Top Five Tips for using Market Research as a foundation for a PR Story

February 8, 2012

Last month the Propaganda blog reported on a fantastic PR story released by Young Mamalade and Halfords built around some interesting market research the two companies had undertaken in tandem.

The PR story / press release that emerged from their market / scientific research centred on the fact that driving with a heavy cold can affect driving aptitude and ability to the same extent as consuming more than four double whiskies. The market research indicated that drivers who insist on driving when they are struggling with a heavy cold or flu could be causing thousands of accidents a year.

Research indicated that the sample participants who had an “excellent” driving rating of 95% when healthy dropped to 60% when suffering from a cold. At this level an insurance company would expect the victim to be involved in an accident. The experiment was carried out using a black “telematic” box, which records drivers’ speed, braking, and cornering.

This PR story demonstrates that market and scientific research can be the cornerstone of an attention grabbing, impactful Press Release and in turn secure extensive media coverage. However companies need to observe a few rules when conducting market / scientific research –

Top Five Tips for using Market Research as a foundation for a PR Story / Press Release

1) Make sure you are clear on what you wish to achieve from the market research. Set a clear objective with parameters and specific criteria. Research that is focused on a market, consumer or industry wide issue is more relevant to prospective customers and therefore of interest to your target media.

2) Provide a thorough brief for the market research company in order that they have a clear objective or goal as what your company is looking to achieve. In other words, what questions you want the research to answer.

3) Establish the target audience and sample. Who are you speaking to and in what volume? As a rule of thumb, for consumer research a sample of more than 1,000 people is required as a true representation, but if the audience is niche, then less is acceptable.

4) Think about whether the market research could prove or disprove a widely held theory or myth. And therefore create some general interest or controversy for your PR story / press release. Young Marmalade and Halfords did precisely this with their market research, highlighted at the start of this blog article.

5) This might seem obvious, but before you commission new market research, ascertain what information is already out there from previous market research within your marketplace and industry. This data can be used by a professional market researcher so that it is comparable with new market research.

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One response to “Top Five Tips for using Market Research as a foundation for a PR Story”

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