Recession: National Polls Indicate Most People Don't Know What The Word Means
Incidentally, after conducting a nationwide poll** during March 12-14, 2008 of 509 random consumers, our results revealed that less than half knew what the word recession meant. Our poll question was open-ended and very simple - ‘In one sentence - what is a recession?’
The answers were complex --- 16% said it was a temporary reduction in consumer spending --- 22% said it was just like a depression but different and couldn’t explain the difference --- 39% thought that it had something to do with improvements in physical health and the remainder (22%) gave answers that indicated they didn’t know. So in perspective, almost 2/3 of all consumers don’t understand the word recession.
The best definition we feel we received was from a mall shopper in Dayton, Ohio who we actually thought had all the answers. “A recession is a period of time when we take a break from shopping and save a little extra money so we can start shopping all over again.” What a unique summary!
As we followed up with a question line, our consumer thought that we were near a recession and that it was about time for things to get better. When asked why the turnaround, our consumer said, early income tax filers were starting to receive over payment checks and the “BUSH BONUS” would find it’s way out of the consumers wallet in a hurry. When asked what the consumer would be buying, our shopper said electronic services and gadgets with a webcam being on top of her list.
Unfortunately, journalists feel that the population knows the meaning of everyday news reports. What’s our point? Most of the time news reports go over the top of the public’s head as evidenced by our simple poll using the word recession. The TV ratings of prime time news demonstrate that people turn to talk radio and cable news because the narrative is interactive, simple and in plain English that everyone understands. We’re still waiting for the mass media to get the message --- contribution by H. Richard Oprinski, Chief Investment Officer
** all actual poll data are available by request . .
PR Staff, Capital Earnings & Research
P.O. Box 296
Union Grove, AL 35175-296
Capital Earnings & Research are experts in national polling and targeting business language, TV advertisements and public relations by using "dial-testing" technology for Wall Street and Fortune 5000 companies.
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