Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Surveys Can Help Generate Coverage -- Tips on How to Develop Interesting Surveys

Surveys can be very valuable communication tools because they can validate an organization’s expertise and provide an opportunity to contact the media. For the media, surveys are very popular because they can validate a trend or provide perspective on a timely issue.

By providing fresh content, surveys can be valuable even without securing media coverage – just as there are occasions when media coverage is not the end goal for a press release. For example, when a company signs new customers, media coverage might not be as important as demonstrating that the company is gaining wider acceptance for its products or services.

However, numerous surveys are conducted each day by for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations, and the media that are expected to generate coverage. This is especially true during the current U.S. presidential campaign.

Given this deluge, the challenge for companies is to identify survey topics that will interest its customers and the media.

We ask 10 questions to get at what’s newsworthy, starting with determining the goals for media coverage.

Questions include:

  • Are there seasonal trends we can play off of?

  • What’s the conventional wisdom on an issue?

  • Who will care about the survey results?

  • What are three key messages the company wants to deliver through this survey?

For other tips for improving, check out: "Improving a Questionnaire" by Alex Hiam.

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