LATEST NEWS AND INSIGHTS

In the News: Trump is running short of time and targets

Undecided voters tend to break away from the incumbent,” observes veteran Republican pollster Neil Newhouse. “In this case, it might be different.” Read more about the past trends in undecided voters here.

In the News: Is ‘clean energy’ a winning topic for GOP candidates?

“Republican candidates in Texas will help themselves with these groups [GOP and independent women] by including more messaging and support for clean energy innovation and production.” Republican pollster Glen Bolger stated, who conducted such a poll for Conservative Texans for Energy Innovation. Read more about the groups clean energy tests well with here.

 

WHAT WE DO

Our political client base includes eleven U.S. Senators, six Governors, 44 Members of Congress, and numerous state legislative caucuses. The latest client list for these offices is on the campaigns page. The other half of our work is involved in complex public policy battles, working with industry coalitions, government entities and private companies. This work includes corporate image, community relations, and crisis management research for local companies, Fortune 500 corporations and industry associations throughout the country.
Check out our experience and work in your state (by clicking over the state on the map below).
Home Page Placeholder
Home Page
 
About Us
Why We Are Different
Leadership
Staff
Opportunities

WHO WE ARE

Since the founding of Public Opinion Strategies in 1991, the firm has conducted 10 million interviews, completed a total of 24,412 projects, and currently represents six governors, 11 Senators, and 44 Members of Congress. Since 2004, along with its Democratic partner, the firm conducts The NBC/WSJ Poll and, since 2007, the CNBC All-America Economic Survey. The firm now has 12 partners, is the largest political and public affairs survey research firm, and among the 50 largest research firms in the country.

We created and today manage a vibrant public affairs practice, having completed more than 7,000 public affairs projects since our founding. The firm represents Fortune 500 companies and over 30 major trade associations and has become the premier health care research firm in the country, having completed more than 1700 focus groups and 1245 surveys on the topic of health care. The firm’s additional areas of expertise range from crisis and brand management, to education, finance, and technology as well as establishing a large research practice focused on the utility and energy sectors.

It’s what we bring to the table that not only makes our firm successful, but, more importantly, makes our clients successful:

  • Our proven record of research that shapes outcomes;
  • Our sophisticated approach to research and strategy;
  • The personalized attention we provide that does not end when the research ends; and,
  • An understanding of how to conduct sound, actionable research that helps our clients make important decisions.

Across both political and public affairs research, as our tag line suggests, we work with our clients “Turning Questions into Answers.”

Why Public Opinion Strategies?

At Public Opinion Strategies we have developed a culture and approach to winning. For nearly three decades, Public Opinion Strategies has been helping political candidates win tough campaigns, scoring hard-fought success in the public affairs arena for some of America’s leading corporations and associations, and giving our clients an advantage in their proceedings.

We go into the trenches with our clients to aggressively help them promote their interests. Our success is based on a hands-on model and our total commitment.

We work closely with our clients to develop research that is tailored to meet their specific needs utilizing innovative research methodologies and strategies. Each client and each case require a unique approach, and we are very responsive to the interests of every client.

And, we go beyond just providing the results of the research. Our winning culture is based on our integration as part of the team. A hallmark of our service, we offer strategic analysis and tactical recommendations based on our findings. We believe this provides our clients the winning edge.

Some of the elements of our approach that set us apart include:

  • Cutting edge policy expertise

Because we have decades of experience in the political and public policy arena, we have a wealth of understanding of some of the most important debates facing the country, ranging from medical malpractice to health care to deregulation issues. We are able to bridge the “policy gap,” which separates us from other researchers. Our policy background gives us a running start, as we are accustomed to delving into complex issues and making them palatable to our target audiences.

Our policy expertise also means we are constantly looking at key issues and topics facing the country. We stay ahead of the curve, and share our knowledge with our clients.

  • Strategic Communications Specialists

We have years of experience developing communications strategies and testing them empirically. But we know that there are two sides to every battle, and, thus, our approach to research takes into account arguments on both sides. We call it “combat message development.” We want to reflect the debate as closely as possible and therefore each side is given roughly equal weight. It helps our clients understand what they’re up against, how to rebut or challenge the opponent’s position, and what arguments on our side have the most impact when presented in context.

  • Rapid Response

We understand the imperative of having data quickly to make critical decisions. We produce research to meet your timeline, not ours.

