ITV News is to be the first client for a new internet-based consumer research service launched this week by Populus, the UK-based research consultancy that supplies opinion polls to The Times Newspapers.
ITV News will be using results from the research service, called Message Meter, for its General Election coverage, to support its on-screen analysis.
Message Meter panellists have audio and video clips sent to their PCs. They can then indicate their reaction to the content by using a sliding-scale online “meter”. Panellists also respond to “before” and “after” questions, which add context to their reactions. The results are displayed graphically using a variety of selection criteria, for example by demographic data such as age, gender and geographic location.
The system can work in real time, so it can provide instant reactions to breaking events, such as live speeches and press conferences. ITV News will be using Message Meter to analyse how political messages and politicians resonate with a cross-section of the electorate throughout the General Election campaign.
Rick Nye, a director of Populus, says: “Looking beyond ITV News’s use of the research to assess General Election messages, we expect the greatest take-up to be in the advertising, public relations, internal and employee communications, and crisis management sectors.”