Timeline tips: Planning for a PR survey

Good planning is paramount whatever the industry or activation. But when executing a PR survey for a client, planning takes centre stage because, without a strong timeline, results may not materialise as expected.

To help your project be successful, we’ve put some steps together to optimise your timelines, ensuring you get research into the field on time.

1. Work Backwards: Know When You Need the Results

Building a proper timeline is the first step and is perhaps the most important one. Knowing when the results will be released to the public, whether in a press release or as part of an activation – like a satellite media tour – will allow enough lead time to be built-in. By working backwards, you can set up deadlines for almost everything else of importance: when to field the survey; when to have the questionnaire approved; when to start scripting; the list goes on.

2. Know Who You’ll Be Surveying

This one may seem evident in performing research, but it does have a big impact on the timeline of the project. Is your survey focused on the general population or a specific part of the population, like homeowners, pet owners, or niche business professionals? The specifics of the intended sample are factors in how long the survey will take to complete in the field, as a more specific audience can often mean more time in the field.  Always go in with a clear understanding of exactly who you want to survey – the more granular your understanding of your sample, the less likely you are to encounter delays.

3. Keep the Approval Process Moving as Best You Can

The longest part of the process tends to be the approval of the survey questionnaire, so factor in enough time when planning. There are often multiple revisions to the questionnaire, and questions can be kicked around for a while before they decide. Keeping in constant communication with the client is key here, as delayed approval could alter the timeline.

4. Extras Take time

PR Survey Planning tips strategy

Extracting and analysing data can take a couple of days for the typical PR Survey. Bear in mind that additional segmentations beyond gender, age, generation, and region will add to the turnaround time. The same goes for international surveys. A single questionnaire fielded in five countries means essentially extracting and analysing five separate surveys, so it’s best to plan accordingly.

Again, we realise that proper planning is important in all realms of business and media relations. However, when it comes to creating the best market research you can and fielding on time for a client, planning isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity.

Feel free to use these four tips for planning a proper PR survey; and if you want to see what it’s like to work with masterful planners and creatives on research, feel free to reach out to 4media group.