Focus groups are a gathering of roughly 8-10 respondents for discussion on a particular topic. The purpose of focus groups is to explore in-depth different messaging, language and test respondent detailed reaction to certain stimuli or informational materials. By their very nature focus groups add a depth of understanding to any research question – they tell a skilled researcher “why,” “how,” and “what.”

Focus groups are a good starting point in the research process, because language matters – and focus groups provide invaluable insight into how to structure information and help determine what is working or not working. This type of research is a core step in developing effective and successful messages or products. We use a number of unique focus group techniques to test messaging, language, informational materials, and creative executions, which aid in eliciting interesting ideas and concepts from respondents. We also use multiple levels of emotional-psychological projective exercises and deep-dive probes in our groups.


Focus groups are generally two hours long and are conducted in professional focus group facilities. These facilities provide the client with an interactive opportunity to view the groups as they take place via a one-way mirror. This also allows for interaction with the moderator and provides for spontaneous probes and questions during the groups. All groups are audio and video recorded, and we have the capabilities for groups to be webcast to help alleviate travel for the client to multiple cities.

In areas without a professional focus group facility, we reserve adjoining conference rooms in a conveniently-located local hotel or conference center. One room is used to hold the focus group discussion, while clients discreetly observe on closed-circuit TV in the adjoining room.


Focus groups are highly customizable and can be tailored to both constituency (business leaders, customers, health care providers, investors, patients, purchasers, seniors, swing voters, uninsured, etc.) and topic area (corporate image, education, health care, local issues, politics, technology, etc.).

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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