5 tips for creating surveys to share with journalists

Survey results packed with data can catch a reporter’s eye and lead to coverage for your company or client. Here are best practices for producing a top-notch survey.

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As a result, surveys can often be a trove of high quality and interesting statistics, but only if you do them right.

Here’s are five best practices for running a survey, as well as how to promote the final results:

1. Clearly define the goals and objectives of the survey.

Starting with a theme in mind or a story you’re looking to tell is a key first step. Make sure every question is designed to help tell that overall story (regardless of whether the results come back in your favor). This will also help you evaluate whether to use a third-party database (wide pool of opinions, titles, backgrounds) or your customer database.

2. Pose every question creatively.

The biggest mistake my teams have found when designing surveys is that the question is phrased all wrong, leading to either bias (in terms of industry, profession, region, age) in answers or frustrating conclusions. For example, asking people to choose their “top three” won’t yield as interesting data as if you asked them to rank their top three. Ranked answers help you prove what respondents truly care about.

One of my colleagues also suggested calling the sales rep at the survey company you’re using, because they often have additional insight into question phrasing.

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