A stat needs to be as large as possible for it to be considered newsworthy, right?
Not so fast.
The significance of a stat is relative to the idea it conveys.
Here’s an example: A stat ran recently in USA TODAY asserting that 11% of people think that the elderly are more dangerous on the road than drunk drivers. When we recommend clients to pitch a stat as small as 11%, many react with disbelief. But consider the gravity of that statement – that an elderly person behind the wheel is more likely to kill someone than a drunk person. In that context, 11% is a compelling stat because of the idea it represents.
Here are a few examples of small Wakefield Research survey stats earning big coverage:
- 10% of Americans think the U.S. should respond to a state-sponsored cyber-attack by launching a counter-attack (Vormetric)
- 8% of runners run commando (Brooks Running)
- 7% of women admit to avoiding “getting intimate” to preserve their hairstyle (Aussie)
- 21% of Americans are very familiar with the practice of backyard chicken farming (Tractor Supply Company)