Erdos & Morgan’s Opinion Leaders Study Reports Industry Regulation, Climate & Gun Control as Nation’s Top Issues

| Press Release

Erdos & Morgan is proud to announce the recent release of their 2018 Opinion Leaders Study. This annual national survey is the industry’s leading syndicated study of contemporary issue involvement and media influence. For over 35 years, the study has provided many of the most prestigious media, communications and advertising companies in the country with the market’s primary source of opinion leader information.

The Opinion Leaders survey is designed to measure involvement among the most influential people, concerning over 190 of the most relevant issues facing the nation. As media platforms have expanded, the study has evolved beyond the traditional measurements. The digital media measurement includes the usage of websites and APPs to create a total digital coverage, which can then be combined with print and/or broadcast figures. This provides the opportunity to evaluate which media brands have the greatest reach and impact on today’s most important issues. Benefits of the study include:

  • Respondent involvement in over 190 specific issues that have high impact on governmental policy and the attitudes of others
  • Furnish advertisers and advertising agencies with measurements of the reach and influence of media brands serving the current opinion leader market
  • Provide media companies with data and opportunities to sell products and services to marketers and advertising agencies
  • Offer individual media branded qualitative information

Opinion leaders, for the purpose of this study are defined as those individuals whose influence on a variety of issues including business, social, political, environmental and educational issues far exceed their numbers in the population. They exercise far reach and have a powerful impact on the opinions of their fellow Americans by framing and defining the issues that will largely determine the future course of the nation and/or current issues.

The defined universe of 662,813 opinion leaders encompasses individuals from both the Public and Private sector. From the defined universe, we randomly select participants across the public and private sectors. Responses are weighted based on their leadership group to represent the universe of each group. At a 95% Confidence Interval, the study is accurate to an error of +/- 1.1%. To ensure this accuracy level for the 2018 study, an additional 500 Congressional, 500 Executive branch and 500 Association members were added to the sample pool.

The private sector consists of leaders from the following sectors: Business/Finance, Communications and Media, Education, Law, Healthcare and Science. The public sector includes those from the Executive and Congressional branch of government and officials at the state/local level.

The following are the Major Category Classifications of the issues covered in the study.

Business Issues
Law & Legal Issues
Economic & Financial Issues
Legislative/Government Policy Issues
The Arts & Media Issues
Trade/Global Economic Issues
Health, Education and Human Services Issues
Environmental & Energy Issues
Science & Technology Issues
Defense & National Security Issues
Agricultural Issues


According to the 2018 study, the top 5 specific issues that opinion leaders are most involved with include Regulation of Legal Industry, Global Warming/Climate Change, Gun Control, Equal Pay/Pay Equity and Retirement Security. Global Warming/Climate Change was the #1 issue last year and is #2 this year. Gun Control was the #11 issue in 2017 and climbed to #3 in 2018.

The use of social media continues to increase among opinion leaders. There was over a 10% increase in the use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

The Erdos & Morgan Opinion Leader Study produces two distinct measurements for each media platform. A coverage figure, which is provided for all media brands within each platform and equates to an audience measurement based upon readership, viewership or unique monthly impressions.

The second figure is a qualitative composition score that illustrates the attitudes of users of that specific brand. The qualitative composition figure is based upon the perception each reader/viewer has about the media they consume and is provided based on five attributes, which are as follows:

Influential         Objective         Current            Credible           Enjoyable

These attributes were used for all three media platforms measured in this study, making comparisons easier between print, broadcast and digital.

The measurement of television at the network level was added to the study in 2015 and continues to include the measurement of individual programs, which makes for straightforward head-to-head network comparisons.

Erdos & Morgan also releases a double-based edition of the Opinion Leaders Study. This double database is only available online and is based upon the results of both the current and previous editions of the study.

Erdos & Morgan, as a subsidiary of Beta Research, is certified as a women’s business enterprise through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

For more information about the Opinion Leaders Study, other syndicated or custom media studies from Erdos & Morgan, please contact David March at (201) 236-0469 or