Global Practices

How Financial Services Firms Can Make Survey Results Attractive to Media



Reporters and editors are pitched surveys on a daily basis. To get noticed and placed, financial services firms must ensure the research is relevant and the results resonate. Here are six tips to help make surveys more enticing to journalists:

Own a topic. Measuring consumer or customer views consistently that relate to a specific topic can help a firm establish a platform, and in turn position it as the expert. Sticking to the same subject matter also provides an organization with comparative data to detect trends over time. The  2017 Edelman Trust Barometer is a prime example of a respected survey that offers a fresh perspective on a compelling topic, year after year.

Convey why someone should care. When pitching reporters with survey data, the first question they’ll ask is, “So what?” Communicating what makes the results relevant to readers and viewers will help convince a reporter the content is worth covering. Ask pointed questions when constructing the survey to ensure the content isn’t evergreen. Also, emphasize why the stats are important or what they illuminate in quotes vs. just restating data points.

Partner with an organization. Third-party authorities such as academics or nonprofits can increase a survey’s credibility by providing independent insights. Some media outlets prefer data from a third-party source vs. single-branded content. Collaborating with an organization will involve additional stakeholders, which will likely broaden the reach of the results and point-of-view. Leveraging these relationships can generate additional buzz about the findings.

Survey a large audience. The sample size can make or break a survey. A significant sample size gives the survey credibility and also allows firms to slice the data in various ways.

Stay relevant. Survey data is more interesting if it relates to a current trend. Even if the survey has focused on the same topic for five years, add questions that capitalize on timely developments. This approach will ensure your survey data are relevant and improve the odds of establishing an applicable storyline.

Package data in a compelling way. Increasingly, journalists think about how stories will perform on social media. Therefore, offer an infographic or deliver data in a digestible format. To ensure it is compelling, package data for the publication based on its audience. Reporters also appreciate it if you make the survey data available upfront – not just a news release – so they can review it themselves. Also, consider adding a survey question that allows respondents to opt-in to speaking with media. If you can connect a reporter with a respondent, you provide an opportunity for the reporter to tell a compelling story that incorporates personal connections.

Jordan Fisher is an account supervisor, Edelman Chicago.

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