Media & PR

What do people actually do online?

Macbook keyboard CC0 Public Domain

Less porn and more family history than you might expect. That is the answer from the latest Nielsen data on UK internet usage.

Looking at the most popular online sectors in September 2012, the top ten are:

  1. Member communities (6 hours 35 minutes on average spent by people on this sector)
  2. Online games (5 hours 3 minutes)
  3. Email (2 hours 12 minutes)
  4. Videos / movies (2 hours 3 minutes)
  5. Adult (1 hour 56 minutes)
  6. Classifieds / auctions (1 hour 53 minutes)
  7. Instant messaging (1 hour 38 minutes)
  8. Genealogy (1 hour 27 minutes)
  9. Software manufacturers (1 hour 13 minutes)
  10. Gambling / sweepstakes (1 hour 11 minutes)

For those interested in corporate communications, it is numbers 1-3 that are indeed the most important to think about.  What they say is, ‘people like playing games, using social networks and sending each other lots of emails’. However, look at many public relations plans, especially in the corporate sector, and social networks are often just a glitter of modernity sprinkled on a traditional approach; games are thought childish and irrelevant and email? Doesn’t even get a mention.

Yet there’s a big clue in the name public relations. It’s what the public does that matters and it is the public’s preferences that need to be catered for.

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