att.gifAccording to survey results
announced today by AT&T, 88 percent of respondents — if limited to just one
communications device — would stick to the telephone over email, voicemail,
instant and text messaging, Blackberry(TM) devices as well as the United
States Postal System.

In a survey commissioned by AT&T, 1,013 consumers between the ages of 15
and 75 were asked about their usage of seven communications methods. Not
surprisingly, virtually all [99 percent] of the respondents had used the
telephone within the previous ten days, with the highest percentage of those
[21 percent] indicating they had spent more than ten hours on the phone during
that time period.

The heavy usage of the telephone among consumers can be traced to their
preference for using it to communicate with family and friends. Eighty-three
percent reported using the phone the most often to communicate with loved
ones, with email communication trailing with just 11 percent. Similarly, 89
percent of consumers surveyed said they preferred the telephone for spreading
good news.

What consumers told AT&T about their love affair with the phone:

Comfort with and ease-of-use, the personal nature afforded by the
telephone and its reliability and security are among the reasons most often
cited by consumers surveyed for heavy reliance on the telephone. Hearing the
voice of another person adds an important dimension to the message for most.
A number of consumers cited the telephone as the best way to gauge expression, saying they can better guess the emotional timbre in the voice of the other person: "You can express yourself;" "I can hear the excitement in their voices;" "With the phone you are one-on-one and know that they ‘got it.’"

Many consumers said they rely on the telephone for the delivery of good

"I had a friend who called me from Iraq on my wedding day;"
"I learned just tonight that we were going to have a new granddaughter;"
"When I told my mother I was getting married."
"My brother hit the lottery and won $300,000."
"The day I was called to pick up my adopted daughter."
"I got accepted to graduate school."
"That I was being sent home from Iraq."
"That I was going to be performing in Moscow."
"My son called me to tell me he found his daughters that he hasn’t seen
for years."
"Birth of quadruplets."
"There have been so many."

But the telephone’s reliability and immediacy were also important to

"When my house was on fire;"
"When September 11th happened, I was able to call and check on
friends, make sure they were okay."
"It’s the fastest. Even though there is a lot of other technology
available nowadays, the telephone will always be the most popular."

AT&T’s recently launched advertising campaign using the company’s well-
known ampersand sign — & — will strike a chord with consumers who rely on their telephones, but communicate in a number of ways. The study found that the heavy telephone users — those that spoke more than five hours on the phone in the previous ten days — generally use more than a single means to communicate.

U.S. Postal System

* Although the U.S. Postal System scored second highest for usage
[83 percent], the majority of consumers [64 percent] spent thirty
minutes of less communicating by conventional mail during a ten day
* Men are slightly less likely [80 percent] than women [86 percent] to
have used the U.S. Mail. By age, the differences are more dramatic.
* Fifteen to 17 year-olds are least likely to have used the postal
system — just 44 percent — with the number climbing to 76 percent
among 18-34 year-olds.

* Email was used by 62 percent of the consumers. 62 percent also
indicated they spent two hours or less communicating by email.
* Senior citizen use of email, however, was found to be 35 percent while
56 percent of 15-17 year olds indicated they had used email within the
past ten days.

* About half of 15-17 year-olds had used voicemail [49 percent], while
only one quarter of seniors 65 and over had used it.

Instant Messaging
* Teens were the most likely to use instant messaging (IM) and the
numbers continue to decline as age increased: Half of 15-17 year-olds
used IM, 41 percent among 18-34 year-olds; 33 percent among 35-49
year-olds; 24 percent of 50-64 year-olds, and 14 percent of those aged
65 and over.

Text Messaging
* The best predictor of text messaging use is age. Four in ten
[39 percent] of 15-17 year-olds have used it during the past ten days.
Use decreases steadily with age down to 4 percent use among those age
65 or older.

Now you know…