Surveys are powerful tools for engaging with the media. Great data can support, or refute, preconceptions that stir controversy and garner attention meanwhile more lighthearted seasonal trends  pieces on subjects like back-to-school or the winter holidays are popular as well.

Here are six tips on releasing your survey, or research study, to help it get the attention it deserves:

TS_CC_June2015_icons__4-180x1801. Monitor related content releases dates.

Review last year’s surveys that reached newsprint and which brands engaged on similar topics related to your study. Some surveys are conducted and released the same time each year — especially those from financial institutions and NGOs—so try to time your release earlier than your competitors.

2. Embargoes and exclusivity help

Releasing materials under embargo to a select number of publications has multiple benefits. One, you are able to control when and where your message reaches readers first. Two, it gives those publications more time to create different ways to utilize your material ahead of their competition.

TS_CC_June2015_icons__5-180x1803. Provide multiple spokespeople.

The goal of releasing survey research is to position your brand and executive team as experts on a subject. Television and radio news media return to experts who can be reliably called upon on short notice — if your brand can’t provide an expert on-demand it is much less likely that your brand will be called on again.

If your survey becomes a popular news item you may have competing priorities in terms of the media requests. Prepare multiple business leaders and include them as additional voices in your media release to indicate to journalists that there is more than one spokesperson available. Quote your business leaders and share their bios along with your release. This will give you capacity to manage simultaneous media requests from several outlets. Nothing is worse than missing a prime TV spot because you had a speaker on another interview. Give your spokespeople at least a week with the data and book a meeting with them as a group to discuss the study and go over likely interview questions.

4. Include graphics

Editors and producers don’t want to follow-up with you unless it is to book an interview. Share relevant headshots, bios, artwork and graphics to support your data to make it easier for the media to work with your materials.

TS_CC_June2015_icons__2-180x1805. Share raw data with reports.

Robust statistics are valued by journalists. Provide a high-level summary of your survey’s results for editors and reporters to get a taste of your materials and another file with the full data set. This allows reporters to verify claims from your release and compare the numbers more effectively with other sources.

6. Provide your mobile number.

If you can’t be reached you won’t be printed. Television chase producers won’t leave you a voicemail and wait to be called back they will call another expert or move on to another story. Don’t miss an interview because you are on a sushi date; include a business cellphone number on your release.

About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada

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