Genesis Burson-Marsteller, a public relations and public affairs consultancy that delivers integrated communications services, unveiled the findings of a news drivers study called Surveys to Know, Surveys to Show. Compiled by GBM Live! Newsroom, in association with Impact Research & Measurement, the study is based on an analysis of two years of published survey reports (2013 and 2014) across 14 English mainline print publications in India.
The news drivers study highlights the huge potential offered by research and survey reports in generating newsworthy stories in the print media. On an average, one research survey report generated more than five stories in the media. In 2013, the Indian print media published 1,750 stories based on survey reports commissioned by 258 companies in India. In 2014, the numbers increased to 2,004 stories, based on the survey reports commissioned by 261 companies in India. Of the total articles based on surveys that were covered by the media, multinational companies operating in India commissioned more than 50 per cent of the surveys. Another interesting observation is that despite the potential of bolstering research findings through the stamp of approval of accredited research firms, conducting independent in-house surveys has been on a higher trend. Sample size is another aspect and the study shows that even if the sample size is small, if the findings are relevant, media houses will consider carrying the survey stories.
The study reinforces that the trend of visual storytelling is on a rise. In 2013, 25 per cent of the survey articles carrying an infographic allocated 100 per cent area to the infographic; whereas in 2014, 32 per cent of the survey articles devoted full area to the infographic. From a media visibility point of view, top publications provided maximum coverage. Business dailies such as The Economic Times, Business Standard and The Financial Express carried the maximum number of articles on surveys, closely followed, and sometimes trumped, by The Times of India. While the business dailies primarily featured surveys on Consulting and Research, The Times of India was more HR- and IT-centric than other print publications.
The News Drivers report is the brainchild of Nikhil Dey, President at Genesis Burson-Marsteller. Commenting on the report, he said, “The use of surveys or research reports as a public relations tool can be traced back to the times of Edward Bernays as far back as 1923 when he effectively used a survey to showcase the preference of American public for a particular type of soap in a well-documented case study of successful public relations. Over 90 years on, the public relations industry continues to use surveys and research reports and we thought it would be interesting to get a sense of how receptive the media in India are to using the results of surveys in their reportage.”
Talking about the research methodology, Aseem Sood, CEO, Impact Research & Measurement, said, “We analysed data for two years, 2013 and 2014. The rationale for the analysis has been to go beyond outliers that may only account for a one-time ad hoc affair in a year. A two-year period helps confirm trends, especially periodic trends that reprise annually.
“Clients demand evidence based insights. This research offers insights, on an untapped opportunity, with strong data evidence of two years.”