Strategic Polling

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Strategic Polling

Description of Our Strategic Polling Services

Polling is a scientifically reliable way for the public to let their voice be heard by business and government leaders so that important decisions reflect the will of the people. It is also a way for the business and government leaders, and aspiring leaders (e.g., candidates) to learn how best to communicate their convictions as leaders to the public.

With 3 decades of strategic polling and public policy campaign consulting experience at federal, state and local levels, Steven Ethridge is well known, particularly in Memphis and the Mid-South, as one of the fastest, most accurate, objective, reliable, ethical and effective public opinion pollsters and strategists in the business (click here for Testimonials.) We provide strategic campaign polling using telephone interviewing (live and automated polls), web surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and interactive audience response/dialing systems/people meters, to help clients develop winning campaigns.

Unique Features of Our Strategic Polling Services

  • Many of Ethridge’s political campaign clients have been outspent by their opponents 2 or 3 to 1 and still won because of Ethridge’s expertise in developing and managing winning campaigns.
  • Ethridge has subcontractor relationships with dozens of highly-experienced, quality telephone interviewing agencies in the U.S. allowing us to activate hundreds of telephone interviewers on short notice and turn polling projects around quickly (average project turn-around of 3 to 10 days).
  • We have an in-house, advanced Interactive Voice Response (IVR) polling system for cost-effective, automated polls. Unlike other automated polling systems, ours is one of the few that has all the same capabilities of live  Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) systems, including question rotation, list rotation, voice capture and quota management.

Key Benefit Deliverables from Our Strategic Polling

Unlike most polling firms, we are not just data collectors — we are veteran communication strategists who use research as a basis for developing winning campaigns. This is not pandering (“leading through polling”) but rather it is helping clients discover how to best communicate their convictions and agenda to the public to win. Our philosophy is that of the famous ancient military strategist, Sun Tzu, who said, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” In other words, we use polling to figure out how to win and then provide strategic recommendations and on-going consulting to lead campaigns to victory. For political campaigns, our strategic polling services include:

  • Strategic Planning and Benchmarking Polls — which include name recognition, favorability, job performance, re-electability, trial heat ballot, issue importance, candidate attribute motivating power, candidate images, message testing (candidate bios, issue position attacks and rebuttals), identification of “swing voters”, media effectiveness, and target demographic voter segments
  • Baseline Polls — shorter polls to help aspiring candidates “test the waters” about their viability and their opponent’s vulnerability, which typically include name recognition, favorability, trail heat ballot, issue importance and limited candidate image and message testing.
  • Tracking Polls — periodic tracking polls of key information to measure campaign performance and “fine-tune” the campaign as it progresses toward victory
  • Crisis Management / Brush Fire Polls — typically shorter polls to assess the impact of some critical event that could impact a candidates success at the polls (analogous to crisis management polls for corporations) or on a corporations public image and financial success

Types of Clients That Use Our Strategic Polling

Our strategic polling clients have included political candidates, referendum campaigns, union campaigns, corporations for crisis management, corporate government relations departments, public relations firms, advertising agencies, non-profit foundations, associations, “think tanks,” and other campaign consultants.

Evidence That Our Strategic Polling Works

Nearly every campaign that has effectively followed all of our strategic communication advice, from polling, through fundraising, through campaigning, has won. As one testimony states:

“I had not heard of your company until you came highly recommended to me by both Alan Churchill at the National Republican Congressional Committee and Congressman Ed Bryant.  I understand why they both recommended you so highly.

Your rapid response in designing, conducting and analyzing a poll of North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District in one week demonstrated your ability to meet the fast paced polling needs of congressional campaigns.  More than that, your interpretation and recommendations helped us make the right decisions regarding our advertising at a potentially critical point in our campaign.

Your organization was efficient and delivered great information on time.  Therefore, I will certainly be happy to recommend you to others.”
Sue Myrick, Member of Congress

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