What Influences the Influencers?

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Jul 6, 2017 - The results of the survey were unveiled at the Brussels Press Club today by Meghan Oliver,. Associate Dire

6 July 2017

What Influences the Influencers? ComRes/Burson-Marsteller 2017 EU Media Survey Unveiled POLITICO is the most read and most influential media among EU decision-makers and opinion-formers, with three in five (62 percent) reading the publication at least once a week, according to a new survey on ‘What Influences the Influencers’ in the capital of Europe. Facebook is the social media channel of choice for 63 percent of Influencers. These are the headline findings from the ComRes/Burson-Marsteller 2017 EU Media Survey into the preferred EU news sources and social media channels used by Members of the European Parliament, EU officials and opinion-formers in Brussels. The results of the survey were unveiled at the Brussels Press Club today by Meghan Oliver, Associate Director of ComRes, a communications research agency, and Karen Massin, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Brussels, a leading public affairs and communications agency.

The survey invited respondents to identify the EU and national media that they most often read or watch, the social media they most frequently use and to assess the influence that these sources and channels have on their day-to-day work.

MOST-READ POLITICO and the BBC are the most-read or watched media by policy-makers and opinion formers in Brussels – and readerships of both have increased since the previous EU media survey, published in January 2016.

Publication Net: read or watched at least once a week Percentage point change since Jan 2016













Nearly two-thirds of Brussels influencers say they read POLITICO at least once a week (62 percent, up 10 percentage points compared with 2016). More than half say the same about the BBC (56%, +5 percentage points from last time). Nearly half of respondents read EurActiv (46 percent, +4), followed by the Financial Times (45 percent, +6) and The Economist (39 percent, +9). Euronews, which was not covered in the previous survey, is watched or read by more than a third of policy-makers and opinion formers (36 percent). Of note, MEPs and opinion formers were more likely to read EurActiv (63 percent and 48 percent, respectively) compared to EU officials (27 percent).


Channel Very influential








Fairly influential













43 %



Percentag e point change since Jan 2016








When it comes to the influence of news channels and social media on decision making in their day-to-day professional work, more than half of Brussels influencers say POLITICO (53 percent, +8) and the Financial Times (51 percent , +3) are influential, followed by The Economist (49 percent, +1), the BBC (48 percent, -3), Twitter (43 percent, -6), Euractiv (34 percent, -6) and Facebook (34 percent, -2). The figures are an aggregate of the score cited as “very influential” or “fairly influential” and adjusted for weighting to ensure that they are representative.

SOCIAL MEDIA Channel Use of social media channel at least once a week






Percentage point change since Jan 2016






Regarding social media usage, EU influencers are most likely to say they use Facebook. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) say that use it at least once a week, followed by Twitter and YouTube (both 53 percent), LinkedIn (37 percent) and Instagram (17 percent). The data highlights that MEPs in particular favour Facebook, with nine in ten (93 percent) saying they use the network at least once a week. Speaking at the launch of the survey, Karen Massin commented: “The European Union has been at the heart of major political developments and tumultuous change in the past year so it is not a surprise to see significant increases in readership among EU news outlets. The surge in social media use by Influencers, particularly via YouTube and LinkedIn, is another striking finding. The results underline that to make your voice heard in the Brussels conversation, you need to think integrated and engage with both the media and social media.” ComRes Associate Director Meghan Oliver added: “It was great to partner again with Burson-Marsteller Brussels to understand media influence on Brussels Influencers. It is interesting to note that readership across many titles increased this year. At the same time, consumption does not necessarily correlate with influence – readership alone doesn’t guarantee cut-through with Influencers.”

Note to editors ComRes interviewed 230 ‘Brussels Influencers’ online between 24 February 2017 and 19 June 2017. The sample includes 76 Members of the European Parliament; 64 officials from the European Commission, the European Parliament Secretariat, the Council, EU agencies and the Permanent Representations of the Member States; and 90 opinion formers including journalists and representatives from think-tanks and trade associations. Data were weighted to be representative of EU influencers by organisation type and MEPs by party and region. Due to this weighting, not all figures add up to 100%. Full data tables are available on the ComRes website.

About ComRes Founded in 2003, ComRes is the leading research consultancy specialising in corporate reputation, public policy and communications. Headquartered in Westminster, with offices in Brussels and Shanghai, ComRes is best known for its work for the BBC, ITV News, CNN and the UK’s Independent. ComRes also works for numerous blue chip companies, political parties,

NGOs, charities and government departments. For more than a decade, ComRes have taken the latest developments in opinion research and tailored them to provide clients with evidence and insights, helping to inform strategies, change behaviour and define debates. ComRes won the 2014 Market Research Society (MRS) award for best Public Policy/Social Research and was a 2015 MRS awards finalist for Best Agency with a turnover of under £20m.

About Burson-Marsteller Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations, communications and public affairs company, with offices worldwide. Burson-Marsteller Brussels acts as the hub for communications campaigns in Europe, Middle East and Africa. With a network of 31 offices and 60 affiliates, it provides an integrated, full-service offering to clients. Burson-Marsteller Brussels has won numerous industry awards including 2016 Best Ethical Campaign – Support Refugees, European Public Affairs Award; 2016 Best Social Media Campaign – European Week of Sport, European Public Affairs Award; 2016 Best Social Media and Networking Campaign – European Week of Sport, Sabre Awards; 2014 EMEA Consultancy of the Year. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world’s leading communications services network. For more information, please visit www.burson-marsteller.eu