 

Public Opinion Strategies offers a challenging and exciting work environment that provides employees and interns with the opportunity to learn about polling and public policy.

What we offer full-time staff:

  • Competitive salary
  • Excellent opportunities for growth
  • Medical, dental, life insurance, vision, and long-term disability
  • Client acquisition bonuses
  • Performance bonuses
  • Paid vacation
  • Training and tuition assistance
  • Profit Sharing Plan
  • Paid parking or Metro fare reimbursement
  • Old Town Alexandria location

If you are looking for a new challenge please review our openings below.

 

SERVICES

Public Opinion Strategies uses various research methods and techniques to help our clients obtain answers to their questions. Some of our services include developing and testing the effectiveness of messages for clients to use in their campaign, testing language for ballot initiatives or policy ideas, measuring reactions to advertising, and determining where our clients need to focus their resources to have the most impact. Choosing the appropriate research methodology depends upon each client’s audience and particular needs.

Quantitative Research

Public Opinion Strategies has completed over 10,000,000 interviews in all 50 states and conducted survey research in 23 foreign countries since our beginnings in 1991. We have established long-lasting relationships with some of the best phone centers located in the U. S. We have immediate access to hundreds of CATI-enabled data collection stations for use in our work. We control the entire research process in-house — from questionnaire development and sampling design, to survey briefing, to data processing and analysis. This gives us total quality control on every project that we complete and allows us to meet client deadlines no matter how tight the timeframe. No one conducts high quality survey research better or faster than our firm.

Telephone Surveys

Description:

 

Our use of telephone polling runs the gamut of research: nightly tracking surveys, monthly national omnibus surveys, single issue surveys, benchmarks, brushfire surveys, and business-to-business interviewing. We have the capabilities to conduct telephone surveys among respondents via their landline telephone or their cell phone. Our national surveys generally include at least 50-60% cell phone users.

 

Logistics:

 

Traditional telephone surveys enable researchers to reach a large and representative sample in a short time period, typically three to five days. Quotas are used to control for age, gender, region, and ethnicity across the sample as a whole to allow for only minimal weighting. They can be used to connect with a broad sample such as adults or registered voters, or narrower audiences such as moms of children age 18 or younger, small business owners, hunters, and business decision makers.

 

Applications:

 

Survey research is best used for obtaining a representative sample or broad audience when message confidentiality is a premium.

National Omnibus Telephone Surveys

Description:

 

Roughly once a month, Public Opinion Strategies conducts a national survey of 800 registered voters called a national omnibus. These surveys have multiple clients and cover many different topic areas. Our omnibus product allows a client to obtain national data on key questions for less money than conducting their own individual national stand-alone survey. Most clients ask anywhere from one to twenty questions. Screener and standard demographic questions are included in the cost.

 

Logistics:

 

Omnibus surveys are generally in the field for four to five days. This is NOT a panel survey in which we re-contact the same respondents. Our omnibus surveys use Registration Based Sampling (RBS) methodology, which gives us the confidence that our samples are representative of the national registered voter population. This methodology also allows POS to use the “treasure trove” of data found on voter files, including a voter’s actual vote history and modeling scores developed by our voter file vendors.  Quotas are used to control for age, gender, region, and ethnicity across the sample as a whole to allow for only minimal weighting. The omnibus includes 50-60% of interviews conducted via cell phones.

 

Applications:

 

Omnibus surveys are best used when a client has a narrow set of questions, flexible timing, and a need for a national representative quantitative sample.

Internet Surveys

Description:

 

Internet surveys allow for both close-ended and open-ended questions just as on a telephone survey, but in addition respondents can be presented with and evaluate advertising concepts or messaging components.  We recommend using internet surveys when trying to complete:

  • Surveys among a very specialized audience, such as physicians or business leaders;
  • Surveys among harder to reach audiences, such as opinion elites;
  • Membership or customer studies; or,
  • A quantitative measurement of an advertising concept or testing detailed messaging that cannot be done over the telephone.

