Public Opinion

We recommend using public opinion not only to gauge where audiences stand now, but also to determine how to move them to a more positive point of view and to action over the short and long-terms. Moving them on a specific issue for a specific campaign is important, but messaging that solely relies on this approach can often clash with longer-term goals.

Depending on your budget, opinion research techniques can range from informal discussions to focus groups or large national surveys.



Focus groups, one-on-one interviews, content analysis, dial testing

Good for:

  • getting a sense of how specific audiences are currently thinking and talking about an issue—values, vocabulary, themes, metaphors—and why
  • testing out message ideas and themes
  • informing the design of polling questions


Survey (phone, mail, online, mobile)

Good for:

  • extrapolating to the population at large
  • measuring attitude changes over time
  • testing the effects of different messages
  • identifying and comparing audiences