How to Work the Poll

July 6, 2015

Okay, okay… put your ones away and get your mind out of the gutter. As much as we’d love for this to be about the fine art of pole dancing, we’ll be talking about something much sexier – how to make your client surveys take off like a rocket. 😉


Most PR pros have come to accept that clients don’t always have hard news to promote. It’s in times like these where more and more of us are turning to surveys to drive news. So, how do you build a survey that will rocket your client to the moon and back?

Assemble the Parts

When creating your survey, it’s important to have a vision of your final product in mind. Decide what industry trend you want to investigate and what insightful takeaways you’d like to see on that topic. From here, you will be ready to work backwards to craft your questions. Also, it’s best to keep your list of questions to 10 or less. Otherwise, survey takers are going to peace the F out before you can get the answers.

Plot Your Course

Now that you have your questions, it’s time to pick the best method to conduct your survey. Whether it is conducted online or in person, there is often one method that’s best depending on the circumstances. For example, if you’re conducting a survey at an industry event or conference, utilizing good ol’ pen and paper is easiest. This way, you can have multiple people filling out surveys at once and have the sales team qualify leads on the spot based on a quick review of their responses. In most other scenarios, an online survey tool works great. The nice thing about today’s survey technologies is that they do all the grunt work – aka calculating – for you. #winning

Everyone Wants to be an Astronaut

Lets not forget one of the most important things: no one likes to take surveys without a little something in it for them. Decide what is going to be the best motivator for your target audience based on demographics or the latest trend in tech. It needs to be something people want enough that they are willing to exchange five minutes of their time for it. It could be something simple like an Amazon gift card, something hip like an Apple Watch, or you can go the classic cool route like our client, Adaptiva, and offer up a Harley Davidson – then maybe you’ll get a turnout like this.


Bringing it Home

Now that you’ve got your data, what the heck are you supposed to do with it? First things first, it’s time to celebrate your surprises. Take a look at your data and pull out anything that shocks you. Flag numbers that are extremely high or low, or those that confirm or, even better, buck a preconceived industry insight. The nuggets of insights surveys produce can often create an opportunity to validate key messaging points.

Next, since you’re a baller and built your survey rocket with a plan, you should be able to turn your single data set into two or more smaller sets, and compare those side-by-side. By adding a few clarifying questions up front, you can use that data to breakout your respondents by age and compare Millennials vs. Baby Boomers. Or, you can divide your data by company size and compare Enterprises vs. SMBs. The more opportunities you give yourself to slice and dice the data, the more takeaways you’ll have to tell a story.

Working the poll can be hard work, but remember the key strategies above and you’ll be raking in coverage like a moth to a flame.


Katie & Melissa

For kicks and giggles, here’s a new and exciting survey on some of the most important topics of life:


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