First You Need to Know Where to Look

First You Need to Know Where to Look

Many of the departments of the Canadian government conduct public opinion polling on a regular basis. This could be done to determine the effectiveness of a particular advertising campaign, as part of program evaluation or to gauge citizen’s views on potential future policies.

For anyone who’s business is affected by government policy or regulation, (and that’s most businesses these days), this information could be quite useful and give you a competitive advantage over your competitors.

The greatest thing about this is that it is all available online for FREE. Well almost free. You see, you first have to know how to find it. This could be a challenge if you just use a search engine such as Google to locate this information.

Let’s use an example to demonstrate. In 2014, Public Safety Canada conducted a poll evaluating their “anti-cyber bullying” advertising campaign. The results of this poll, like all other Government of Canada public opinion research were posted online. The poll report was titled “2013-2014 anti-cyberbullying advertising campaign evaluation: methodology report”. So even having this information it would be difficult to find this poll on Google. I tried searching by using the title in quotes in Google and came up with no results. Using the search terms: anti cyber bullying advertisement Canada poll, without quotes, over 5 million results were returned with no link to the actual polling results within the first ten pages of results. I know I don’t have the time to look at over 5 million search results and I am pretty sure neither do most businesses.

So here’s a helpful piece of information. As of August 1, 2006, the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada requires all federal departments and agencies to deposit with Library and Archives Canada the final reports of all public opinion research for which a contract was awarded. Departments are required to deposit those reports within six months of the completion of the data collection for public opinion research.

So why does this matter? Well, most of the time these polls provide valuable insight into where the government may be going with future policies or programs. In the instance of this particular poll, it included intelligence on what images and messages had the most traction with viewers of the ads regarding the government’s anti-cyber bullying campaign. If you are an organization that is running programs to reduce cyber bullying in Canada, this is great that the Government of Canada has already done some research as to what messages resonate.

This is just one example of what is available. Having this kind of intelligence is quite valuable in that it allows you to make the right decisions you need to effectively operate your organization.

Doing the proper research and having great intelligence can definitely help any organization, but first you just need to know where to look.

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