Who’s counting?

At work today, we had a really productive brainstorm for a potential new client. It was my first one at Fleishman-Hillard here in Toronto and I was eager to impress my boss and our practice head.

So I was pretty upset with myself that one of my first ideas was “let’s do a survey” especially as everybody had some amazing ideas.

polling station

Surveys and research always play a big part in PR, in part because they usually get good traction with the media (should that be ‘in’ the media?) and in part because it’s an easy idea to have.

As a result, I do feel that there’s an over reliance on the survey as a valid PR tactic – there are god-only-knows how many surveys being pushed out on CNW and the other newswires around the world. But journalists love hard stats to talk about so what can we do?

Well, the first thing is to make sure that the survey is actually newsworthy. Proper, robust, scientific method means a good survey and better pick up in the media (should that be “with” the media?).

Danny Bradbury, a freelancer for both the UK and Canadian markets, has a good little bit on surveys as well as some pretty entertaining and pertinent information for YOUR career in general. Stop by and take a look. The survey stuff is at the bottom of the page.

If Danny’s word isn’t good enough for you, check out this list of 20 questions your target journalist will (or at least should) ask you about your survey you’re trying to pitch to her. It’s from the National Council of Public Polls so it should be a reputable source.

So, before you promise your AD that you’ll get the truck load of coverage she expects, take a few minutes and ask yourselves (you and the AD) a couple of these questions. It’ll make you better at your job.

Thanks to nofrills at flickr for the picture.

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2 Responses to Who’s counting?

  1. Terry Fallis says:

    Hey Ed. In case you haven’t heard it yet, your boss and I talked at some length about the use of public opinion research in Inside PR #18. My key message on research has always been, let’s not just think of it as a good media hook (i.e. tactical), but actually use it to understand our audiences, shape our communications plans, and refine our key messages (i.e. strategic). Surveys still work as media hooks but let’s not sell research short. There’s great strategic value there if the research has been designed well. Hang in there…

  2. Ben Mason says:

    Hey Ed

    Good to see you getting stuck in. I have blog envy – you’re a bit more productive!

    Be good to catch up and share thoughts properly some time…


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