PR Surveys for Financial Services | Process, Examples, & Sample Questions

PR Surveys for Financial Institutions | Process, Examples, & Sample Questions

Public relations surveys are a unique way for banks and credit unions to garner media attention and grow brand awareness.

In this blog post, our market research company will cover (click each title to skip ahead):

Want to cut right to the chase and start conducting your PR survey today? We can help. Contact Drive Research to get started.

What is PR market research?

At first glance, it may not seem like public relations and market research could go hand and hand. A successful PR strategy is based on publicly sharing information, while data collected from market research is often kept private with the sponsor of the study.

While some aspects of market research are built to be confidential, there is a whole other avenue that focuses on using numbers and data to boost brand awareness and recognition.

That is public relations market research or PR surveys!

A PR survey collects opinions of a general or target audience on any given topic.

A financial institution may choose to survey a general population of people on topics such as:

  • Where are people spending the most money during economic downturns?
  • The simple or difficult process of buying a home.
  • What generation is most likely to save for retirement?

The results from the survey are then used to create a story and shared with news outlets.

Regardless if you are aiming to reach a national, regional, or local audience – a public relations survey can help achieve that goal.

To learn more about PR surveys, check out our ultimate guide. I recommend you grab a coffee first.

What are the benefits of a PR survey for banks and credit unions?

In order to create a winning PR strategy for your bank or credit union, market research must be at the forefront. It is perhaps the easiest, most cost-effective way to grow brand awareness among both community members and national audiences.

Aside from collecting media attention, there are a variety of ways your financial institution can utilize the data from a public relations survey.

The findings from PR research can be featured in a multitude of marketing components such as:

  • Website copy
  • Email campaigns
  • Paid digital advertising
  • Social media
  • Promotional pamphlets
  • Commercials or radio advertisements
  • Webinars

One PR survey for your financial institution can drive your marketing strategy for an entire year.

Learn more about how to maximize the results of a PR survey.

Examples of banks and credit unions utilizing PR surveys.

This public relations market research tactic is used by many banking household names. Here are 3 examples.

Bank of America

example of a PR survey for banks and credit unions

American Express

example of a bank using a public relations survey


discover uses pr survey example

You might be thinking – I would like to conduct a PR survey, but my credit union certainly does not have the budget of Bank of America, American Express, or Discover.

Rest assured, you don’t need one! Because a public relations survey is conducted online, our bank and credit union market research company can create a custom package that will meet almost any budget.

Public relations market research does not have to be expensive to be effective!

What is involved in a PR research study for financial institutions?

If choosing to work with a market research company that specializes in banks and credit unions, like Drive Research, there will be a streamlined process for your PR survey.

I will outline the process below. While it may seem like there are a lot of steps in a PR polling study, I should make it clear that these projects can be completed in as little as 2 to 3 days.

Drive Research can step on the gas to quickly get your survey up and running, or step on the breaks if your team needs more time.

1. Kickoff Meeting 🗓️

After receiving a signed proposal, Drive Research will set up an introductory meeting with your team to discuss your project in greater detail.

This initial meeting typically lasts anywhere from a half-hour to an hour and can be done in-person or over the phone.

During the kickoff meeting, your bank or credit union will be asked to share your objectives, goals, and timeline of the project.

In return, our experts will start to discuss potential survey questions that we believe will result in media generating headlines.

2. Drafting the Survey 📝

After understanding your financial institution’s objectives for the PR poll, our market research specialists will begin writing the survey. Oftentimes we work backward by thinking, “What type of results will create the most impactful headline and story?” Survey writing is truly part science and part art.

The length of the bank and credit union PR survey can be as long as you’d like, but we strongly recommend keeping it to a maximum of 10 to 15 questions.

Anything more and you will start to see survey respondents dropping off. This could be the difference of collecting 1,000 responses and 500.

3. Programming & Testing the Survey 💻

Once the survey draft is complete, your financial institution will have the chance to review it and suggest any changes. Once both parties are satisfied with the PR survey, our market research firm will begin programming the questionnaire into our online software.

From here, the programmed survey is submitted to our internal testing team. This step helps catch any spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or logic mistake.

Curious as to what this process looks like? Here is a short video on how to program a survey.

4. Survey Launch 💥

This stage is a two-parter. Our PR survey company always soft launches our surveys before fully sending them into the field.

During the soft launch, your PR survey will be sent to about 5% of your total number of respondents. For example, if you are fielding 500 responses the survey will be sent to 25 respondents.

If by chance there are any mistakes or errors that were missed in the testing stage, they will be caught and resolved before it is too late.

The second stage is the full survey launch where we field the public relations survey to the remaining 95% of your audience.

Again, Drive Research can typically collect a complete dataset of responses with 48 hours.

5. Fieldwork Analysis 🔎

While your PR survey is being administered, our market research specialists are keeping a close eye on the data as it comes in. Drive Research finds that by reviewing the data as it is collected is far superior to waiting until the end of fieldwork.

Why? Because if our bank and credit union clients are requesting say 1,000 responses, we want to make sure all responses are fully qualified and vetted.

Our PR survey firm looks for:

  • Duplicate responses
  • Time to complete to find speeders
  • Nonsensical open-ended responses

If we were to wait until after closing fieldwork, there would be responses we’d have to disqualify and throw away, meaning the goal of 1,000 responses will not be met.

6. Reporting & Deliverables 📊

A public relations survey report and deliverables are different for every financial institution. That’s why we offer an a la carte approach to this stage.

A full comprehensive reporting package includes:

  • A live client dashboard to review responses as soon as they are submitted
  • An executive summary that highlights key findings to easily turn the data into a story
  • A custom written and headline-driven press release that showcases the most critical pieces of your study
  • An infographic
  • Social snackables
  • Webinar templates
  • Access to 100,000 media outlets and trade categories

What type of questions should I include in my bank or credit union PR survey?

Each PR survey question has a story to tell and that starts by asking the right questions (and in the right way). Remember to always revert back to your objectives and what you would like to portray with the results.

Here’s an example! A bank would like to tell a story about the negative experiences Baby Boomers are having with banking mobile apps.

Your bank will use this data to showcase the challenges Boomers are having and how your mobile app can alleviate their frustrations.

 A sample question for this PR survey would be:

Using a scare 1 to 5 where “5” indicates not at all satisfied and “1” indicates completely satisfied, how satisfied are you with your bank’s mobile app?

If only 15% of your respondents chose “1” completely satisfied, that indicates 85% of respondents showed some signs of dissatisfaction (rating “2” to “5).

By using a Likert scale question, the bank is able to create a more powerful headline and a stronger argument for the objective of their story.

This is where a third-party PR survey company comes in handy! Not only will they be able to craft strategic questions like this, but your press release will seem more legitimate by using sourcing a third-party expert.

If the bank did this survey in-house, readers would think the data was skewed to favor the promotion of their own mobile app.

Contact Our PR Survey Company

Drive Research is a national market research company located in New York. Our team has a knack has a unique knack for writing questions to get headlines.

Interested in conducting a public relations survey for your financial institution? Contact our team below.

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

emily carroll about the author

Emily Carroll

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Coordinator. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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Public Relations Surveys