 

Some examples of this work include:

  • Advertising recall and content assessment surveys for on-going ad campaigns in support of public policy issues.  This allows us to gauge recall and ad performance in multiple markets and among a range of customer segments.
  • Extensive membership or customer surveys for several organizations and leading associations. These surveys probe members/customers about organizational performance, information use/needs, perceptions of a client’s mission statement, and an assessment of their needs. These surveys have been used for extensive internal review and improvement for our clients, allowing them to make customer-focused changes to their organizations.
  • Test the appeal and effectiveness of websites. For some of these projects, we conducted two parallel surveys – one testing our client’s website, and one that tested a similar questionnaire with a competing website. This technique allowed us to have control data for our client’s results, as well as allowing a variety of comparisons on comparable attributes.
  • Evaluate several advertisements from a quantitative perspective by drawing large sample sizes at very reasonable costs.  Online ad testing can be utilized during the development phase by testing various ad concepts or executions in an online platform where participants can view the full ads.  Online ad testing surveys are very useful for comparing competing versions of ads through a multi-sample testing model and testing against a control group that has not viewed an ad.

 

Logistics:

 

Respondents are asked to log onto a website with secured password protection either via their desktop computer or mobile device.  Depending on the audience being interviewed, an online study can be in the field for a few days or up to several weeks.

 

Applications:

 

Internet surveys are frequently used for targeted research purposes, particularly when trying to reach a very specific, difficult-to-reach constituency.  Entirely customizable, online surveys offer clients the benefit of interviewing specific audiences not always possible by telephone (doctors, C-level executives, membership surveys, retail shoppers, etc.)  Internet surveys are best used in researching specific, targeted audiences that would otherwise be difficult (and cost-prohibitive) to reach by telephone.

Mobile Surveys

Description:

 

Completing research through respondents’ smartphones is an emerging methodology.  Researchers are able to target by both constituency using preset “panels” and by geography using GPS locators.  Mobile survey research does not yet comprise an entirely representative sample of the U.S. population (significantly younger); however, researchers can “blend” this methodology with other research techniques.  There are some limitations in terms of length of questions and interviews when conducting surveys on mobile phones.

 

Like an online study, it is possible to test images, videos and other stimuli in a mobile study.

 

Geo-based mobile research utilizes a respondent panel that is integrated with a geo-locator.  Through this technology, respondents can be contacted as they enter a specified area, such as a store or event.  For example, this kind of research has been used by national retail chains to track customer experiences, feelings, and observations at thousands of locations across the country in real-time to improve customer experiences, advertising, and in-store displays.

 

Logistics:

 

Mobile panelists are invited to participate in the study through a “push” notification to their smartphone.  Surveys can often be fielded within several hours; however, some targeted audiences may need several days or even a week to complete.

 

Applications:

 

Mobile research offers convenience (respondents can start and pause or chose when to take a survey), interaction (through cameras and web-access), the ability to reach specific audiences (moms, swing voters, customers of a specific store, event attendees) and speed (you can reach respondents anywhere, anytime).

IVR+

Description:

 

In addition to traditional live interview polling, POS conducts IVR+ polling, which is traditional interactive voice response (IVR) research, with added quota and sample management.  Like a traditional IVR survey, IVR+ uses pre-recorded questions that respondents answer using their telephone keypad.  With the quota and sample management, our IVR+ survey option allows for strict age, gender, region, and ethnicity quotas to be put on our dialing to ensure that the poll is demographically sound and representative of the overall population.  This is different than traditional IVR polling, where significant weighting is often done in order to create a representative sample.

 

We often supplement the IVR polls with live cell phone interviews, as IVR surveys can only be conducted on landlines.  This ensures that voters who only use cell phones are included in the survey, which is particularly important since the number of wireless only households continues to grow each year.

 

Logistics:

 

IVR+ surveys are typically in the field between 2-4 days, depending on the sample size and geography.  Since IVR+ surveys have a maximum length of about 5-6 minutes of questions, they are best for conducting shorter, brushfire surveys.

 

We have also utilized the IVR+ methodology to conduct “rapid response” one-night polling.  Since much of the interviewing is conducted using IVR technology rather than live interviewers, it is possible to conduct large-scale surveys in a shorter timeframe.

 

Applications:

 

Applications for IVR+ surveys include:

  • Completing more cost-effective research for projects with a limited budget
  • Providing a quick interim snapshot of a campaign or issue in-between larger more robust surveys for projects with a limited budget
  • Conducting “rapid response” polling
  • Collecting data for large-scale modeling projects when thousands of interviews are required

Panel/Census Surveys

Description:

 

Panel research involves recruiting a group of respondents who have agreed to take part in surveys over a set period of time.  These respondents usually share an extensive amount of information about themselves and their households, which can be used for appropriate sample selection.

 

Census research involves attempting to survey an entire group of targeted respondents.  If a client has a select list of targeted respondents they want to survey, we target all respondents and attempt to complete a full census of the audience.

