Strategy Consideration: Sunday Morning slots have shown a 4% year-over-year growth in viewership.