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Recession has Increased Importance of Community in Britain

The importance of community to people in Britain has increased following the recession, fuelled by a growing sense of local pride, according to a study of nearly 5,000 adults by Crowd DNA.

Eighty-one per cent of people agreed that the recession has made supporting the local community more important and local media plays a key role in stimulating pride in their local area, the six figure Loving Local study shows.

Georgina Harvey, NS president and managing director of Trinity Mirror Regionals, said: “There is growing evidence of the importance of the need for a sense of place and belonging... life is truly local. And no-one can deliver that sense of community and belonging like the regional press.”

The study found that 82 per cent of respondents were proud of their area – a rise of 11 percentage points on three years previously* - and local media fuels this sense of pride much more than any other medium.   

Seventy three per cent of respondents said local media was relevant to having a sense of pride in their area – nearly four times higher than the internet (19 per cent), the next highest medium.

NS marketing director Robert Ray said: “The study clearly shows that, in post recession Britain, people are taking more pride in their community and recognising its importance to their lives.

“Trusted local media is fuelling this growing sense of local pride because it helps people to feel part of their community and spurs them to act for its benefit.

“This pride in the local community also extends to people’s perceptions of brands – they are much more positive about companies that get involved in the local community.”

Ninety-three per cent of respondents said they liked companies which got involved in the local community and 84 per cent they were more likely to buy brands that gave something back to the local community.

Local media (73 per cent) was cited as the best medium for making people feel part of their community, followed by the internet (22 per cent), TV (11 per cent), and national newspapers (five per cent).

Sixty per cent of respondents took action, such as using a product or service, using a voucher or visiting a store, as a result of seeing ad in local media – with action remaining high across demographic and age groups.

Loving Local was published today (Thursday) on a dedicated micro site following a launch event for agencies and advertisers hosted by the NS at the Courthouse Double Tree by Hilton in London.

A roadshow at locations across the UK takes places in the coming weeks and 2,000 copies of the booklet are being sent to contacts at media agencies and advertisers.

Findings include:

  • People continue to spend their time and money locally. Eighty per cent of people spend at least half their time within five miles of their home and 76 per cent of people spend at least half their money within five miles of their home.
     
  • Local media continues to be the most trusted medium. Forty-five per cent of people said local media contained content they trusted compared to 37 per cent who cited television, the next highest medium.  
     
  • More people feel they are well integrated into their community than in previous years. Seventy-four per cent of respondents said they felt they were a part of their community – a rise of 11 percentage points on 2008.*
     
  • People are more optimistic about issues at a local level. Seventy per cent of people believe their local area is improving compared to 32 per cent who believe the country is improving.

Notes:

To see the Loving Local micro site click here.

Fieldwork was conducted by Crowd DNA in March and April. Interviews were conducted by telephone and online. 

*Local Matters, Millward Brown/NS, 2008.

The NS is the voice of Britain’s local media, the UK’s most trusted medium. It represents 1,100 newspapers, 1,700 websites and other print, digital and broadcast channels.