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The Best Tunnl Audiences for Creating Policy Change at Every Level of Influence

March 3rd, 2023 | 11 min. read

Brian Rose

Brian joined Tunnl in October of 2019 and currently serves as Chief Revenue Officer.

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Advertisers have the power to influence the direction of our nation. The messages you create and who you deliver them to plant the seeds of change in households throughout the country. You inspire voters. You lead conversations, change minds, and drive decisions. 

But only if you reach the right people. 

Changemakers from the public affairs, advertising, and political spaces founded Tunnl. We know what it takes to enact meaningful change through strategic communication - and who you have to talk to to make it happen. 

We’re laying out the audiences with the most power to effect change, from lawmakers to local advocates, so you can decide which group will propel your cause in the right direction.

Which Groups Influence the Creation of Public Policy?

Lifestyle policymakerWhen you start talking about laws, Congress comes to mind, but constituents call a few shots before a bill begins circulating throughout the Capitol. The public can sway the national agenda and often get a final say in what happens in their communities. But they balance that power against the will of political authorities.

So, who really holds the reins regarding public policy influence?

The truth is that it’s a shared responsibility, but certain groups will be more relevant to your strategy than others. If you’re trying to ignite grassroots support in a local jurisdiction or change the way politicians understand your industry ahead of a big regulation vote, the people with enough power to make a difference will be, well, different. 

How To Reach Policymakers and Inspire Change

Policymakers and those who influence them are scattered across the states. How to reach them depends on who they are. Good news: All Tunnl audiences provide insights about where and how often that group of people consumes media, making it easy to reach them where they’re already invested.

Now you just have to choose the right audiences and start exploring.

1. U.S. Policy Opinion Makers Audience

Audience Overview

A nonpartisan audience including the upper echelon of national influence like members of congress, news media, business leaders, and politically active citizens.

Audience style: Premier Audience Suite

Approximate audience size: 1.7 million people

Data usage fees will apply when you activate Tunnl data outside the Tunnl platform in the ad platforms of your choice.

Learn more about how to reach the elite 1% who directly shape U.S. policyEveryone has an opinion, but only so many people in the country have direct influence over public policy. These people clock in as senators, lobbyists, congresspeople, Cabinet members, lawyers, and news leaders. They are the country's most politically active individuals, making up less than one percent of our nation’s population. 

We call them U.S. Policy Opinion Makers, and we’ve built an audience to help you reach them directly. This premium audience is ideal for advertisers and agencies trying to move the needle in Washington, D.C. around their top concerns, whether that’s brand awareness or issue advocacy.

Accessing the U.S. Policy Opinion Makers audience will illuminate the demographic breakdown of the most influential group in America. You’ll also be able to see how they consume media, from social platforms to cable consumption.

While the U.S. Policy Opinion Makers audience is your most immediate, effective line of communication to the spheres of influence shaping our nation, it has limitations. You won’t be able to reach these powerful people by phone, direct mail, or with SMS campaigns, nor will you be able to reach one specific authority figure’s inner circle. But that’s by design: these are some of the busiest people in the country who are unlikely to answer their phones for anything less than urgent. And targeting as narrow as a single senator is unlikely to effectively garner the reach you need to enact policy change. 

The U.S. Policy Opinion Makers is included with our Premier Audience Suite, along with Opinion Makers audiences for the healthcare, finance, and tech sectors.


2. Opinion Leaders Audience

Audience Overview

Individuals who are high turnout voters, likely to follow the news, and actively engage in their community.

Audience style: Prebuilt

Approximate audience size: 21.2 million people

Data usage fees will apply when you activate Tunnl data outside the Tunnl platform in the ad platforms of your choice.

Opinion Makers don’t make their decisions alone. They are influenced by the community leaders around them, people who are well-positioned to make waves in their neighborhoods and on the Hill. 

We’ve dubbed this group of movers and shakers as Opinion Leaders. They may be the mouthpiece of their district within the city council or have congresspeople in their contacts. Opinion Leaders move in influential circles, inspiring policy change from the ground up. They are high-turnout votes with their heads in the news who have a finger on the national pulse. 

As one of our hundreds of prebuilt audiences, the Opinion Leaders audience is included with your subscription to the Tunnl platform.

Use This Audience Now

3. Influentials Audiences

Audience Collection Overview

Multiple available audiences including individuals who are high turnout voters, likely to follow the news on a particular issue, and actively engage in their community about that issue.

Audience style: Prebuilt

Approximate audience size: Varies

Data usage fees will apply when you activate Tunnl data outside the Tunnl platform in the ad platforms of your choice.

