In order to make informed marketing and communications decisions, it’s important to have data as a compass to guide the messaging. At our Cincinnati public relations agency, Rasor Marketing Communications, we often use surveys to measure public awareness and opinion for a project or service. For some large transportation projects for which we’ve create communications plans, gathering public opinion is actually required by law. Below are some general rules to making a successful survey.
1. As a courtesy to the respondent, include the length of time the survey should take in the introduction of the survey. This will allow the respondent to plan their time accordingly, and decrease his or her chance of having to leave the survey before it’s completed.
2. Make the questions clear and brief.
3. Create a question that gives a blank comment field for a free response. In our experience, people appreciate this section and leave helpful comments, questions and concerns.
4. Make the survey layout as simple as possible.
5. Include background information and explain the definition of any jargon.
6. Leave questions about demographics and contact information to the end. It’s best to put the most important questions earlier in the survey in case the respondent quits the survey before completing it.