 

Logistics:

 

In panel research, a respondent agrees to become a panel member.  The member is defined by any number of variables — age, income, type of work, purchasing/decision-making power, etc.  Even psychographic characteristics may be used in member selection.  Members participate over time in a series of research studies covering either one or multiple topics.  A census can be accomplished in the same manner, in which respondents participate over time in a series of surveys.

 

Applications:

 

This research is particularly useful for longitudinal studies where researchers want to track ideas and views over a set period of time among a specific audience and when you want a full view of how a specific target population feels about an issue.

Mail Surveys

Description:

 

Some target audiences can be difficult to survey by telephone or internet, so we recommend using a mail survey to reach them.

 

Logistics:

 

An initial mailing is sent out that usually includes a cover letter from the client inviting the member/respondent to take the survey and explaining the purpose of the study, a survey questionnaire, and a postage-paid return envelope.  Reminder postcards are also sent out periodically encouraging respondents to fill out the survey and return it. To help increase response rates and to offer members/respondents another method of completing the survey, we often include a web address in the initial survey and on the reminder postcard so respondents can go online to take the survey if it is more convenient for them, or in case they have misplaced their questionnaire.

 

Applications:

 

Mail surveys are typically used for membership studies or customer surveys in cases where the client does not have email or phone contact information for respondents.  They can also be used to contact difficult-to-reach audiences.

Qualitative Research

Public Opinion Strategies has completed more than 7,000 focus groups and hundreds of one-on-one in-depth interviews across the country, as well as internationally. Most of our partners and senior project directors are RIVA-trained moderators. And unlike most other research firms, Public Opinion Strategies’ partners and senior project directors conduct the qualitative research which ensures our clients have experienced, skilled researchers moderating projects. Qualitative research allows you to understand the "why," "how," and "what" in a way that other research techniques simply cannot. Qualitative research methodologies are valuable research tools in exploring in-depth perceptions about a particular issue, company, or product. They are important tools in developing effective messaging as well as testing rough creative concepts or potential advertising. These research methodologies also help to provide color and nuance to quantitative results.

Traditional Focus Groups

Description:

 

Focus groups are a gathering of roughly eight to ten respondents for discussion on a particular topic. The purpose of focus groups is to explore in-depth different messaging and language and to test respondents’ detailed reactions 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.

 

Logistics:

 

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 capability for groups to be webcasted which alleviates the need for clients to travel to multiple cities.

 

In areas without a professional focus group facility, we reserve adjoining conference rooms in a conveniently located 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.

 

Applications:

 

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.).

Perception Analyzer Dial Groups

Description:

 

Perception Analyzer™ dial groups share both qualitative and quantitative aspects: they are qualitative like traditional in-person focus groups in that a small number of people are interviewed in a group setting and quantitative in that real-time data is collected through a wireless hand-held device and PC set-up. Perception Analyzer™ groups utilize a real-time response measurement research technique to gather instantaneous data from a group of respondents who are subjected to an input stimulus, for example a speech or a television commercial.

 

Complete demographic profiles can be run for the data collected, and clients in attendance can see the results as they are collected. Dial groups are especially useful in comparing advertising, either within the same line, i.e., to test which ad for a product or concept works best, or against your competitor’s advertising. In addition, this technique is well-suited to measuring reaction to television shows, company videos and other message and content-driven materials, such as speeches, sales presentations, corporate reports, and brochures.

 

Roughly 30-40 respondents are recruited for a dial group session. The dial session is roughly 45 minutes to an hour and then respondents are broken up into smaller focus group discussion sessions of roughly 10-15 respondents.

 

Public Opinion Strategies has used this technique successfully for advertising testing, both message and visual content, for a number of clients. We have completed hundreds of Perception Analyzer™ groups, testing material such as political campaign ads, corporate ads, candidate speeches and debates (both live and after the fact), public awareness spots, segments of television shows and radio ads.

 

We have used Perception Analyzer™ dials to do extensive media testing at the presidential campaign level, for major health care initiatives, and for a variety of corporate clients.

 

Logistics:

 

Dial groups 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 capability for groups to be webcasted which alleviates the need for clients to travel to multiple cities.

 

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

 

Applications:

 

Dial groups are well-suited for measuring reactions to content-driven materials, such as television shows, TV and radio advertisements, speeches and debates, and news clips. Recruited participants can be targeted by constituency or target audience.

