Take a Poll for Publicity

Tips from “The Publicity Hound” on how your own survey can make you and your company big news (and generate free publicity)!

One of the simplest ways to create national
publicity–whether you’re a publicly owned corporation, a
non-profit or a one-man band–is to survey your customers or
the public on an interesting topic related to what you do,
then report the results to the media.

The 100 Percent Recycled Paperboard Alliance polled 200
supermarket general managers across the country last year
and learned that supermarkets are having trouble with
shoppers smuggling raw meat out of stores. The shoplifters
are stashing the meat inside their pants. And hiding
detergent between their legs. And trying on products like
deodorant, hair gel and after-shave lotion, then putting
used products back on the shelves without buying them.

The story caught the attention of the wire services and ran
in newspapers and magazines all over the U.S.

Other clever surveys that have caught my eye:

–The Iams pet food company polled its customers a few years
ago and asked a variety of questions about people’s
relationships with their pets. They learned, for example,
that 63 percent of respondents sleep with their pets by
their sides. Also, an overwhelming 91 percent of pet owners
have said the words “I love you” to their pets. Rather than
an expensive survey, the company simply polled 400 people
who had called their customer service center for other
reasons. Then they released the results just before
Valentine’s Day. Isn’t that brilliant?

–The folks who make Just for Men Haircolor reported that
their survey of 505 executives from Fortune 1000 companies
showed that 33 percent believed that a man who colored his
hair was “secure enough with himself to enhance his
appearance in subtle ways.”

–Etiquette expert Marjabelle Young Stewart of Illinois, the
author of “Common Sense Etiquette,” surveyed people and
compiled a list of the “most mannerly cities” and the “least
mannerly.” I remember reading or hearing this story at least
a half dozen times within two days when she released the
results to the media last fall because my city, Milwaukee,
was one of the most well-mannered. Ranking cities and states
in your survey results is a clever way to snag nationwide
publicity, because everybody will be curious about how well
they fared.

Learn more in my Special Report #19: How to Use Polls and
Surveys That Brand You as an Expert. Five pages of tips for
only $7. Order at

Reprinted with permission from The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week, a free weekly e-zine
featuring tips, tricks and tools for free publicity. Sign up at http://www.PublicityHound.com and receive free by
autoresponder the handy list “89 Reasons to Send a News Release.”