5 Steps to Conducting a PR Survey | Marketing Research Firm

Sometimes, rather than being kept locked deep in the company vault, the results of a market research study are most useful when shared with the public.

In today’s crowded media landscape, a custom PR survey is an effective way to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Nothing captures attention and convinces readers more than statistically-backed numbers and cold hard facts. 

So, how does one go about conducting this type of market research with a third-party PR survey company?

Well, buckle up. This article will outline the 5-step journey brands would take to successfully conduct a PR polling survey with a marketing research firm.

4 Steps to Conducting a PR Survey | Marketing Research Firm

What Are PR Surveys?

First things first, let’s understand the basics.

A form of quantitative research, a PR survey is conducted in order to provide statistically reliable information that tells a compelling story about a consumer group, brand, or organization.

Public relations surveys are designed with future headlines in mind. Whereas results from other types of surveys are typically used to guide future strategy, PR survey results grab attention and provoke interest. 

Conducting a PR Survey in 4 Steps

The process for conducting a PR polling study is similar to a traditional online survey. However, no two market research firms are the same. The streamlined process followed by Drive Research may be different for other vendors.

Though, for the sake of this blog post, I'll outline the step-by-step process our team of senior market research professionals follows with clients conducting PR surveys.

Part One: Exploration

The first step when working with any third party is to reach out and establish your expectations of the research you wish to conduct. It’s crucial that everyone be on the same page from the get-go.

Once you’re aligned, send the PR survey company an RFP (request for proposal) to receive a better understanding of what the research process looks like with that company.

In the proposal, you’ll get a detailed overview of the research methodology and the costs that you can expect.

Part Two: Kicking Things Off

After choosing a market research company, you’re ready to kick things off with an official meeting to verify the objectives of the research and establish a proper timeline.

After you’ve conquered the kickoff meeting, the PR survey company will send you a plan outlining the next steps to keep you updated.

Part Three: Survey Design

Designing the survey comes next in the process.

It’s imperative that you partner with researchers who have PR survey expertise (like the folks at Drive Research), as the questions you ask in the survey make all the difference.

Skilled researchers know which questions (and more importantly, which answer options) can generate the best results for attention-grabbing headlines.

After some back and forth (never give your approval on the survey unless you are completely satisfied) you’re ready to program the survey online.

Part Three: Data Collection

Once the PR survey marketing research firm has programmed your survey online, they will triple (and probably even quadruple) check for any errors.

You can also test it out for yourself to ensure it’s exactly what you’re looking for. Use this programming survey checklist for help!

Once you’re happy with the online survey, it will be time for a soft-launch.

In other words, the third-party will only field a few responses to ensure that the survey is working properly and that respondents are understanding the questions being asked.

If everything from these initial responses looks good, then you’re ready for a full launch of data collection!

While the PR survey firm conducts fieldwork, they’ll continue to monitor and clean the data as it comes in. Top firms, like Drive Research, are committed to high-quality data.

Part Four: The Analysis

For all of the data-loving, numbers-driven researchers out there, this is the most exciting part of the PR survey journey.

Once fieldwork has concluded and a final round of data cleaning has been conducted, the public relations survey firm is ready to analyze the results.

The deliverables you receive at the end of the study can range from a short, topline summary all the way to a full, comprehensive PowerPoint report. Learn more about the difference, here.

And, if you’re anything like a data-loving researcher, then you can also receive a spreadsheet complete with data-filled cells and data cuts galore.

Regardless of what type of deliverable you receive, the insights you gain from conducting a PR survey with a third-party will drive the content of a press release.

Here are a few examples of brands using surveys to create headlines:

What do you say, are you ready to make tomorrow’s front page?

Conduct a PR Survey with Drive Research

Drive Research is a national polling company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team of experts has the knowledge to design the perfect PR survey, should it be the right fit for your business.

To learn more about our process, case studies, and costs - contact us today!

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Devan Grant

Devan's love for learning serves him well as a market research professional. With two years of both quantitative and qualitative research in the healthcare space under his belt, he knows what it takes to answer some of the toughest market research questions.

Learn more about Devan, here.

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