04 July 2007

Are they called omnibus surveys...

...because you only have to survey as many people as can get on a bus? Single-decker as well.

We've mentioned in the past that TWL is a blog more than happy to get pitched to. We can't promise to post about every one (so sorry to the fella from Mister Wong), but we've just received an email that is worth printing in full. It came from the email address webershandwick@hotmail.co.uk, which I can only assume is genuine...

Hello TWL

How are you?

I thought I'd drop you a quick note about the incredible piece of research from Weber Shandwick on advocacy. I am sure you'll agree that an online survey of 583 adults across 9 countries makes this a most robust piece of work into this important area for the industry. And we have certainly made this look like an important study with our lovely insert in last week's PR Week. I do tend to think the design might have cost a little bit more than the study though...and that's without the production or buying the insert space...

Anyway, with as many as 65 people interviewed in each country we are in a great position to roll out this piece of global research. We shall of course be advising our client base from now on that for a global piece of research across 9 countries, you only need 600-odd people to get something that is extremely robust for both media and prospects alike.

I'm sure you'll agree from this all our findings really stand up to being used in charts and graphs. In fact we are especially proud we managed to get odd number percentages with this amount of people.

Thanks for looking at this robust piece of work TWL.

Love,

Mr Webby Shandy

Think global, act local? You can read more about Weber Shandwick's survey here. Not much more we can add.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

>>"It came from the email address webershandwick@hotmail.co.uk, which I can only assume is genuine..."<<

Why would you assume it's genuine?? If I sent you an email from jack.the.ripper@hotmail.co.uk would you assume that was genuine as well..??

....the world's leading.... said...

Christ. I give up.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get that e-mail address? If only the police had had that, they could have e-mailed him and asked him to hand himself in at his local police station, and thus avoided a lengthy investigation. It's a crime witholding such information you know.

Anonymous said...

Jack the Ripper invented email?

Artichoke said...

I get it TWL - even if the rest of these planks don't.

As for the content of the email, it's about time someone did something about the lazy, piss poor omnibus approach to PR. Perhaps if journalists stopped giving them colunm inches PR agencies would stop doing them.

Or we could throw stones at the YouGov building?

:D

Pontius said...

...what a stupid point - everybody knows Jack the Ripper was around in the late 19th century which would have pre-dated email by some years, therefore that email address would likely be bogus, whereas the Weber one says 'WeberShandwick' and it's signed Mr Webby Shandy (Han's brother, perhaps??) ...that's your smoking gun, right there.

figgis said...

Would you look at that KRC Research is an Interpublic company...Hmm is WS one as well?

PaulW said...

Jack The Ripper didn't invent email, but HG Wells invented a time machine to try and catch the Ripper and, IIRC, the Ripper used it to travel to modern day America.

Quite possible therefore, that he popped into an internet cafe to mail TWL to while away the hours?

Right there's that one solved. Pass me my pipe, fiddle, vial of opiates, dear stalker and an ambigious sexuality trait. I'm ready for the next challenge.

Prem said...

TWL it must be very depressing realising that such a large proportion of your commenting readers really don't get you AT ALL.

However, you must feel all buoyed up by the fact that someone made a Hotmail address just for you. Flattering or what!!

Anonymous said...

A "dear stalker"?

You pay them, or you love them?

Alexander said...

I don't want to be too pedantic, but dear is more affectionate, don't you think? If you loved your stalker, it would be something more like darling stalker.

Then again, I do accept that a minor problem with this suggestion is that there isn't a type of silly hat that's a homonym of 'darling stalker'. Or, indeed, a gamey quadruped called a darling...

Anonymous said...

Well I never liked Advocaat anyway.

**coat**

Anonymous said...

... although the intent is somewhat undermined by this link which is just below the "advocate" survey:

http://www.webershandwick.co.uk/features/understanding-the-multi-cultural-market

Anonymous said...

Alexander, your point is a good one deer hart.

james warren said...

Yay! Coverage! *Adds to the clippings book*

THHB said...

James Warren's making clip books? Surely it must be the time of year for summer interns to do that type of thing?

figgis said...

> james warren said...

Yay! Coverage! *Adds to the clippings book* <

Jesus, you placed this? Not convinced by that strategy...

(for people who aren't sure - that was sarcasm)

artichoke said...

>>"TWL it must be very depressing realising that such a large proportion of your commenting readers really don't get you AT ALL."<<

As a regular reader I've got to say that the comments some people post on here demonstrate just how much dead wood there is in the UK PR industry.

On the plus side I've no doubt that we're filling our quota for employing mentally challenged people.

Anonymous said...

"As a regular reader I've got to say that the comments some people post on here demonstrate just how much dead wood there is in the UK PR industry"

You can deduce all of that by reading a few comments on a PR blog..?? You must be very insightful. We clearly need less dead wood and more arrogant t055ers like you...

A. Journalist said...

"On the plus side I've no doubt that we're filling our quota for employing mentally challenged people."

I can think of whole agencies who've taken care of the numbers for everybody else...

Muttley said...

i don't know which is more embarrassing - thinking that 583 people in 9 countries constitutes a survey or paying for an insert in PR Week...discuss

james warren said...

Yes, do discuss - at length please. Number of blog comments generated is a key part of our measurement criteria. Who said this social media lark doesn't work? Pah!

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figgis said...

