The recent study, Dynamics of Cause Engagement, revealed that more Americans are involved with supporting our troops and feeding the hungry than any other causes or social issues today. Nearly two in five Americans affirmed to be personally involved with these causes. Health-related issues, such as breast cancer, diabetes and heart disease, also appear near the top of the list of causes in which Americans are most engaged.
The study conducted by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication found that, when asked about the most prominent causes for 2011, survey respondents mentioned supporting our troops, feeding the hungry, bullying, childhood obesity, global warming and the Tea Party movement among the top causes.
Not surprisingly these causes are constantly on the headlines, indicating that Americans’ opinions over social issues seem to be highly influenced by the media.
However, the study revealed that “fame” or the perception of “prominence” does not always translate into the belief that a cause enjoys widespread support. Gay marriage ranked at the top of the list of causes that Americans feel society is less open to supporting, and global warming and the tea party movement, which also appeared high on the list of most prominent causes for 2011, also ranked among the top social issues that Americans believe society is less open to supporting.
Perhaps, the polarizing nature of these causes might be the drivers of their perceived notoriety?
And, speaking of attention drivers, Americans expressed that a cause needs more than a famous face behind it to garner attention. Although a carefully selected celebrity endorsement can play an important role in raising awareness, the study found that factors such as many people being affected by the issue, a timely event or tragedy, and children being impacted are considered more important attention drivers than celebrity involvement.
If you are interested in learning more, click here (http://www.ogilvypr.com/files/causes_release.pdf) and stay tuned as we continue to release additional findings from this study in the upcoming weeks:
- May 16 – Cause Involvement by Gender
- May 30 – Cause Involvement by Ethnicity
- June 13 – Cause Involvement by Generation
- June 27 – Cause Involvement and Behavior Change