Bulletin Board Discussion Groups

Sometimes in-person focus groups are not possible if a project involves a highly targeted audience or if respondents are geographically scattered. In these cases, we often conduct focus groups on the Internet via a bulletin board online discussion.

 

Description:

 

This methodology allows respondents from around the country to log into a bulletin board discussion group at different times during the day that are convenient to them to answer questions posted by a moderator while reading and responding to other participants’ posts. It tends to be more of an online community for participants. Respondents can also view printed materials, advertising and animatics online for evaluation. All of the discussion is visible on-screen to the moderator, the participants, and the clients. These discussion groups have between 15-40 respondents per board and take place over a period of time – typically 3-5 days – with respondents participating twice each day.

 

Some advantages to using bulletin board discussion groups:

  • The longer timeframe provides more in-depth and detailed responses;
  • Respondents are participating for 3-5 days for roughly an hour a day;
  • One online bulletin board discussion equates to the same amount of information as yielded by roughly three in-person traditional focus groups;
  • The longer timeframe allows us to present stimuli, gather feedback, refine concepts and re-present to the same group of respondents;
  • Participants have time to reflect, re-visit and add new thoughts; and,
  • Respondents do not feel time pressures and can read and post at their convenience, providing more thoughtful information and feedback.

 

If desired, we also have the capability to conduct bulletin boards accessible through respondents’ smartphones. This feature allows participants to post messages, pictures and videos to the bulletin board from anywhere.

 

Clients are able to follow the conversation thread online at their convenience and interact with the moderator over the course of the session to maximize learning opportunities.

 

Logistics:

 

At a specific day and time, the session is launched. Using any recent browser version, participants simply log in and go. The moderator posts a series of questions throughout the day. Respondents are able to respond at times that are convenient to them and interact with other board participants.

 

Just like in a traditional focus group facility, bulletin board discussion groups have a virtual backroom that allows for moderator and client interaction. Respondents are not able to see any of the activity that occurs in the virtual back room.

 

Applications:

 

Online bulletin board groups are used when a traditional focus group is not feasible due to disparity of geographic locations, a need for anonymity, or a very highly targeted respondent type. They also work well with executive level respondents.

 

We have utilized bulletin boards for long-term qualitative research and tracking studies, where respondents participate weekly over the course to 2-3 months.  This format allows us to track changes in opinion over time, gauge the impact of news events on political campaigns and gives respondents time to reflect on and revisit issues over the course of several weeks/months.

 

This methodology is also useful when testing media, websites and other stimuli. Since respondents are able to review the materials at their convenience, it gives respondents time to explore websites and read longer messaging statements that we can typically cover in a focus group format.

Real-Time Online Focus Groups

Description:

 

Real-time focus groups allow us to interact in with a small or large group of participants online. These groups are a free-form discussion similar to an instant message discussion with multiple people. Like a traditional in-person focus group, we can ask closed- or open-ended questions, and test virtually any kind of message media.

 

Logistics:

 

At a specific day and time, the session is launched. Using any recent browser version, participants simply log in and go. Sessions can be thirty to ninety minutes in duration and include up to 30 participants. The moderator can easily create new questions or new free-form discussions “on-the-fly.” Clients are able to log into a session as observers as they take place.

 

Applications:

 

Like traditional in-person groups, internet groups are highly customizable and can be tailored to both constituency and topic area. We generally recommend this kind of research for highly targeted or geographically dispersed audiences.

One-on-One In-Depth Interviews

Description:

 

This research methodology allows us to speak with very targeted or hard-to-reach audiences. IDIs allow for a more in-depth, candid discussion and probing on specific issues than a traditional focus group. We explore in-depth what is most important to an individual respondent and how an issue personally affects them. These interviews give a more detailed look at an individual’s attitudes and feelings about an issue and what language resonates most with an individual. The interview is roughly 30 minutes to an hour in length.

 

Logistics:

 

One-on-one in-depth interviewing can be conducted over the telephone or in-person depending on the sensitivity of the subject matter to be explored. We recommend conducting the in-person IDIs at a professional focus groups facility in order to provide audio and video recording as well as allowing for client observation of the interviews.

 

Applications:

 

IDIs are typically conducted with very high-level respondents (CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, elected officials, policy leaders, etc.). They are generally not a “stand-alone” research segment but completed as part of an overall research plan including other elements.

