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DC Decision Makers Depend on Web, Survey Says

A survey by public affairs firm Mindshare Internet Campaigns shows that Washington decision makers rely on and respond to online information and outreach.

Opinion leaders click and respond to online ads if the content and messages are compelling and relevant, according to Mindshare's second annual survey of Beltway influentials conducted on politics site NationalJournal.com.

Eighty percent of the survey respondents said they want to access advertised links on policy information offered by interest groups, Washington-based Mindshare said.

The survey also found that the most popular information source for congressional staff in the 24 hours before a scheduled vote is the Internet.

And 49 percent of respondents said they preferred online resources to in-person visits and mail for accessing on policy analysis, research and information from interest groups and lobbyists. Another 35 percent preferred e-mail for policy analysis and information.

Web sites were singled out for their usefulness. Fifty-four percent of the respondents said sites were their most trusted source when researching stories. This excludes direct personal contacts. Another 17 percent said they rely on news alerts, 13 percent on press releases and 4 percent on e-mail newsletters.

Called “Delivering in-demand information to decision makers,” the survey was conducted March 31 through April 8. Mindshare said 293 individuals participated. One-third of those were congressional, federal agency and executive branch staff.

The survey was promoted through e-mails and online ads on NationalJournal.com, the portal for publications like National Journal, CongressDaily, Technology Daily and The Hotline. The site carries news of politics, policy and government.

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