Build Brand Awareness With A Survey

In today’s crowded media landscape, businesses are continually on the lookout for ways to stand apart from their competitors. Enter surveys, a cost-effective method to promote brand awareness. A survey worthy of media attention is more than just a few questions randomly asked. Instead, it’s a carefully crafted instrument that, when done right, can make the media sit up and take notice. Here are a few suggestions for making your survey something a busy editor will want to pick up publish.

Use a combination of questions: “A common belief among people who use PR for coverage is that they have to ask quirky and zany questions,” says Nathan Richter, a senior PR pollster at Wakefield. While a few creative questions that grab an editor’s initial attention are fine, they need to be balanced with credible ones, which compel an editor to cover a story. For example: when online discount travel service Travelzoo.com sponsored a survey, they asked people more creative questions, such as, “Would you be willing to stand on a cross-country flight in order to save 50% off the cost of the airline ticket?” But they also asked more traditional market research questions, such as, “Do you expect to be traveling more or less than last year for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday?”

Avoid obvious commercial messaging: Many PR executives and business owners assume that it’s OK to make their pitch a commercial message, so long as they put survey data behind it. “Not so,” says Richter. “If company X wants to be branded as the ‘hip’ company, they don’t write a press release with a headline that reads, ‘Survey shows company X is the hippest.’”

Instead, make your release about the bigger picture of the survey and the story behind it. The idea is that by being the sponsor of a great story — not the star — you will achieve media coverage and visibility with your target market.

Emphasize the scientific: As more businesspeople include surveys as part of their PR strategy, they are turning to do-it-yourself tools to accommodate their needs. But whether you conduct the survey yourself or hire a professional firm to conduct it on your behalf, to be credible, it needs to be conducted in a scientific manner. To emphasize to the media that the survey your company conducted is based in proper research protocols, Richter suggests it include:  

  • Name of the research vendor 
  • Margin of error
  • Dates the study was conducted
  • Sample size used
  • Methods used in conducting the survey

Remember, the press and media are constantly on the lookout for relevant and timely surveys that they can “hook” a story around. Provide them with a well crafted, properly researched and interestingly reported study or survey and your company could find itself swimming in ink.

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12 Responses

  1. Sharon says:

    Do people actually do the “Survey shows company X is the hippest” thing? That’s tacky.

  2. Marie says:

    I love your articles, don’t necessarily always agree with all o them, but there is always something small at least I can take from them.

  3. Margaret says:

    I like the the second part, subtle, that’s good advice.

  4. Tracy says:

    Hard data is always best.

  5. Diane says:

    Never tried the survey route before, I’ll have to look into it.

  6. Kay Baker says:

    How cost-effective?

  7. Patricia Davis says:

    Problem is, no one actual takes time to take the survey or actually give quality answers.

  8. Matthew Ashdown says:

    Great article, some real value in here.

  9. Tina says:

    Not sure I totally agree, not a big fan of the survey.

  10. Elaine says:

    Yeah, obvious never really works out, just makes you look like your trying too hard and desperate.

  11. Deborah Boudreaux says:

    The third part, that actually is some real quality advice right there.

  12. S. says:

    Could you recommend some credible firms to conduct surveys?

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