National Journal has released its annual Washington in the Information Age 2017 report, which provides an in-depth look at how Washingtonians consume media, and how different channels are more effective in targeting different people.

The figures: About 1,200 Washington Insiders were surveyed, and were compromised of 53% from the private sector, 34% federal executives, and 13% from Capitol Hill. Forty-one percent of those surveyed are baby boomers, 27% are generation X, 17% over the age of 65, and 15% are millennials. Lastly, 39% are Democrats, 25% are Republican, 20% identify as Independent, and 16% responded as “other.”

Based on this report, it is easy to see various trends in the consumption of media. When is it best to use the radio? How about satellite radio?  TV?  Podcasts? Let’s take a closer look…

Washington in the Information Age 2017 reports that AM/FM radio is the most popular method for consuming Washington-focused audio content among Generation X, baby boomers, and those over the age of 65. And, the most popular time for listening to the radio, to little surprise, is during the morning and evening commutes.

Of those listening in the morning, 41% are Republican and 41% are Democrat. Furthermore, 48% identify as Independent— emphasizing just how effective a radio hit can be to engage those with potentially undecided voters. Only 29% Capitol Hill insiders listen to radio on their morning commute, while 43% of private sector insiders listen, and an overwhelming 52% of federal executives.

How about using satellite radio during the morning commute hours to publicize your message? If you do, you are most likely to target Generation X, baby boomers and those over the age of 65, respectively. Twenty-one percent of satellite radio listeners are Republican, and 17% Democrat. Furthermore, most of those tuning into satellite radio are either in the private sector or are federal executives, not on the Hill.

How about news coverage on TV?  If your story airs before most people go to bed, 60% of respondents over the age of 65 and 52% of baby boomers will be tuning in. Forty percent of Republicans will be watching, and 47% of both Democrats and Independents. Again, mostly those in the private sector and federal executives will be watching.

Podcasts are most popular amongst millennials, specifically during the morning and evening commutes when about one-third of respondents are listening. Generation X has about one-quarter of respondents listening each morning. Also, more Independents reported listening to podcasts than either Republicans or Democrats, and many more Capitol Hill Insiders listen to podcasts than federal executives or those in the private sector, combined.

So, what does all of this mean? Knowing where and when to target your audience is a valuable way to be confident in its ability to make an impact. This study gives great insight for more strategically reaching Washingtonians with our messages.

Stay tuned…


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