Finding Local Information

Screenshot of Punch Pizza Saint Paul location in Google Street View

Finding Local Information


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Pew Internet & American Life Project

The Internet is the first or second most relied-upon source for online Americans for 15 of 16 local topics.

THOUGHT: For this study, Pew puts newspaper websites into the same category as newspapers and considers local television news websites simply local TV news. So, for the purposes of this study, the Internet is defined as search and social.

We pay a lot of attention at Tunheim to how people consume media generally and how they react to the media the get, specifically. And we also pay a good deal of attention to generations.

That is particularly important currently as we’re going through a transition from offline media to mostly online media.

Adults over forty years of age, for instance, are much more reliant on television (67%) for local information than those younger than forty (44%). For restaurant and club information, 41% of the younger set rely on the Internet while only 21% of the forty-plus crowd does.

Obviously, then, the demographic you’re targeting will dictate the medium.

The reason for the generation gap is that we only two generations (Millennials and Generation V) who grew up in an online world. New generations will not have to adapt to a world that has suddenly gone online and they will be much more acclimated to an environment of ever-present change.

While it is generally true that people turn to local TV news for topics like breaking news, under-forty Americans are far less likely to do so (47%) than those forty and older (60%).

When you think about how news cycles work these days, most news breaks online first, so you’d think everyone would go there first. But coming across a tweet or finding news in search doesn’t feel like breaking news, while there’s no mistaking breaking news on television.

These numbers should be scrutinized especially closely for anyone constructing a crisis communications plan.

SUPER COOL TOOL TUESDAY: Chirpstory lets you build a “story” timeline out of Twitter content.

Thank you for usability studies.