Surveys Can Be Great Publicity Tools for Ad Agency PR

Need to generate publicity for your agency or a client, but you don’t have a news hook?

Try doing a survey. CareerBuilder and Dunkin’ Donuts recently surveyed 4,700 U.S. employees to see which jobs had workers consuming the most coffee. Not exactly a hard-news story, but it’s an entertaining and interesting one that got a lot of attention for both companies.

The release of the study coincided with International Coffee Day.

It turns out that marketing/public relations professionals rank number two in overall coffee use, just behind scientists/lab technicians.

Other major coffee consumers include education administrators, editors/writers, healthcare administrators, physicians, food preparers, professors, social workers and financial professionals.

Not surprisingly—at least to us coffee drinkers—nearly half of all U.S. workers claim that they are less productive without coffee. (On second thought, that actually sounds low to me.)      

Surveys can be great attention-getters, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to conduct one and publicize the results. Nor do you have to be with a big company to get noticed.

My friend and colleague Michael Gass, who specializes in helping ad agencies with new business development through social media, often conducts online surveys and polls through his Fuel Lines blog, where he reports and comments on results.

In addition to gathering opinions and data through your blog or Facebook, Survey Monkey is a cost-effective, easy-to-use polling tool.

Once the results are in, you can then share them:

•       On a company or agency blog

•       Through an article

•       Via news release distribution sites such as Business Wire, PR Newswire or PRWeb

•       By pitching them directly to reporters and bloggers as a trend story

Try timing the release of your results to tie into a relevant holiday or observance for added news value.

Chases Calendar of Events has a wealth of information about events, holidays, festivals, observances, famous birthdays and anniversaries taking place each day throughout the world. During certain times of the year you can even submit suggestions to Chases for new events or special days, weeks and months.

So, if you don’t find a special day to coincide with the trend you want to feature, make up you own and celebrate it!

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to advertising agencies and businesses.

Media Survey Provides Insights for Ad Agencies

Journalists are broadening the ways they interact with PR professionals and other sources, and much of this interaction is coming through social media, according to the PRWeek/PR Newswire 2010 Media Survey.

The survey was conducted online, with 1,568 traditional and non-traditional media representatives and 1,670 PR practitioners completing it.

I found it particular interesting, though not surprisingly, that it is becoming more common for journalists to establish relationships with sources online.

The more traditional ways of pitching, while not dead, are certainly declining, and ad agencies need to adapt to new methods of reaching influential reporters.

Other noteworthy findings pertaining to social media include:

• 43% of journalists have been pitched through social networks, compared to 31% in 2009.

• 62% of PR professionals follow individual journalists and media outlets via social networks.

• 59% of traditional journalists are the author of a blog, whether personal or professional, and 31% are writing a blog for their traditional outlet, an increase from 28% in 2009.

• 44% of PR pros are choosing to circumvent traditional journalists for certain stories — 17% of respondents are pitching to traditional media outlets with less frequency; 66% are targeting bloggers more than before; and 45% are going directly to consumers more often.

• Journalists are also using blogs in their research, with 45% saying they’ve quoted a blog in an article. However, when researching a specific company, 90% of journalists are still acquiring information through the company’s Web site; 24% are using general blogs, and 23% are going to the company’s blog to get information on that specific business.

• While 34% of journalists say they use company blogs for general story research, 51% report they do not find company blogs useful, “pointing to a possible disconnect in how businesses are presenting information.”

• 43% of PR practitioners report using social networks to pitch the media, with 76% using Twitter and 49% using Facebook.

• 61% of journalists that have been pitched via social network have received pitches via Facebook, while 44% have received Twitter pitches. (Only 18% of journalists were getting Twitter pitches a year ago.)

• 84% of journalists consider e-mail the best way to receive story pitches; only 4% report the phone to be the best way to do so.

• 57% of journalists anticipate a decline in print circulation with an increased focus on the Web.

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.

PR a Hidden Opportunity for Ad Agencies

PR Newswire’s April edition of The Insider has an interesting article called “Discover the Hidden Opportunities in an Economic Downturn” by Sarah Skerik, vice president of distribution services for PR Newswire:,20182,0&S=pijohoovxw

She points out that “PR is increasingly being seen as an inexpensive and effective means of increasing brand awareness and ultimately driving sales,” adding that this also is a great time to leverage corporate social responsibility programs by promoting events, awards and community involvement.

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.