5 ways you can use credible, quick online research for successful PR strategies: YouGov

The world is in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic. Yet as work carries on - the need for using the best data sets in a fast changing world has become more, and not less, important.

One central gap in many PR strategies has been the absence of proper market research that can be done swiftly online, at a reasonable scale and will then help to inform everything from great integrated communication campaign concepts, individual story pitches to the media and winning client pitches.

With the YouGov Collaborate suite speedy and verified information via short surveys are at your fingertips. What is even more helpful is that the surveys can be as micro as possible with trends from a target audience of 500 respondents available in two days.

Here are 5 ways in which you can put modern, targeted, and online research to practice for your communication strategy:

React fast with well researched communication strategies 

The business environment today, due to the pandemic, is very fast changing. PR firms and brands are in the need of real-time, accurate insights from consumers continuously to build their marketing strategies but with tighter marketing budgets and an increasingly challenging marketing and media environment, optimising the spend is very important. Modern online survey methods allow PR firms to get speedy, credible and accurate results on the strategic approach.

Many PR firms use secondary research or third party survey data, to back up their story and campaign pitches. Specific short form surveys are much more effective and reliable in gathering data that helps to effectively pitch and earned media story.

Targeted Client Pitches

You can use quick data checks through a short form survey to research your presentation to a client. Rather than rely on calls to beat journalists, one can directly research how through communication you will address key pain points of the client. 

Create industry level thought leadership for CXOs

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of CXO communication to crack is creating  appropriate thought leadership space for the C-suite. And today, with shrinking media space with every industry jostling to present their point of view, the use of proper data for authority building is key. Essentially this means using data to inform white papers, webinars and online panel discussions to create brand, organisation and sector led authority. 

Crisis Management 

Crisis management has become a 24X7 task and with COVID, most firms have been thrown in a crisis management mode. Data helps to check client brand perceptions especially when a brand is facing a crisis, use the BrandIndex tool to scan brand sentiment. Using perception measurement is specially useful to get a grasp of how the client brand is performing and what are the drivers of an organisation's brand perception.

Prove your work's effectiveness

Once you've earned great coverage, or executed a successful owned media campaign, the challenge is proving that it’s had an impact on your target audience. It’s no longer enough to just show the client that their brand has been seen; they also expect to know that perceptions have shifted as a result – whether the aim has been to grow awareness, increase positive sentiment, or shift negative perceptions in a crisis. For PR activities which really are having a mass impact on the audience, this can be achieved with some forward-thinking. By using data to continuously keep tabs on the audiences’ brand perceptions around key times, it becomes simple to answer the ‘so what?’ question.

About YouGov products and services

Today, online research tools such as YouGov's Collaborate suite allow PR firms and in-house communication teams to design, customise their surveys, and get a YouGov researcher to suggest changes that would ensure that the questionnaire is of high quality and statistically viable.

You then get the results for as many as 500 respondents in 48 hours. To recap:

About YouGov products and services. To explore this new innovative survey platform, register here

Breakout case study

In June 2019 Mothercare’s creative communication agency mcgarrybowen wanted to track the effectiveness of the brand’s "Body Proud Mums" campaign among parents of young children.

mcgarrybowen launched Mothercare’s "Body Proud Mums" campaign to celebrate the reality of childbirth. The agency wanted to know how the campaign had performed among parents:

“We are looking for any demonstrators of parents re-appraising Mothercare (or seeing it more favourably) and that it is a brand that understands parenting (building trust) based upon our campaign.”

YouGov Recontacts was able to reach 1,000 GB parents (c.400 had children under the age of seven) before the campaign and then follow up with the same audience (but not the same people) two weeks later after the campaign had launched.

Sentiment for Mothercare increased significantly among those who had seen the advert compared with those who hadn’t.

People who saw the ad (and were aware of Mothercare) differed from those who didn’t in the following ways:

Strongly agree that Mothercare

  • …is a brand I love (17% vs 6%)
  • …is a brand that cares for parents (26% vs 13%)
  • …is a brand that understands the issues surrounding parenting (22% vs 12%)

The results found that people who saw the campaign were:

  • More likely to be a parent of a child under the age of one
  • 64% more likely to be a millennial
  • 71% female
  • 109% more likely to live in London
  • 39% saw the ad via adverts/posts on social media
  • 16% saw it via posters (e.g. billboards, on the tube etc.)

Client Testimonial

“The YouGov Omnibus survey really helped us to understand and quantify how effective our campaign was. To get a live read on how our target audience was reacting and being able to measure how their perceptions of the brand were changing as a result was not only very satisfying but was also crucial for case studies and paper writing.”

- Ali Wynter, Junior Strategist


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