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The issues that mattered most in 2015

By Forster Communications

22 December 2015
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The research we did earlier this year into consumer attitudes towards business involvement in social change highlighted just how important the majority of consumers feel it is for businesses to get more involved.

Following on from that, we have been busy analysing the issues that mattered most to consumers over the past year, to highlight the most relevant and pressing areas where businesses and charities can get involved.

We analysed social media and national newspaper content to gauge and understand frequency of mentions, with some surprising results. Whilst Cecil the lion, refugees  and being ‘beach body ready’ are in the top 15, they are relegated by homelessness, mental health and climate change. Perhaps unsurprisingly terrorism heads the rankings. The top 15 issues from our research were:

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Feminism, homelessness, mental health and climate change being in the top five shows how important these topics have become in the national psyche. They are no longer just the territory of campaigns and rabble rousing but more established constants that as a nation we are demanding debate around.

There is a growing trend for issues capturing attention on Twitter first, leading to mainstreaming and amplifying in national news. Good examples of this are with #IminWorkJeremy, #BeachBodyReady and #DistractinglySexy campaigns.

The data suggests the influence of brands is not to be underestimated. Whilst awareness does not necessarily translate to action, loneliness has earned its space in the top 15 in part due to the John Lewis advert and its partnership with Age UK. As thoughts turn to 2016, this is reason to consider developing charity corporate partnerships that go beyond funding opportunities but are part of a more concerted effort by businesses and charities to deliver long term positive change.