‘Half of British women would consider not having children because of risk to their career,’ is just one of the many survey headlines doing the rounds this week. On a regular basis the news headlines are full of statistics from surveys commissioned by organisations on topics as wide ranging as pets to handbags.
Surveys remain an important tool in the PR consultant’s kit bag as not only can they help generate a great news story and get people talking about the topics that matter to our clients, but they’re also a really great source of original data for clients to use in their marketing campaigns.
Now although they’re often great coverage generators, surveys offer no guarantees at delivering the results you want. Depending on the quality and quantity of data you require for your survey, they can prove to be an expensive exercise with survey houses charging per question and more if you’re targeting a niche audience.
It was therefore really interesting to read these top tips from PR Daily on creating an effective PR survey. Top tips include:
Be realistic with B2B surveys: You’re not going to reach executive respondents in large companies via an online panel. Consider whether you actually need to reach the most senior job titles or whether other decision makers will suffice. Often, decision makers that aren’t exec-level are easier to reach and actually know more about the subject. For example, internet security is something an IT network manager is likely to know more about than the CIO.
Use closed questions: For most surveys, close-ended questions will generate the results you need. Open-ended questions can generate some credible quotes, but in general, are of limited use for media content.
Don’t force answers: Too many PR surveys are based on leading questions and limited answer choices. While this approach will increase your chances of getting the ‘right’ answer, it also risks being found out by more inquisitive journalists or delivering skewed answers.