How to… compile a PR survey story

We see them all the time. And not just because we’re a PR agency in Manchester that reads, and makes the headlines on a daily basis.
Eight out of ten women prefer colleagues to wear makeup. Over 60 per cent of people think they’re ‘hotter than average’. Magazines, newspapers, websites and newsletters are full of them. Statistics make people stop, and take note. That’s why we help our clients collate them. Getting your company’s name involved in a survey is a sure fire way to make consumers remember it. So, here are the basics of how to achieve that elusive coverage…
Start at the end
You’re making the news, though it’s important to remember you’re not making up the news. Begin by defining the ideal headline for the final story. This could even involve drafting a press release, and then deconstructing this into a series of questions that should give you the required results.
Be realistic
The media works in target audiences, so should you. The Daily Mail won’t run a story on community street art in Liverpool, but might take something about dogs. Read your chosen publication, and discover if it cares about your survey. If it does, you’ll be lucky to get the company name in the copy, so be clever with your title. Obvious salesmanship is off-putting, but the study should link to your brand.
Honesty is the best policy
It’s important to point out here that nobody likes a liar, and few people buy into blarney. Research and engineered questions that direct results might be best PR practice, but the evidence should never be falsified. Aside from potential legalities, it risks customer loyalty, and can shatter identities in an instant.

The right man (or woman) for the job
A spokesperson can be useful. This handpicked expert will give interviews, and becomes the voice of your brand and survey. So, two things are vital. Be confident anyone you approach will share the same viewpoint as the results (avoiding embarrassment with colleagues or clients), and brief them thoroughly. If they rant incessantly to journalists about irrelevancies they risk ruining a lot of hard work.
A picture tells a thousand stories
It’s been said before, and we’re going to make damn sure it gets reiterated. Image is king, make no mistake. No photography, no dice. We don’t mean profile shots of an MD and a high res logo either. Have well-shot, unbranded stills ready for when newspapers and magazines come knocking. Because when it comes to dealing with press, last minute is often the name of the game, so be prepared.