Legal PR blog

PR surveys; still a surefire way for a good return on investment

Ralph Savage considers the enduring viability of PR surveys for generating coverage opportunities
Convincing a client to invest in additional resources on top of an existing PR budget isn’t always a straightforward task. However, as long as law firms’ knowledge and expertise remains their primary selling point, the PR survey is likely to remain a feature of the news agenda.

Why do PR surveys work?

Done properly, a consumer poll can pay for itself many times over. By generating insightful data you can create the framework for stories that serve any kind of corporate agenda. For the commissioning party, this means results which lend themselves to copy which requires your expertise as a commentator of note.

Surveys can help generate multiple PR hits across various media
Surveys can help generate multiple PR hits across various media

How much should I spend?

Polls can be conducted for anywhere between £2000 and £10,000 with price variables dependant on how large the sample is and who it is representative of. Most budget consumer samples will have 500+ respondents, but this may not be acceptable as a nationally representative group. 1000 respondents should probably be your baseline and is something any number of polling agencies can call upon. On the latter point, most agencies will encourage as large a sample as possible so be prepared to negotiate.

Which polling agency should I use?

This is a highly competitive market and one where you should spend time discussing the desired outcome of your survey. Not only should the agency be able to deliver a good quality sample of survey respondents, but they should also offer some consultation on what topics, question sets and story ideas will work best.

How should I measure the success of the survey?

We can’t always comment on how other businesses measure return on investment, but at RTS Media, we like to be judged by the amount of PR coverage we generate for our clients. Recent projects for law firm clients have involved the commissioning of surveys using national samples and up to 10 targeted questions. This has kept overall budgets at affordable levels and helped to generate more than 20 individual pieces of coverage for multiple practice groups and product lines.

Essentially, the data generated by surveys allows PR professionals to be creative and proactive. With a keen eye on the news agenda, polling can move topical stories forward and place expert commentators at the centre of a story rather than idly following in its wake.

Post by: Ralph Savage / Website:
A business journalist by trade, Ralph Savage represents a series of B2B clients on media and marketing matters. He provides strategic PR advice, media training and consultancy. He also ghost writes regularly on behalf of FTSE 250 CEOs, leading counsel and senior professionals including solicitors, accountants and brokers.