Using data to create newsworthy stories

There are thousands and thousands of stories published online every day. From breaking news, to what happened on Reddit or Twitter last night.

So just imagine how hard it actually is to fight through all of this news and get your brand noticed. That’s not even counting the ‘not really news’ featuring what people said online about the colour of a pool at a recent sports event that we can’t talk about because of the hefty copyrights surrounding it.

To overcome this never-ending stream of information, you have to come up with something that is shocking, negative, potentially surprising or heart-warming.

So how to get your client or brand into papers/online?


If you look through the Daily Mail, Telegraph, The Independent or any other papers you’ll find several stories based on research.

It seems simple: you conduct research, analyse data, write a press release, send it out – and here we are – your client is all over the Internet – well, not really.

Let’s start with choosing the right survey

  • Internal data

If you happen to have a client with high-quality internal data, you’re a winner! Publishing clients’ data is not just time saving, but in-house figures also add a degree of quality to your story.

Currently, we are running a few stories based on internal data from one of our clients and it’s proving the point, the stories are very successful, getting published in national media such as the Telegraph or Daily Mail.

  • Small research with a quick turnaround: Google Consumer Survey

If you are putting together a quick reactive piece, a Google Consumer Survey is a great option. You can send out one question with optional answers or an open ended question. This type of research usually takes no longer than two days to come back.

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Recently, here at Tecmark we ran a Google Consumer Survey for one of our travel clients and got it published in national press, such as the Express.

To run a Google Consumer Survey you only need a Gmail account, then you can draft your question and answers. Google will notify you after collecting the amount of responses you asked for. You should gather answers from at least 1,500 people. 

  • Middle-sized survey

Sometimes you might want to carry out research that is not based on a single question but, also one that won’t cost you thousands of pounds. In this case, Quick Surveys is the answer.

Quick Surveys is an affordable way of conducting a poll. You design the questions and answers including adding the all-important filters. This can be hard work if it’s the first time you’re running a survey but, once you get into it, it’s pretty straightforward.

Again, this type of survey usually screens about 1,500 responses.

You can create your profile and try drafting a survey on the Quick Surveys website.

  • Large surveys

You might be planning a big campaign in which case you could be seeking figures that will produce stories for a longer period of time. For that reason, you should go with a large poll that will bring many stories while working on your campaign.

Try 3Gem or One Poll.

What’s great about these two companies is that you get your own designated research manager who will help you with your questions, filters, and who will put all your data together for you in a nice, easy, readable format.

Larger surveys usually offer 2,000 responses (the national representative). It is more expensive than the previous options, but it’s worth it!

  • Use social media to run a survey: Twitter

This can take time and might not bring as many responses together as you wish but with the right amount of followers at the right time you can collect some interesting data.

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You can choose how long you’d like the poll to run, as it won’t stop after collecting a certain amount of responses. You can let the survey stay open from few hours to several days, but you might want to retweet it few times or pay for a little promotion to ensure enough people see it.

  • Do it all yourself: Use your own database

If you happen to have your own database throw in some vouchers and send out an email featuring your survey. You can simply use a service like Survey Monkey.

Again, this can take some time as you rely on people wanting to win a voucher. This is why the survey should contain no more than five questions and simple close answers, don’t overdo this as you can scare people off.

So now it’s all up to you, choose the one type of research that suits your campaign best and watch this space for some more advice, for example: how to write research questions.

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Tecmark Author Hana Bednarova

About the Author

Hana Bednarova: Digital PR Manager

Hana joined us in September 2014 as a content promotion specialist; now she leads our digital PR team and works with clients to increase their brand awareness and media relations.

Visit Hana's Page
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