Associated Press 4.4.14

We often get asked which of our survey methods is “best” for a client – online or telephone. The question is typically prompted by an assumption that The Associated Press doesn’t use online survey results in AP stories. We’d like to clear up the confusion.

While AP may prefer phone surveys, the news service will cover online surveys when the story is good. For example, AP covered a recent new Monopoly rules story based on Hasbro Inc.’s online survey conducted by Wakefield Research. It was a good fit for AP because the survey also had a solid news hook: the use of Facebook fans to change the rules of a 79-year-old game.

In fact, most top-tier media routinely cover online surveys, including many conducted by Wakefield Research. Below are three points to consider when debating which type of survey is “best” for a brand:

  • Story Comes First. If online survey methodology is scientific, it will be taken seriously by media if the story the survey tells is compelling. Bottom line, the data must add up to a story worth telling.
  • Cost is a Consideration. ROI is often better when using an online survey. A PR survey is an investment, after all.
  • Media Targets Matter. Your survey subject must be a good fit for your media targets, whether it’s an online or telephone survey. For example, AP is more likely to cover hard news, not lighter lifestyle or brand-focused stories.
  • Topic Matters. Some topics are better explored in a phone survey than an online survey, and vice versa. Contact us for a recommendation on which method is best for you.