Full Duplex has once again partnered with Abacus Data. The result is Matters of Opinion 2014, our second annual report examining how Canadian opinions are shaped by online information and interactions, specifically in public affairs and politics.

This year’s report highlights three key findings which are valuable for organizations and individuals who are hoping to reach a large audience with which to communicate, build constituencies of support and motivate action:

  • Organizations must be more strategic and creative in how they reach Millennials. Automated content curation algorithms on channels such as Facebook and Twitter perpetuate a more insulated view of the world based on naturally occurring communities of interest networks. This is the media environment Millennials have grown up in. As they age, they will bring their distinct consumption and participation habits with them. Basically, there’s a strategic necessity to reach Millennials who are not yet engaged on broader current events where they gather.
  • Online Canadians get to decide which stories matter. Most Canadians still consume news passively from either traditional broadcast and print channels or from the online versions of those same media organizations. Meanwhile, a cohort of engaged Canadians is exploiting the opportunity to actively participate in the online discussion about (and understanding of) the issues. These promoters often have more power than media organizations in energizing public interest in specific stories.
  • Engaged Canadians are shifting from news consumers to news shapers. Journalists are paying attention to what matters to the people who are engaged in the online discussion — Canadians who blog, tweet, produce videos and audio podcasts, and post to Facebook and other online forums. This allows journalists to discover stories add commentary/analysis shared by engaged Canadians and incorporate it in their reporting for a broader Canadian audience. It’s time to think differently about who the influencers are, where they can be found and how to have your issues and messages become part of the considered Canadian opinion.

We used a number of tools to conduct research and analysis. Among them are Sysomos Heartbeat, Sysomos MAP, SocialBro and our proprietary Compass tool.

You can download a free copy of the report from http://mattersofopinion.ca.

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