At Lab42, we realize how challenging your job can be as a PR or communications professional. One successful media pitch can make a huge difference to your clients’ businesses. However, clients do not always have pitch-worthy news. Even if you have a PR strategy already in place, you can propel your clients’ media exposure to new heights by generating genuinely newsworthy data using market research.
When we started Lab42, we realized that the best way to display our market research prowess was to conduct our own survey, generate compelling insights, and transform those data points into an infographic. The tactic worked quite well for us. Our research and infographics have been picked up by dozens of news outlets, including The New York Times,Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Mashable and Newsweek (to name a few). After seeing our success with this method, we started recommending it to our clients.
Traditionally, market research has been used for internal projects – customer and employee feedback, concept testing and ad testing, for example. But market research is also a strategic marketing and PR tool. Generating custom, specific insights for your client or business is a great way to stay top-of-mind with the media.
If you are new to the world of market research, here are key points to keep in mind:
Make it interesting
Make sure that the story you are trying to tell is actually interesting – not only to reporters, editors, and producers, but also the audience you are targeting. Try to tie your story in with timely topics or existing news to make it even more relevant.
Use large samples
With a bigger sample you can look at meaningful sub-groups using crosstabs or data filters, which can help support the story you are trying to tell.
Create multiple storylines
A benefit of online surveys is that they can be very flexible. Instead of honing in on one idea, think of potential alternate storylines when creating your questionnaire. That way, even if the data doesn’t fall the way you were hoping, there are more topics to explore with the data.
Use leading questions in your surveys
Of course you want to have compelling data points to share, but make sure that your survey is not designed to elicit specific responses. Reporters, editors, and producers are quick to disqualify pseudo-research. Quality data is the key component to data driven PR, and having leading questions in the survey only discredits the overall research.
Make it all about your client/product/business
Instead of just focusing on your subject, try to tie in timely topics or other news events. It helps to broaden the storyline and raise overall interest, and can increase the likelihood that your story will be picked up.
Use too much industry jargon in the survey
Using too many industry-specific words or phrases might not only confuse your survey respondents, but could cause misrepresentations of your data. Try to use more general verbiage in order to connect with a wider audience.
Creating a survey and capturing unique consumer insights is just part one of a good PR strategy. However, to make your data more digestible, turn your data points into a visually appealing infographic. Infographics and data visuals are a great way to tell your story in an engaging way and are flexible enough to be shared both online and offline.
If you are looking for a way to take your PR campaign to the next level, try incorporating market research. The result will be a stronger story for your client and customized insights for the media.