Mobile Qualitative

Description:

 

Mobile qualitative research allows respondents to engage in a discussion session from their mobile phones through text (SMS) responses. Participants are able to send both text responses and images to respond to questions posed by a moderator. We are able to target both by constituency through the use of preset “panels” and by geography using GPS locators.

 

Logistics:

 

Over a period of days or weeks, participants respond to pre-written questions that are sent to them throughout the day. A mobile qualitative study can be as small as a traditional focus group (approximately 8-10 respondents) or as large as 100 respondents.

 

Applications:

 

Mobile qualitative studies are highly customizable. They are particularly well-suited to project or track respondents’ behavior or reaction to events as they occur. Mobile qualitative allows us to test advertising regardless of the location of respondents, with nearly immediate turn-around time. These kinds of studies allow respondents to quickly and easily log their behavior and day-to-day experiences.

Triads

Description:

 

A triad focus group is smaller in size (generally three participants) and shorter in length (usually one to one and a half hours) than a traditional focus group. We suggest triads for more targeted and/or harder-to-reach audiences, as they tend to work better in smaller groups. Like traditional focus groups, triad focus groups allow for in-depth discussion about issues, as well as reactions to specific products, advertising, or initiatives.

 

Logistics:

 

Like traditional focus groups, triads 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 capability for groups to be webcasted which alleviates the need for clients to travel to multiple cities.

 

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

 

Applications:

 

Triads are also 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.). We generally recommend this type of research for very high level/executive audiences.

Webcam Focus Groups

Description:

 

Webcam focus groups can be used as a substitute for in-person focus groups. Using a streaming video platform, the moderator is able to interact in real-time with up to eight participants. This methodology allows us to conduct “face-to-face” research among geographically dispersed or hard-to-reach audiences that would not be possible to reach through traditional in-person focus groups.

 

Logistics:

 

The webcam focus group platform is launched at a specific time and date. The moderator, respondents, and the client simply login to a secure website. Real-time tech support is also provided.

 

Generally, these groups last about 60-90 minutes, but longer sessions are possible. Both clients and respondents generally find webcam focus groups to be quite convenient since they are able to participate from their home or office and do not have to travel to a professional focus group facility.

 

Much like an in-person focus group, there is a virtual backroom where the clients observe and interact with the moderator.

 

Applications:

 

Webcam focus groups work well for hard-to-reach and geographically dispersed audiences. They are highly customizable.

 
Campaigns
Associations and Issue Groups
Corporations

EXPERTISE

Our expertise is understanding how to interpret data and make strategic recommendations to help our clients succeed in a rapid pace environment. We work on the most challenging of political campaigns and some of the highest profile public policy battles. Through it all we maintain a steady hand to provide strategic research analysis and advice to our clients. Our model for success is becoming a partner who not only analyzes the research, but provides sound reasoning based on experience and results. We go the extra mile to make sure our clients have the results they need in an efficient manner to help them win.

Public Opinion Strategies provides the strategic information that gives our clients a WINNING edge. In the last eight election cycles, Public Opinion Strategies (POS) has helped elect over 90 new members of the U.S. House, more than any other polling firm, Democrat or Republican.  We are the largest polling firm in the country. Our political client base includes 11 U.S. Senators, 6 Governors, 44 Members of Congress, and numerous state legislative caucuses.

We don’t take credit for these victories, but we DO feel we help make a difference for the campaigns we are involved in by providing accurate numbers and solid advice.

Partners at POS have been named “Pollsters of the Year” numerous times by the American Association of Political Consultants. Glen Bolger and Neil Newhouse have both won this award three times — the only two three-time winners of this award.

Recent successes include:

2018

  • Re-elected Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona.
  • Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, who came from behind to win both his primary and general election races.
  • Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa, who won her first election on the top of the ticket to become the state’s first woman Governor.
  • Governor Kristi Noem, who came from behind to become the first woman Governor of South Dakota.
  • Re-elected Governor Phil Scott of Vermont.

2016

  • Senator Todd Young of Indiana, who trailed heavy favorite Evan Bayh by 21 points in July.
  • The re-elections of Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, John McCain of Arizona, Jerry Moran of Kansas, and John Thune of South Dakota.
  • Governor Phil Scott of Vermont who had a resounding victory in a state where Hillary Clinton won by nearly 30 points.
  • The GOP takeover of the Kentucky State House for the first time since 1920, the GOP takeover in the Minnesota State Senate, and outright control of the New York State Senate.

