Creating News You Can Use
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Creating News You Can Use

July 1, 2013

As any public relations pro knows, your research needs are unique, whether you’re using research to get ink and airtime for a client, to understand how to manage an issue, or to develop the best communications and messages.

The Kelton Media Unit – a seasoned group of former members of the media, PR professionals, and researchers – is dedicated to using research that grabs journalists’ attention and gains their respect for its credibility. The Kelton team takes your ideal headlines, target media and tactical goals and translates them into newsworthy questions that cut through the media clutter. It’s why Kelton continues to land USA Today Snapshots, broadcast segments on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, Leno and Letterman, and regular placements in the nation’s largest print dailies, including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

The Difference Is Service

Simply put, it’s unparalleled. We draft and re-draft the survey until you’re happy. Your data book is delivered in a timely manner and in a user-friendly format. But we don’t just throw the book at you—we analyze it as well. All of your survey results are presented in our unique final deliverable, an easy to read, journalist-friendly document called a NewsWorthy Analysis that highlights your most media worthy findings with catchy content and illustrates them with charts and graphs—any or all of which can be dropped right into a press release. All of your documents, from the survey drafts to the Newsworthy are vetted by professional writers and creative consultants to ensure the highest level of quality and creativity. And your project manager will provide guidance and support throughout the entire life of the poll, from creating the first survey draft to consulting with you as journalists and editors begin to pick up your story.

Focus Groups: Develop the Best Communications

Focus groups help us understand why consumers, voters, and donors make certain choices and exhibit certain behaviors. Well orchestrated focus groups – led by innovative moderators speaking to motivated, interesting participants – can uncover profound insights that change the course of brands, help create new products and services, and provide the language to communicate your company’s essence to the consumer.

Productive focus groups require synergy between skilled writers, organizers, listeners, and communicators to be effective. Without these elements, focus groups can be chaotic, biased, and often lead to inaccurate conclusions. We take pride in our qualitative work, and have assembled the most unique focus group teams in the industry to lead your discussion sessions:

  • Truly Unique Moderators. Skilled moderators have one talent in common; they are all exceptional listeners, able to formulate the next question intuitively based on their ability to grasp the true intent of the respondent. Where are these skills acquired? For some, in academic settings gaining anthropological PhDs; for others, in the world of journalism, conducting interviews in the hallways of Columbine and the desert sands of Iraq. Our moderators have real world communications experience that’s unusual in research – it’s what drives dynamic discussions.
  • The StreetSmart Recruit. Focus groups are only as effective as the participants engaged; when they are recruited from a database of professional respondents the quality of discussion declines precipitously. Kelton recruits fresh participants from social networking sites, from the streets of major American cities, and from restaurants, airports, car dealerships, and by going door to door. It’s what has made our recruiting the most accurate in the business – and allows us to reach virtually any demographic.
  • Innovative Techniques. Our moderators are equipped with a broad array of innovative techniques, which means the groups are set up to flourish from the outset. But it also means we can shift on the fly – employing new methods to meet the changing dynamics of a discussion; we’re able to fit the technique to the issues at hand.
  • Creative Discussion Guides. Focus groups should be interesting and enjoyable for participants – and that requires discussion guides that ask provocative, appealing questions. Our team of project leaders excels at getting every group engaged and interested from the outset.
  • Compelling Writers. All effective research requires a compelling deliverable that clearly articulates what has been learned, effectively lays out the appropriate next steps, and leaves the client with something of real value.  Our team of writers – who have published books and written for print, radio, business and academia – creates engaging deliverables that your entire team will appreciate, regardless of whether they were active participants in the research.

Tracking Studies: Know Your Audience

Kelton’s tracking methodology goes beyond the traditional approach of asking standard question metrics such as favorability, familiarity, and purchase intent. Instead, we develop trackers from mere diagnostic tools to full fledged strategic instruments. The end result is a living, breathing research tool that transforms wave-over-wave progress updates into statistically quantifiable solutions to ensure you’re getting the most impact for your advertising dollar.

Sample topic areas routinely covered include:

  • Ways to Improve Retailer Relations. These “retailer relations” analyses allow the brand team to use independent, credible, third-party data to negotiate stronger positions with key retailers.
  • Understanding Media Consumption Patterns. Your brand tracker offers you the ideal opportunity to understand exactly what your current and potential consumers are watching on TV, reading online or at the newsstand, listening to on the radio, etc. By conducting a deep-dive into the media consumption habits of your current and likely future consumers, we can target your ad buys and media spends more effectively. We thus ensure we account for changing preferences and always achieve the most “bang for your advertising buck.”
  • Creating Partnership Profiles. The brand tracker is also well suited to understanding which partnership opportunities best fit with your brand’s key equities and match the consumption patterns of your consumer base.
  • Exploring New Product/Brand/License Opportunities. Many of our clients find this to be the most useful part of their tracking research. We recommend exploring consumer attitudes and reactions to any potential new products, services, or licenses that are under consideration. This way, you have decision-grade data telling you how interested consumers are and how likely they would be to consume this new area of your brand. We’ll also understand how well a new product ladders back to and fits with the core equities of the brand they’re intended to grow.
  • Capturing Litigation Background Research. Unfortunately, no brand is immune from lawsuits, however frivolous they may be. Even cereal companies have been sued for allegedly marketing non-nutritious products to children. For this reason, Kelton recommends including a small section of questions on occasional tracking waves to measure your consumers’ concerns – if any – about your brand and advertising. This provides you with credible data – should it ever be needed – that proves your marketing targets view you as an ethical company with reputable products and fair advertising strategies; it is never too early (or too late) to compile historical evidence of responsible corporate behavior.

Tactical PR Polling: Surveys That Become Stories

Kelton Research is the country’s leading provider of online and telephone omnibus and custom surveys to public relations companies – our work is regularly covered by the nation’s top tier media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Associated Press, Reuters, Good Morning America, The Today Show – even The Late Show With David Letterman.

Our team’s impressive media experience enables us to generate media attention for clients with success unrivaled elsewhere in the research industry. The Kelton Media Unit combines the methodological rigor of classically-trained researchers with the creativity and media savvy of former PR executives and members of the media – we’re not ashamed to boast that our staff has won Emmys producing for TV. This combination of talents drives unique survey concepts and methodologies that cut through the clutter to win placements for your clients.

Unlike other firms, our service is all-inclusive:

  • We help develop survey concepts that are aligned with your PR program (and we’re happy to pitch alongside you to win new business).
  • We write the questions for you, and revise them until you’re happy.
  • Our analysis is more than just data – it tells a story, creates specific media talking points and prioritizes the data.
  • We review press materials and help answer media inquiries for the life of the survey.
  • Our surveys garner millions of impressions annually for our clients. The proof is in print… and on television… and on the web. A few recent examples of Kelton surveys covered in the media.
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