Lifestyle InfluentialEnacting policy change from the top down is an ambitious goal, and you’ll need numbers to do it. Finding people with strong opinions in your industry or area of focus is a good place to start when it comes to expanding your reach. Our Influentials audiences can help.

Influentials are people who care about a particular cause enough to keep an eye on it via the news and their community forums. You can count on them to be in the voting booth, equipped with a well-studied opinion on the key issue they care about. 

We’ve surveyed and modeled audiences on the most pressing issues of the day, creating these groups for you to target:

If you’re planning a campaign on any of these topics, Influentials are people you want on your side on election day. They can advance your policy goals and act on behalf of your brand cycle after cycle. 

Influentials are prebuilt audiences ready for you to analyze in the Tunnl platform.



4. Pro/Anti/Persuadables Audiences

Audience Collection Overview

Multiple available audiences including individuals who are supportive of an issue, against it, or receptive to messages on either side of the issue.

Audience style: Prebuilt

Approximate audience size: Varies

Data usage fees will apply when you activate Tunnl data outside the Tunnl platform in the ad platforms of your choice.

Controversy is the backbone of democracy. We disagree, but we decide. Our split opinions are what make issue advocacy so vital. And as you build campaigns to shape the nation’s sentiments, you’ll come across people who are for, against, and on the fence about your issue.

They each hold a different value for your cause. 

We’ve put together audiences that span the sentiment spectrum for hot-button issues that are making noise in local communities and the halls of Congress. Here’s a sampling from our dozens pro_anti_persuadableof available pro/anti/persuadables audiences:

  • Legalization of Sports Betting
  • Cryptocurrency Regulation
  • Gig Economy Regulation
  • Abortion Rights
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Climate Change
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Student Loan Cancellation
  • Access to Alternative Medicine

For each of these subjects, you’ll find separate audiences of people who are in support of the issue and people who are opposed to it, along with those who are still making up their minds. These prebuilt audiences offer a golden opportunity to connect with those who align with your stance or win favor with new groups. Who you target can impact the direction of elections, public discourse, and brand advocacy, making them a wise place to start if you’re eyeing highly-debated issues.



5. Custom Audiences

Audience Style Overview

Bespoke audiences curated for you based on survey questions you design and our proprietary data modeling process.

Audience style: Custom

Approximate audience size: Varies

Data usage fees will apply when you activate Tunnl data outside the Tunnl platform in the ad platforms of your choice. 

Your audience is unique to you. While you may be concerned about their thoughts on education or healthcare, what you really want to know is more specific. But organizing your own opinion polls, getting them out to a representative sample, analyzing the answers, and modeling out an accurate audience is a lot to ask any advertiser to do alone. 

Still, your campaigns need answers if you want to target efficiently.

If you don’t find your audience in our prebuilt audience library, you may need to explore a custom audience. Custom audiences are built around the pressing questions you need answers to, like “Do people view my brand favorably?” or “Are people aware of this issue?” or “Where do people shop for products like mine?” 

Tunnl Tip: Tunnl’s custom audiences enable you to choose survey questions that we make ask a representative sample of people. From there, we model and build audiences you can target based on sentiment - and the eye-opening results can guide your next survey, campaign, or audience request.

Our clients have commissioned custom audiences to:

  • Gauge awareness on issues, causes, policies, and events
  • Determine whether people participate in certain activities or buy a category of products
  • Identify trends in consumer and voter behavior
  • Gather information about how people talk about or view certain subjects
  • Understand ways that people self-identify
  • Pinpoint how likely people are to take certain action within a given time period

Tell us what you need to know to influence policy change, and we can create a custom audience that helps make it happen. Custom audiences aren't the right solution for every advertiser, but we’ll always work with you to find the answers you need in our securely collected and managed data.

Who Has the Power to Influence Policy?

You have immense power to influence leaders, decision-makers, voters, and consumers. But your influence as an advertiser hinges upon who you target. 

Tunnl’s audiences are your keys to enacting nation-shaping change across myriad issues. Starting to use Tunnl’s prebuilt audiences is simple, and you have hundreds of them to choose from.

Whether you stick with Tunnl’s diverse array of prebuilt audiences or build a niche custom audience tailored to your campaigns, you’re miles closer to policymakers. For the most immediate access to the exclusive changemakers shaping our nation, consider the U.S. Policy Opinion Makers Audience in our Premier Audience Suite that has been prebuilt to deliver your message directly to them.