Surveys and polls sharing proprietary data about a business or non-profit are nothing new, but it’s important to understand how organizations can leverage survey findings to support their public relations campaigns.
When done well, a PR campaign that incorporates a survey can secure fantastic results with traditional media, social media and the general public.
In just the past few weeks for example, newsworthy surveys were released on topics often subject to intense debate, including social security funding and electric vehicle purchases.
- A June survey by Social Security Works and Data for Progress showed that 64% of the survey’s 1,335 respondents were “very concerned” Social Security will run out of funding;
- Consumer Reports polled 8,027 U.S. consumers to find that 14% of them would definitely buy or lease an electric-only vehicle if they were to purchase one today;
- Morning Consult found that St. Jude’s is America’s top ranked charity, while 43% of Americans said they’ve lost trust in a nonprofit in their lifetime; and
- A poll by the Diversity in Government Relations (DGR) Coalition reported that government relations professionals of color feel that they are disproportionately overlooked within their profession.
Results from these surveys garnered notable media attention from outlets like CNN, CNBC, Politico, TechCrunch, Utility Dive, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and more.
Not bad coverage at all.
That’s because reporters, as well as their audiences, like data – especially data that supports anecdotal stories and the news they’re reporting.
And thanks to third-party organizations and lower-cost services, as well as social media and website applications, it’s easier than ever for organizations to conduct their own surveys with customers, members, employees, or other stakeholders.
What’s important though is that organizations utilize surveys in a way that supports their PR efforts and adds credibility to their argument.
Below are four recommendations on how organizations can get the most PR value out of their data:
- Make it a Campaign: Develop a strategic plan that incorporates the data from the survey into a larger PR campaign that includes multiple avenues to tell your organization’s story. This means organizations could:
- Create a report
- Write a press release
- Use tools such as a blog and social media
- Make a video
- Prepare an Op-Ed
- Host an event
- Create a pitch for reporters based on poll results
- Ask the Right Questions: The key to obtaining high-quality data that creates a compelling story for the media is to make sure the right questions are asked to survey participants. If you’re a charity that helps people in need, make sure you ask questions that provide accurate info on demand for services, what services are needed, changes in clients and so on.
- Create Visualizations: Having the data is great, but it’s important to turn the data into digestible content. A well-designed infographic can make it easy for reporters and audiences to see the story the data is telling, while also creating content for social media.
- Pitch the Right Media: You may have great data to share with the world, but it will require a highly targeted media list to ensure it reaches the right people. It’s important to ensure that the reporters cover your topic and would likely have a genuine interest in covering the survey findings.
For more information on conducting a survey to support your communications goals, please visit Xenophon’s Analytics & Research.