As the end of 2002 hurtles towards us, a big topic around water coolers nationwide is: "Will we get a bonus this year? And, if so, how much will it be?"
Media outlets provide "conflicting" reports all the time. Besides, upon closer examination of these two studies, the samples and surveys used to generate the results will surely show which one is more applicable to the nation. The bigger issue here is research and public relations.
Research is used to fuel publicity efforts more than it is used to drive marketing strategies. This is unfortunate, but the above cases in point prove out that, no matter what the results, research sells a story.
Research is typically used to predict trends, positioning your client as a thought leader, or to prove out issues or needs that a product or service addresses. Conducted by third party researchers or analyst firms, the results are golden news opportunities.
And while it makes sense to leverage this information into media placements, don't forget the opportunity it provides to drive strategy.
The other issue relates to secondary research conducted over the Internet. Far too often, when looking for data to support our own assertions, a source for attribution is all we look for. What about looking more closely at sample size, the type of survey used, when the research was conducted and other details? This homework not only helps you further establish research credibility, it also helps determine to what extent it supports your own assertions.
If the research you find reads too good to be true, it might be. Take a few more minutes to learn more about the facts behind the figures.