2014

  • Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina who took over a Democratic seat in a race that many viewed as the most competitive in the country.
  • Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the first woman to ever be elected to the U.S. Senate from West Virginia.
  • Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota who cruised to victory and took a seat that was in Democratic hands since 1997.
  • Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, for whom POS polled during the last three weeks of his come from behind win.
  • Polling for five Gubernatorial winners including Robert Bentley of Alabama, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Doug Ducey of Arizona, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, and Paul LePage of Maine.

2012

  • Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska who was the only Republican U.S. Senate pick-up of the cycle.
  • Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
  • Polling in 69 Congressional victories including two of the four seats wrested away from Democrats by Republican challengers this cycle.
  • Polling for the Republican Governors Association Independent Expenditure campaign, the only gubernatorial campaign to change partisan control.
  • Down ballot statewide victories, including Attorneys General Patrick Morrissey (WV), the first Republican Attorney General in West Virginia in 80 years, and Tim Fox (MT).

2010

  • Senator Scott Brown’s stunning special election victory in Massachusetts. Brown came from twenty points behind to win the people’s seat in January 2010.
  • Senator Rand Paul’s win in Kentucky, capturing a seat that many analysts thought would go to the Democrats.
  • Governor Susana Martinez’s history-making win as the first female Latino governor in the country.  Martinez won in New Mexico, a traditionally Democratic state.
  • Polling for 22 Republicans who captured Democratic held seats – more than one out of every three GOP House gains in the country.
  • Work on Independent Expenditure efforts in another 34 winning House races that defeated Democratic incumbents.  Overall, of the 60 seat GOP gain, POS worked for the campaign or an IE in 56 of the districts.

Our firm does not just begin assisting campaigns at the Congressional level. In fact, we have been working with many of our clients from their days serving on city councils and in state legislatures. The same skills that make us successful in statewide and Congressional campaigns translate into victories for our clients in critical down-ballot races from Attorney General to Supreme Court Justice to Mayor.

Public Opinion Strategies has polled for legislative caucuses and candidates in 45 states, completing over 5,700 separate surveys and over 1.7 million interviews on behalf of state legislative candidates and committees.

In addition, we are proud of the record we have established in initiative campaigns at the state, regional and local level. This is an increasingly important area of expertise in our political campaign research – from local school bond initiatives to multi-million dollar statewide ballot measure campaigns. For example, no other polling firm in the country has more experience or seen more success in stadium and sports-related research.

Public Opinion Strategies represents eleven U.S. Senators, six Governors, and 44 Members of Congress.

Public Opinion Strategies has established itself as a specialist in “combat message development” — the science of creating effective messages in which the opposing side is aggressively engaged. We do more than simply monitor public opinion; we develop messages that defend our client’s interests while impacting complex public policy issues.

Our political background enables us to measure the differences between stated attitudes and likely behavior. Most non-political pollsters simply focus on people’s reactions to simple questions, measuring what people “want” to do, rather than what they will really do upon learning the trade-offs and costs involved in the issue. Our years of political campaign experience also mean we are used to working under tight deadlines and significant pressure and can complete projects within the deadlines required.

We’ve been involved in some of the most complex public policy battles of the decade, working with industry coalitions, government entities and private companies on these and other issues:

  • Health care
  • Tort reform
  • Medicare
  • Social Security reform
  • Education reform/School choice
  • Safety issues
  • Privacy issues
  • Smart growth/Land use
  • Deregulation
  • Economic development
  • Energy

This issue-related work has also extended to corporate image, community relations, and crisis management research for local companies, Fortune 500 corporations and industry associations throughout the country. Moreover, we are used to seeking out and interviewing hard-to-contact audiences, be they Silicon Valley executives, medical professionals, association members, or frequent flyers. Some of the industries and organizations we have assisted include:

  • Airlines
  • Energy
  • Financial
  • Gaming
  • Health care
  • High tech
  • Hospitality
  • Insurance
  • Natural resources
  • Real estate & development
  • Retailers
  • Sports/Stadiums
  • Telecommunications
  • Tourism
  • Transportation
  • Utilities
Public Opinion Strategies does more than simply monitor public opinion; we impact complex public policy issues.

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 and brand. 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 including 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 its customers' 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 which 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.
  • 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
has a long history of
conducting research in
sensitive situations under
the glare of
the media spotlight.
 

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 deployed 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.

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.

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 and 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.

GET IN TOUCH

Public Opinion Strategies