Versta Research Post

Why I Love Creating PR Surveys

After leaving academic research for the world of applied research, I found myself doing a lot of surveys for public relations.  These surveys are designed to uncover surprising or newsworthy nuggets of data that companies use to focus attention on topics relevant to their concerns.  My first boss despised such work, believing that a public…

Versta Research Post

Newsrooms Flooded with Silly Surveys

Journalists and newsrooms are inundated with ever more data, information, and press releases that highlight survey findings in hopes of grabbing reporters’ and readers’ interest.  While many surveys are poorly done and grossly self-serving, findings from other research surveys continue to generate newsworthy stories. Consider this view recently expressed by a business columnist at the…

Versta Research Post

Online Surveys Have Same Accuracy as Phone

A new study presented by two professors from Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst was probably one of the liveliest and potentially disruptive presentations at least week’s annual meeting of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Phoenix. Why?  Because their research challenges the beliefs of many AAPOR-ites who disregard…

Versta Research Post

Advice for PR Surveys: Avoid Numeric Scales

As much as we love numbers, we find ourselves often advising clients against using numeric scales in their surveys.  A numeric scale is any response format that asks people to give a number within a certain range to indicate the strength of their feeling or opinion.  The insanely popular survey question used to calculate Net…

Versta Research Post

Killer Quotes from Research Respondents

One way you can make a research report really pop is to carefully select and edit quotes from the people involved in the study.  For qualitative research, that means pulling quotes from transcripts of in-depth interviews, focus groups, online bulletin boards, social media, etc.  For survey research, it means pulling quotes from open-ended questions that…