Welcome to this week’s edition of The Labs Report. 

Over the last few weeks, we’ve taken a look at how COVID-19 is impacting broad economic indicators, how the gig economy is faring during the pandemic, and what names are most popularly used to describe the virus. 

This week, as COVID-19 remains top of mind for most of the world, we’re breaking down the conversation to examine the topics and themes that are being discussed in conjunction with COVID-19.

In Focus: COVID-19, Topically Speaking

The conversation around COVID-19 is evolving quickly. Certain narratives, such as calls to wash your hands or commentary on the run on certain paper products, remain constant and established.

But as the conversation around COVID-19 continues to grow, it can be challenging to sift through the sheer volume of the conversation (we’ve analyzed over half a billion mentions of the virus just over the past month) and understand what is actually being discussed in conjunction with the pandemic.

This ability to cut through the noise is especially important for organizations (and communicators, marketers, and other leaders within those organizations) as they grapple with the challenge of responding and adjusting to the new normal created by the pandemic.

With that challenge in mind, this week we analyzed data from the Zignal Labs platform to get a better understanding of the top topics in the COVID-19 conversation.

Looking at the conversation across traditional, broadcast, and social media, we identified ten major topics of conversation related to COVID-19.

In the graph above, we can see that the volume of conversation around our top ten topics really started to pick up after the first week of March, peaking on March 12. 

Politics was consistently the topic with the most mentions – likely because it’s a relatively broad topic and because the response of global governments to the virus has been one of the most closely-watched aspects of the pandemic.

Testing and isolation also saw significant chatter, along with mentions related to travel, supplies and the economy.

As of the time of writing, mentions of new cases seem to be on the rise, perhaps indicating that the tone of the overall conversation has shifted from more containment-related topics (like testing and isolation) to those aligned with understanding our new reality.

While the above visualization gives you a good idea of ten major topics being discussed in conjunction with COVID-19, we also identified a number of other topics that all received at least 1 million mentions over the last month. 

We organized these topics (bolded below) into conversational themes (italicized below) to help add further context to the ongoing and evolving conversation around COVID-19:

  • Treating and curing COVID-19: “vaccine,” “information seeking,” and “research and clinical trials.”
  • Experiencing the virus: “symptoms,”transmission,” “self-isolation,” and “bans.”
  • Wider consequences of the pandemic:immigration,” “homelessness,” and “unemployment.”

While You Wait 

For more information and resources related to COVID-19, please visit our dedicated COVID-19 response page, where you’ll find best practices and tools you can use in your response to COVID-19.

Stay tuned for more coverage on the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19. We’re monitoring the situation in real time and will be providing data-driven updates, insights and analyses on an ongoing basis.

Like what you see? Get in touch with our team to find out more about how Zignal can help you measure the real-time evolution of opinion to shape more powerful brands, campaigns, products, and threat detection.