> Yes, do discuss - at length please. Number of blog comments generated is a key part of our measurement criteria. Who said this social media lark doesn't work? Pah!<

Care to kick off James? Be great to hear someone else from WS's view (apart from Webby Shandy of course).

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is whether Webby Shandy has followed up his e-mail to TWL with a phone call asking whether TWL had received his e-mail. Well...?

....the world's leading.... said...

Well, bless him, he didn't have to do that as the coverage appeared so quickly. However, he did offer me interviews with and photos of every single one of the survey respondents.

I'm considering it, frankly, as it shouldn't take up too much of my time.

Anonymous said...

>> "Yes, do discuss - at length please. Number of blog comments generated is a key part of our measurement criteria. Who said this social media lark doesn't work? Pah!" <<

* James * - I'm not following your train of thought old chap... You saying it doesn't matter if coverage/comments are positive or negative, it only matters that there are lots of them..?

Now I realise where I've gone wrong all these years, to heck with quality - time to sell it by the yard...

james warren said...

No, I'm afraid I was taking the piss. My comments were something of an in-joke, employed in a vain attempt to deflect attention away from the original post subject, which highlighted some none-too-convincing research carried out my esteemed employer. As it happens (and I'm not just saying this (I'm miming it too)), the advocacy platform is incredibly well thought-out, with a methodology to match. Shame about the research, but there you go.

My comments (since you ask) were simply intended to highlight the propensity of agencies to claim blog coverage as their own, while also ridiculing some of the more banal methods of social media measurement I've been exposed to. Memo to self: must try harder.

figgis said...

> As it happens (and I'm not just saying this (I'm miming it too)), the advocacy platform is incredibly well thought-out, with a methodology to match. Shame about the research, but there you go.<

I'm intrigued. Surely the research is at the heart of this - backing up all the other 'well thought out bits of the platform'? Why not invest in it?

(apologies for serious question)

....the world's leading.... said...

Goodness me Figgis. You don't think anyone in PR would actually undertake research to help inform a strategy do you? Rather than simply use a half-baked survey to promote an approach dreamt up over a pint in a previously smokey pub.

It's a novel concept...do you think it might catch on?

figgis said...

All too true TWL..

However, it does seem a tiny bit of a risk to me to put all your positioning eggs in a basket made out of budget toilet roll...

Jonny Rosemont said...

I was told that to be successful in business it was all about taking risks (but then again what do I know). The research plays the role of making the risk a bit more informed. Even budget loo roll has a few layers.

figgis said...

Jonny - do you really believe that, or is that just feeling like you have to be loyal to your employer? Come on 60 people per country - you may as well have not bothered doing the research and just claiming you did!

Although I do know the odd research story that went out on the back of a straw poll in an office...

james warren said...

That successful PR is about advocacy is not that earth-shattering a revelation, shirley. Building advocacy is what we've all always done - it lies at the very heart of good PR. What WS has done is work out a methodology and structure that allows us, for each client campaign, to identify who the advocates might be and how to engage/motivate them (it's, like, dead scientific - although I'm not about to tell you how it works).

Regretably, The Powers That Be felt they needed some research to back up the launch. I'm not going to pretend it's robust - or indeed of a great deal of relevance to how we'll go about building campaigns for clients. The research certainly didn't inform the development of the methodology, which has been cooking for almost 12 months.

figgis said...

James, from a technical point of view - I believe you are meant to tackle my question first and then bridge to the key messages you are delivering.

Much harder to do in a live interview, where you could get cut off - but I would have thought 101 in terms of blogging?

james warren said...

With the greatest respect Figgis, I'm not sure I'm *meant* to do anything, am I? This is the comments section of an irreverent anonymous PR gossip blog, not the Today programme. But since you ask...

> Surely the research is at the heart of this - backing up all the other 'well thought out bits of the platform'? <

No, the research isn't at the heart of this. It was commissioned to help market our advocacy platform, not to shape it.

> Why not invest in it? <

I'm afraid I can't answer that - the global Powers That Be decide where our marketing budget gets spent. I'd like to think that had we had more time or budget available we would have increased the size of the sample. But decisions like that are made way higher up the food chain than where I float.

In other news, as I write this (on Sunday night - it's the new Monday morning, don't you know) a Sky News anchor has just tried to interview a three year old girl on live TV over the phone. Needless to say (and as anyone who has ever tried to have a phone conversation with a three year old will have gleefully predicted), the result was TV gold.

figgis said...

>>With the greatest respect Figgis, I'm not sure I'm *meant* to do anything, am I? This is the comments section of an irreverent anonymous PR gossip blog, not the Today programme. But since you ask...<<

My my - I would have appeared to touch a nerve there - wonderful.

Anyway, I have no idea what you're *meant* to do - you after all are the blogging expert, so I imagine would know better than me.

>>No, the research isn't at the heart of this. It was commissioned to help market our advocacy platform, not to shape it.<<

Well so far so good on the marketing, judging by this bit of coverage...

>>I'm afraid I can't answer that - the global Powers That Be decide where our marketing budget gets spent. I'd like to think that had we had more time or budget available we would have increased the size of the sample. But decisions like that are made way higher up the food chain than where I float.<<

Fair play on the decision making. But with the new website, the insert and all the other gubbins - it does look like there was a bit of time to plan this...

Andrew Smith said...

Sorry, I've come late to this one - isn't advocacy research the following:

a) Think of the answers you want
b) design the questions to get the answers you want
c) Conduct survey
d) Hey presto, the research completely validates your position

Or am I being overly cynical?