The Cost of a Public Relations (PR) Survey with a Third Party

cost of a public relations (PR) survey

Are you wondering how much it costs to conduct a public relations survey with a third-party market research company?

Join the club.

The short answer is: it depends.

The cost of a public relations (PR) survey with a third-party is dependent on your unique project details. In this blog post, our market research firm details what factors can impact pricing for custom PR surveys.

Think back to the last time someone told you they were planning a vacation.

Were they staying at an all-inclusive resort in Tahiti that required a plane ride across the globe?

Or did they plan on driving an hour to a state park where they would pitch a tent for a day?

Two very different trips, on different ends of the price spectrum, that both fall under the umbrella of vacation.

The same logic applies to PR polling surveys. The total cost you will end up paying will vary based on the very nature of your survey.

There are several factors that affect the total price you will end up paying. And while that may not be the single dollar amount answer you were looking for, you have to remember market research surveys are not one-size-fits-all.

In this article, our PR survey company will explain the impact of five unique factors on the costs associated with public relations surveys conducted with a third party.

Factor #1: Business VS. Consumer Respondents

When surveying a B2B audience, expect prices for the market research project to increase.

Generally speaking, surveying consumers is easier and not as costly as surveying their business professional counterparts.

Costs can typically add up when you begin looking for narrower job titles or industries, although public relations research companies usually have access to panels worldwide with participants from a wide range of sectors.

To learn more about the two audiences, read our blog post: Why B2B Market Research is Different.

💡  The Key Takeaway: In most cases, B2B audiences are harder to sample than B2C audiences. For this reason, PR survey costs may rise when surveying business professionals.

Factor #2: Respondent Qualifications

The incidence rate (IR) for the study is an important factor when it comes to cost.

The IR is essentially a numbers game. It has to do with how often the type of respondent you’re looking for will qualify for your survey.

If everyone qualifies...

If you’re looking to gather information from anyone in the United States, and do not wish to exclude a respondent based on any qualifiers, then your incidence rate will be 100%.

If there are specific criteria...

However, if you want to hear from home-owning college graduates in mid-sized cities who work in the public sector, then your IR will drop substantially as you have limited the number of people who could qualify for your survey.

💡  The Key Takeaway: With each piece of qualifying criteria, down goes your IR, and up goes the cost of a PR survey.

Factor #3: Survey Length

A general rule to keep in mind here is that with more questions (and therefore a longer length of interview) the more your survey will cost.

Adding questions to your survey will add time to the drafting and programming process for the third-party research team, which influences the total costs.

Also, keep in mind as the survey length increases, you will need to increase the incentive offered to the respondents taking your survey.

If respondents aren’t incentivized to complete the survey, drop-off could be an issue.

Learn more about why you should offer a reward for your market research.

💡  The Key Takeaway: Longer surveys = more project management costs from the third-party. It takes more resources to draft, program, and analyze the survey. 

Factor #4: Hola! Parlez-vous français?

Do you wish to conduct your survey domestically?

By limiting the administration and analysis of your survey to English only, you can save on costs.

Opening up your survey to an international audience is when costs begin to increase, especially if the survey is conducted in a language other than English. 

With a multilingual survey, there will be costs associated with not only translating the survey document itself but also with any open-ended responses that may need to be analyzed in the reporting phase.

If your public relations survey must be multilingual, we suggest limiting the number of open-ended questions to keep associated costs down as much as possible.

💡  The Key Takeaway: Conducting a PR survey internationally could result in higher costs. This is mainly the case for countries that speak a different language other than English.

Factor #5: Choice of Reporting Options

When fieldwork for your public relations survey wraps up, the third-party will often have several options for reporting on the final data.

Those options with more analysis and greater recommendations will typically cost more.

For example, here at Drive Research, we offer three levels of reporting.

The most basic option, which includes an online dashboard of charts and graphs, is offered at no extra charge and can be useful for businesses looking to get the most information for the least amount of money.

The most detailed option, which includes a comprehensive report complete with key takeaways and further recommendations, will be at the higher end of the cost spectrum.

💡  The Key Takeaway: The more reporting options you choose means the higher the cost. A comprehensive report packed with custom-written press releases, infographics, and recommendations will be more expensive than an export of charts and graphs.

Get a Custom Project Quote for Public Relations Surveys

Now, with the knowledge of these five factors, you are more than ready to embark on a public relations survey journey with a third-party! Need a little bit more help?

See all of the ways you can contact us here at Drive Research, and we’d be happy to get you moving in the right direction!

  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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