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paul stallard's pr blog

Is your research interesting?


Written by Paul Stallard


A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from the City AM tech editor Lynsey Barber I liked. It said simply:

FYI: Just because you have commissioned a survey does not mean the results are interesting.

Damn right.

The PR survey is a favourite tool of the communications professional but it is often done very badly.

Anyone about to commission a piece of research should read the quote above and ask themselves if it would be interesting to anyone other than their client/themselves? Are the potential results of the questions I am asking actually interesting or just written to allow the client/us to brag?

If you don’t do this, the risk is that you will have a piece of research that the media, new business leads and customers will not give a damn about. You will also have a big hole in your bank balance and nothing to show for it.

Research needs to ensure that it stands up under scrutiny and isn’t driven by a story you want to get out of it BUT, getting the story right is absolutely essential. Don’t be obvious. Don’t force a story that the stats don’t back up. Don’t be boring.

The key to this is asking the right questions at the start of the process and understanding who the target audience is.

Sounds obvious but far too many don’t do this.