Cheap PR Opportunities: using customer surveys for data stories

It’s not a surprised to the experience pro’s in the PR world, but journalists are hungry for data and how they can make a story out of it. Over the last few months I’ve had a little campaign to try and get customers to answer survey questions to help drive PR and article creation for the website (with obvious SEO benefits).

Running surveys is a cheap and easy way to get pr stories for your business. For this post I’m not talking about surveys with respected research companies such as OnePoll or YouGov, more online surveys.

Examples of free survey tools you can use are surveymonkey which is probably the biggest and best known. I use SurveyGizmo which is a bit better however does have a small charge each month. Using Gizmo allows you to make your survey to look like facebook or twitter, or embed within your website page.

A lot of people are running competitions to help with growing their social followers. What I suggest is instead of boring RT comps or other such ideas, give a prize for people to fill out a survey. I’ve recently done this with £100 voucher up for grabs from UK stores including Tesco and M&S. It’s not a lot of money considering two surveys I have ran have had 1000 and 600 completed surveys.

I suggest these surveys are softer stats than you would usually want. If you want some high level stats of industry and behaviour than you’ll need a source of your data. Likewise these stats should be something you can not obtain via website and customer details from your business.
For example the daily mail will not use your data from a survey like this, however smaller more focused websites might.

I work in automotive at the moment so my surveys are based around people’s car buying habits and thoughts.

I ran one survey similar to the pub drinking game, ‘I have never’. this was based around speeding and drinking habits. It actually highlighted the fact that 71% of males have said they have driven over 100mph with just 26% of females doing the same. In another survey I ran based on people’s current Car and the one they want next I found out people are 33% brand loyal, Audi is the most desired with Skoda the least.

7% of all drivers taking part in the survey also admitted to using a mobile phone while driving, and 82% said they have skipped a red light. Recent from the surveys revealed that 20% of UK drivers would like the ability to update their Facebook status via speech recognition while driving, while 15% would like the ability to Tweet hands-free while driving. These are just a couple of example of what I have found out over the last couple of months and all of the stats could have been used for PR.

These research stats cost me an hour of my teams time to create a survey and £100. So, get thinking about how you could use this to help with some pr stories for you.

Here are some ideas of data I would maybe look for to drive a story:

– gambling or sports company… ‘Most hated player/team in the premier league’
– shopping website …. ‘best / worst dressed celeb’ ….
– customer services … ‘do people now desire twitter over live chat for making contact’