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With Two-Thirds of Federal Employees Foreseeing Working Remotely In the Future, Marketers Should Consider Diversified Channels, According to Annual Market Connections Study

Market Connections, Inc. Releases 2021 Federal Media & Marketing Study Determining Best Practices in Media Purchasing and Marketing Practices for Reaching Federal Employees

Oct. 21, 2021

Fairfax, VA, October 21, 2021—Remote work for federal employees will not be going away any time soon, according to Market Connections’ 2021 Federal Media & Marketing Study. Subsequently, the media habits of these workers will continue to evolve. Two thirds (67 percent) of federal employees stated they will likely continue working remotely at least part-time in the future, with one-quarter (26 percent) saying they plan to work remotely full-time. The future will not necessarily be as it was in 2020, but the way government works will also not be a return to the way things were prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Market Connections, Inc. released overview results of its 13th annual study of federal employees’ media consumption habits to help federal marketers effectively reach their target audiences on October 21st at 9 am ET on their website www.marketconnectionsinc.com. Also included are two panel discussions featuring  federal media and marketing experts who highlighted key takeaways and shared their reactions to the study results.  

The 2021 survey finds that time spent accessing most media has dropped below even 2019 numbers. Declines in consumption of news content online and in print, watching news on television, listening to traditional radio, and reading enewsletters highlight a continuing shift in the way people get their news and information. Even podcast listenership, having ticked up in 2020 has declined to under 50 percent. 

It seems there was a peak in 2020 where people had more time and were thirsty for details about what was going on in the world,” said Aaron Heffron, executive vice president of Market Connections, Inc. “Last year was an intense news year including a pandemic, US elections, and heightened attention to social issues. While the intensity has declined, I think the permanently changed work environment will continue to influence how and where we all get our news and information. Some of the marketing practices and media channels we pivoted towards in 2020 will stick while others may fade away.”

The survey represents the views of nearly 2,700 civilian and defense federal employees ranging over 25 job functions and dozens of agencies inside and outside of the DC metro area. 

Other highlights from the study include:

  • Top media channels across digital, print, social media, television, and radio for federal employees; 

  • Reasons for specific social media usage for work-related purposes;

  • Prospects for future event attendance;

  • Potential impact of agency restrictions on employees in response to COVID-19;

  • Key personal and professional challenges facing employees as they look toward 2022 and beyond including retirements, staff recruitment, and changing government policies.

Needless to say, remote work is here to stay, and federal marketers need to diversify how they reach their audiences,” added Heffron. “They should consistently review their marketing mix, looking to further invest in media channels not easily accessed in an office or secure setting including social media and online radio. Remote work potentially increases these channels, now accessible on their personal devices.” Heffron advises, “Digital-only publications, daytime radio and webinars will all benefit from changing work habits. It will be increasingly important for marketers to fine tune their planning, customizing for certain agencies and job roles and responsibilities. The FMMS overview and the supporting self-service dashboard enables this kind of differentiation.” 

Heffron presents the findings followed by two panels. The first moderated by Stephanie Geiger, executive vice president of Government Marketing University includes federal marketing professionals. The second, moderated by Heffron, includes federal media professionals who discuss how their channels have innovated and changed in reaction to current events and how they plan to support federal marketers attempting to reach their target audiences.

Panelists include:

  • Kevin Baron, executive editor, Defense One

  • Matt Bechtel, director of corporate marketing, Booz Allen Hamilton

  • Patti Nuttybombe Cochran, federal marketing consultant, Government Matters Media

  • Allison Mason, senior director, public sector marketing, Red Hat

  • Darryl E. Peek II, head of federal strategic partnerships, Google Cloud

  • Jeffrey Wolinsky, director of federal sales, WTOP/Federal News Network. 

The on-demand video and overview results are available online. More information is available at www.marketconnectionsinc.com/fmms2020study.  

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About Market Connections

Market Connections delivers actionable intelligence and insights that enable improved business performance and positioning for leading businesses, government agencies and trade associations. The custom market research firm is a sought-after authority on preferences, perceptions and trends among government executives and the contractors who serve them, offering deep domain expertise in information technology and telecommunications; healthcare; and education. Market Connections also provides the tools for organizations to expand thought-leadership in their respective markets and is known for its annual Federal Media and Marketing Study, the only comprehensive survey of the media habits of federal decision-makers, as well as the Content Marketing Review, Federal IT (FIT) Personas Study and the Federal Government Contractor Study. For more information, please visit: www.marketconnectionsinc.com.

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