Surveys and PR

Mistakes to Avoid When Conducting Surveys for PR Purposes

You're a business leader, not a survey designer. But from time to time it may be necessary for you to conduct surveys for your company. Not surprisingly, there are tons of ways to screw it up. Here are the mistakes to avoid when conducting surveys for PR purposes.

Your entrepreneur friends have been telling you that surveys are the best thing since sliced bread.

Although you were skeptical at first, you've seen enough PR generated surveys in the news to know that your friends might be on to something.

But here's the problem: Your survey skills are nonexistent and you're concerned that you won't know whether or not your PR guy is on the right track. Don't worry-we've got you covered.

Just avoid these common survey mistakes and you'll end up with a survey your company can be proud of:

  • Insufficient participation. This happens all the time. A business leader and a PR specialist cook up a fantastic survey and then it flops because they weren't able to solicit participation from an adequate number of respondents. Consider who your respondents will be and how you'll invite them to participate in your survey before you do anything else.
  • Boring survey topic. There are countless facets of your business around which you would love to create a survey. But in reality, most of them aren't capable of generating PR placements simply because they aren't newsworthy. Generate survey topics that make the desired outcome (i.e. PR placements) the primary consideration.
  • Bad scheduling. Let's say you conduct a survey and it's huge hit. Your first reaction is to create another one ASAP, right? That's a big mistake. Schedule your surveys to allow enough lead time for people to respond, but avoid overscheduling. A few great surveys beat a steady stream of weak ones every time.
  • Wrong or inadequate placements. Remember, the real value of a survey happens when reporters pick it up and use it as the basis for newsworthy articles. Part of the topic selection process involves the identification of the journalists to whom you will eventually send PR pitches. If your survey is truly insightful, milk it for all it's worth and expand your pitch radius to include as many qualified journalists as possible.
  • Inadequate analysis and reporting. A lot of surveys fall short in analysis and reporting. PR pros know that above all else, their goal is to use your survey results to generate a one-sentence theme that will be used as a hook for journalists and consumers.

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