Public Opinion Polling in an Era of Public Mistrust




Association, Communication Strategy, Media Relations, Social Media, Thought Leadership


Misconceptions about the accuracy and utility of public opinion polls abounded in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. AAPOR engaged Stanton to address those misconceptions and raise awareness among members of the press, and by extension the general public, of the value of public opinion research leading up to the 2020 election. 


Stanton employed our proprietary Matrix Blueprint planning process to develop a cohesive communication strategy for the organization. Understanding that media interest would increase as the 2020 presidential election drew near, Stanton worked with AAPOR to create a more formalized communication structure that would properly support proactive outreach and equip the organization to manage incoming inquiries from the press.


In addition to professionalizing AAPOR’s communication operation by developing a core message slate, conducting spokesperson training and creating protocols for responding to media inquiries, Stanton organized multiple journalist webinars, including one specifically designed for Politico’s state reporting team, and prepared and issued statements about public opinion polling prior to, during and after the 2020 presidential election. We also expanded the organization’s social community by proactively following and engaging with key journalists around the country.  In addition to focusing on traditional media outreach and placement, which resulted in nearly 400 media mentions in outlets including CNN, NPR, Fortune, the Atlantic, Vox and The Washington Post, we engaged with the general public on new platforms including a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” event, which drew more than 700 comments.

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