Last week, we launched this series sharing the data sources I circulate internally to support our agency leads in developing context-relevant strategies and campaigns. For me, the data this week really points to the very different experiences people are having of COVID-19 and the consequences for them as humans and, therefore, audiences. As noted, this is only ever a snapshot – but I hope it is a valuable one. I welcome questions and suggestions about this data and/or other sources, so do get in touch at

Insight 1: Data shows we have faith in the global economy’s ability to rebound (McKinsey) but that the UK is disproportionately negative about its own prospects (GWI)

We believe the global economy will rebound (McKinsey)

McKinsey statistics

But in the UK we do not have comparative optimism about our own economy (GWI – downloadable report ) [pink – UK, grey – world]

GWI report

What does this mean for communicators?  An ongoing need for nuance as we communicate across markets. As lockdown easing and government interventions differ, this need will only be more marked in the short to medium term.

Insight 2:  COVID’s geographically uneven impact (NY Times) may be driving differences in activity (Economist) unlocking fears (Statista) and enhanced political polarisation (McKinsey) [Note: hypothesis only]

In America, COVID has had a geographically uneven impact, which reflects political divisions (NY Times)

NY Times geographical chart


There are differences in activity and economic impact in red and blue states (Economist)

Economist graph

Germany (with less impact) is less fearful than the US and UK (Statista)

Statista graph

We are seeing optimism/pessimism polarisation (McKinsey)

another McKinsey graph

What does this mean for communicators? The way we talk about the crisis is becoming increasingly political and divisions and tensions are growing.  Careful, nuanced language choice will be key.

Insight 3: Women globally are more negatively impacted (wellbeing and economically), and more afraid of lifting lockdown than men (Ipsos, Fawcett Society)

Women more negatively impacted than men in all wellbeing areas, except alcohol and smoking (Ipsos)

Ipsos graph

In the UK, women’s jobs are more impacted (Ipsos)

Women are more affected in this graph

UK women are more afraid than men of lifting the lockdown (Ipsos / Fawcett Society)

“Women are more uncomfortable with aspects of lifting lockdown. Asked how they would feel about the following, more women said they would be uncomfortable than men:

  • Attending large public gatherings (71% for women v 63% for men)
  • Going to bars/restaurants (66% v 56%)
  • Using public transport (65% v 57%)
  • Sending your children to school (51% v 44%)
  • Shopping generally (47% v 39%)
  • Shopping in supermarkets (45% v 34%)”

What does this mean for communicators?  An appreciation that risk, safety and wellbeing messaging – although it engages almost all audiences at this point – may have a disproportionate impact on women.