Corporations

Public Opinion Strategies has a long history of conducting research for some of America’s leading corporations and associations—often in sensitive situations under the glare of the media spotlight.

Central to our corporate work is an evaluation of a company’s overall image. We probe consumer attitudes about brands, products, and entire industries, and assess public opinion about such issues as corporate responsibility, community relations, political and economic policy, and other key areas of industry interest.

Our researchers employ a combination of techniques ranging from one-on-one interviews, Internet surveys, telephone polling, and focus groups, all targeted at well-defined and often difficult-to-reach audiences such as government policymakers, industry thought leaders, and consumers with special interests and specific purchasing habits. Conducted at regular intervals, these studies allow a company to monitor its image and customer satisfaction levels over time and evaluate how well the company’s performance stacks up against its competitors.

But our work goes well beyond data gathering. Analysis of our findings yields valuable insights into consumer values, aspirations, and concerns as well as a company’s market position relative to other businesses in the field. Understanding precisely how the public perceives and relates to a company allows it to be more proactive in shaping its image by developing a communications strategy that plays on its strengths and addresses its weaknesses.

We help develop and explore key marketing messages and advertising concepts, and we test them to determine which messages resonate best with target audiences. In times of crises, when a company is facing widespread customer dissatisfaction, negative public opinion, or critical press, our rapid turnaround helps companies respond quickly and effectively to the immediate situation, contain the damage to its reputation, and develop a communications plan that will restore its image.

Consider a few case studies:

  • For a California insurance company, we conducted focus groups in five areas throughout the state. The primary purpose of the focus groups was to qualitatively gauge sentiment in California about the insurance industry in general and about the company in particular. The sessions were designed to test awareness of several specific programs as well as to determine the impact of media coverage on the company’s image.
  • We conducted research in a Midwestern state on behalf of a large electric and gas utility. The company was facing public criticism over rates, reliability, and service issues, as well as a highly publicized state-mandated rebate program and an impending rate increase. In order to gauge customer satisfaction and test outreach programs, messages, and branding strategies, we conducted three customer surveys and five focus groups. Our analysis of this research provided the company with a critical understanding of the concerns and frustrations of their customer base, allowing the company to bolster its image through the design and implementation of a long-term communication, outreach, and customer service program.
  • We surveyed ice cream consumers in the home county of a Midwestern ice cream maker. The company wanted to gauge consumer awareness of the brand, brand perceptions vis-à-vis other brands, and the effect of such factors as package size and promotional sales on purchasing decisions. Our research found that the company was a familiar brand best known for its creaminess, rich taste, and flavor. Unlike other brands for whom price was a clear purchasing factor, our client’s customers placed less emphasis on cost.
  •  Working on behalf of a major pharmaceutical company, we conducted an extensive research effort among Washington, DC policy and opinion leaders to help build the company’s image and brand on Capitol Hill and in the greater metro area. The research was comprised of focus groups among DC policy leaders followed by online surveys to measure the company’s image and test a series of print advertising concepts. The research was critical to an advertising campaign that ran in the Washington Post and several popular Hill publications that were designed to inform political leaders about the company’s long, successful history and its corporate responsibility programs.
  • When a major communications company lost the broadcasting rights to a popular network channel in a Western state, the company came to us to determine how best to frame the issue for residents. We worked to develop messages about the nature of the dispute and how to position the company in the debate. The company was also facing the pending sale of a regional cable company, and we helped position the sale favorably to area residents to ensure subscription rates and customer satisfaction remained high.
  • In 2006 and 2008, we conducted a national research project on behalf of a prestigious university. With the goal of evaluating the university’s image and reputation relative to other institutions, we conducted two national surveys among opinion elites and an Internet survey among four key audiences: higher education professionals; high school seniors; high school educators (including teachers, principals, and guidance counselors); and employers who make personnel decisions. This research gave the university an opportunity to identify its relative strengths and weaknesses, as well as providing key insight into the factors and qualities that drive its reputation.

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

Lori Weigel from Public Opinion Strategies reviewed our needs and guided us toward asking the right questions. Her reporting was easy to follow and her interpretation of the data provided clear decision points.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

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