LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventy-six percent of Technology Elites say the U.S. technology industry's best days are still to come compared 59 percent of the General Public, and 59 percent believe the incoming Trump administration will be favorable to the technology industry, compared to 50 percent of the General Public, according to the newly released Burson-Marsteller Age of Trump Technology Policy Survey developed by Burson-Marsteller, a global strategic communications and public relations firm, and conducted by research firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB).
Participants in The Burson-Marsteller Age of Trump Technology Policy Survey included 1,000 members of the U.S. General Public, as well as a separate sample of 500 Technology Elites, individuals who either work in technology or invest in the technology sector. PSB conducted the research on behalf of Burson-Marsteller from December 6th to December 13th, 2016.
Continuing in this optimistic vein, 73 percent of Technology Elites believe the technology industry will contribute to job creation, compared to 63 percent of the General Public, and 73 percent of Technology Elites say that innovation is critical to the U.S.'s position in the global economy and the technology industry is going in the right direction to maintain that, compared to 59 percent of the General Public. Overall, 52 percent of Technology Elites believe the country is going in the right direction compared to 27 percent of the General Public, and 59 percent say the economy will improve under President Trump compared to 46 percent of the General Public. In addition, 88 percent of Technology Elites and 76 percent of the General Public trust the technology industry to behave responsibly and in the best interests of the American public.
In contrast to the optimism among Technology Elites about the current and future state of the economy, the General Public expressed some concerns, with 59 percent believing the country is on the wrong track. Furthermore, less than half of the General Public (43 percent) believe the economy is better off than it was four years ago, with only one in five indicating it will be significantly better five years from now.
While both Technology Elites and the General Public believe the technology industry will do better in the next four years (56 percent and 66 percent, respectively), they are less sure about Donald Trump's role in that success. Only 50 percent of the General Public say "yes" when asked if Trump is a technology industry supporter, and this is only slightly higher among Technology Elites at 59 percent. Technology Elites are evenly split on whether the Trump or Obama administrations better understand the needs of companies in the industry, although the General Public is slightly more likely to favor the Trump administration at 58 percent. When asked to choose the word that best describe how they feel about the future of the industry under the Trump administration, 37 percent of Technology Elites choose positive words (optimistic, energized, supported, eager), 34 percent choose negative words (concerned, anxious, attacked, angry), and 27 percent choose neutral words (wait and see, neutral, so-so/mixed feelings). The General Public was even more ambivalent about Trump's impact on the future of the technology industry, with a plurality (39 percent) choosing neutral words, 33 percent choosing positive words and 27 percent choosing negative words.
Key Differences Between Technology Elites and the General Public
- Eighty percent of Technology Elites say the technology industry is very important to the U.S. economy – the most important of any industry. While the General Public also views the technology industry as important (67 percent), this group prioritizes healthcare (75 percent) and energy (73 percent) over technology.
- The General Public is also more likely to say that, for the average American, technology is a job destroyer (37 percent vs. 27 percent of Technology Elites) and that innovation negatively affects average American jobs (35 percent vs. 22 percent).
- The General Public is more likely than Technology Elites to agree that traditional manufacturing and service jobs are more important for the economy than expanding innovation (74 percent vs. 68 percent).
"This new survey reveals intriguing insights into the beliefs of those closest to the technology industry compared to the general public, and are especially relevant now right before the inauguration and during CES, the most important technology gathering of the year," said Don Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller. "Interestingly, the findings suggest those in the technology industry are very optimistic about the industry's direction and prospects for the next four years, even though they are less sure of the impact of the incoming Trump administration on it."
- A large majority of Technology Elites (74 percent) say that if innovation does not occur in America it will continue overseas.
- Technology Elites are most likely to say that China (57 percent) and Japan (46 percent) are the countries most likely to surpass the U.S. in terms of technology success.
- Technology Elites have concerns about security and privacy which are driven by their belief that the Trump administration may not do enough to protect consumers. Key for Technology is the security of corporate data (30 percent), security of government data (27 percent) and protection of consumer privacy (25 percent). The General Public's concerns are similar, responding that the top priorities should be security of government data (43 percent), hacking and ransomware (40 percent) and protecting consumer privacy (38 percent).
- Technology Elites and General Public respondents say that high-skills job training (72 percent and 67 percent, respectively) and increased science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education (59 percent and 53 percent, respectively) are the best steps to spread the benefits of American innovation to a broader portion of the American public.
- While privacy and security are key areas of concern, Technology Elite and General Public respondents are divided over who bears the most responsibility for protecting consumer data. However, both agree that the government should be involved. Equal numbers of Technology Elites and General Public respondents say the federal government (19 percent and 20 percent, respectively), software manufacturers (20 percent and 18 percent) and the companies themselves (19 percent and 20 percent) should be responsible.
For more information about the Age of Trump Tech Policy Survey, visit the microsite here.
Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) conducted research on behalf of Burson-Marsteller to explore attitudes and perceptions about the future of the technology industry. To meet these objectives, PSB conducted an online quantitative study from December 6th to December 13th, 2016 among Technology Elite (n=504) and General Public respondents (n=1000). All Technology Elites are age 25+ with at least a college education, have a household income of $100,000+ in the coastal regions and $75,000+ in the heartland, live within 30 miles of a city with a significant technology industry presence reflecting a mix of established and start-up technology firms, and follow news about technology closely. Technology Elites are further broken down into three sub categories: Industry Elites who work in the technology industry, Investment Elites who work in finance and specialize in technology investing and Broad Elites who fit the general elite profile and personally invest in technology. The U.S. General Public were polled to national census data to ensure a representative sample of the United States to compare perceptions from outside the technology industry. Penn Schoen Berland conducted the research on behalf of Burson-Marsteller from December 6th to December 13th, 2016. The margin of error for the Technology Elites total sample is +/- 4.3% and larger for subgroups. The margin of error for the General Public total sample is +/- 3.00% and larger for subgroups.
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global strategic communications and public relations firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies. The firm's seamless worldwide network consists of 73 offices and 85 affiliate offices, together operating in 110 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world's leader in communications services. For more information, please visit www.burson-marsteller.com
About Penn Schoen Berland
Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), a member of Young & Rubicam Group and the WPP Group, is a global research-based consultancy specializing in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip corporate, political and entertainment clients. PSB's operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in more than 90 countries. The company operates offices around the world, including in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, London, Hamburg, Madrid and Dubai, which are supported by in-house field capabilities and fully equipped to provide the complete creative solutions PSB clients need. For more information, please visit www.psbresearch.com