One of the biggest obstacles our partners face when pitching media is how to balance their commercial interests with what media require to cover a story. Yet, without this balance, it’s impossible to drive earned media coverage.

There are many strategies for overcoming this obstacle. One of the most reliable, is to use survey data to tell a story that indirectly, and organically, creates an opportunity to reference the brand as part of a larger narrative.

From the media’s perspective, there are multiple criteria for generating coverage:

  • First, the story describes a widely experienced phenomenon. This means it will be of interest to a large segment of their readers and viewers.
  • Second, it is timely. Think in terms of Take Your Dog to Work Day, key holidays associated with travel (Christmas, Thanksgiving and Memorial Day), summer, and the like.
  • Third, it describes a problem. One of the chief objectives of lifestyle media is to help people live better lives by identifying a problem, and then telling their audience how to solve it.
  • Fourth, it accomplishes this in an accessible or novel way.

Surveys are a powerful way of telling stories that resonate with reporters. Wakefield Research is a leader in developing newsworthy surveys that brands can use to tell a story.

Let’s look at how we would potentially execute a project for the hypothetical Brand X.

Brand X produces a fortified dog food tailored to the dietary needs of senior canines. There’s not too much interest, story-wise, in the superior ingredients found in Brand X’s dog food. From a lifestyle reporter’s perspective, the interest lies in the strong emotional bonds people have with their dogs and the negative effects on a person who has a sick or ailing pet.

Our Editorial Panel of former journalists and expert researchers would include questions that address key themes, such as the trend of increased access to public places with a dog in tow, issues arising out of concerns for their dog’s health, or even the humorous trials and tribulations of caring for a senior dog.

Wakefield Research then tells a story that indirectly and organically creates an opportunity to reference the brand as part of that larger narrative. This means that, from a reporter’s perspective, the larger story is about the impact the well-being of their loyal canine companions has on people’s lives—not that people want food for their dog that is easily digestible, produces a shiny coat and helps alleviate joint pain.

Remember, media abhor overtly commercial messaging. Data-driven stories, with a strong human-interest component, are among the best means of directing interest—and eyeballs—to your product or service.

Wakefield Research specializes in helping our partners custom design research that best meets their objectives, whether it’s for internal decision-making or for earned media and public release. For help with your market research and opinion survey needs, contact Wakefield Research today.