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Lesson 2 of 8
Learn more about your audience with surveys
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Learn more about your audience with surveys


Understand your audience, their habits, and what they value with surveys


Ask who they are

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Make decisions faster and more easily with survey data. Easily create and share surveys and analyze responses in real-time with Google Forms.

Surveys collect quantitative and qualitative data, and can tell you:

  • Who your audiences are
  • What they want
  • How they behave

Start your survey by asking demographic questions, like:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Household Income
  • Education

💡Best practice: Get higher survey completion rates by asking ten questions or fewer.

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Ask about their news habits

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To understand your audiences’ information needs, ask about their news habits:

  • How do you get your news?
  • When do you get your news?
  • Why do you follow the news?

💡Best practice: Allow respondents to select more than one answer choice.

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Ask what they value about you

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Audiences have many choices when it comes to news, but choose your news organization for a reason.

Ask your audiences what they value about your news organization as an open-ended or multiple choice question.

Reasons could include:

  • Quality journalism
  • Trust
  • Community
  • Independent journalism
  • Specific topics or causes
  • Specific journalists

💡Best practice: Avoid asking more than one question at a time in open-ended questions.

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Identify target audiences

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To make your survey results useable day-to-day, create personas. Personas can be used to represent different audience segments. They can:

  • Help your team remember your audiences’ needs
  • Serve as reference points in discussions
  • Capture differences between your audiences

To create a persona, identify:

  • Their demographics
  • Their news habits
  • Why they follow the news

💡Best practice: Give your persona a name so you can easily refer back to them.

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Identify their needs

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Your survey data can help you identify jobs-to-be-done. Your audience’s jobs-to-be-done can be:

  • Goals to achieve
  • Problems to solve, or
  • Tasks to accomplish

Use this fill-in-the-blank to identify your audience’s jobs-to-be-done:

  • When [situation]
  • I want to [motivation]
  • So I can [jobs-to-be-done]

For example, a podcast listener might follow your economics podcast when they are commuting, because they want to stay informed of market trends so they can be prepared for work.

If you don’t know your jobs-to-be-done, try one of the BBC’s, published in 2020.

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Identify why you're the solution

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A value proposition describes the value you provide your audience, and helps you meet your audiences’ needs better, and more efficiently.

You can share your value proposition in several places to grow your audience and revenue, such as when you:

  • Introduce your news organization
  • Send audiences to subscribe or donate
  • Send communications
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Don’t know where to start? Try our 10 question survey:

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Use our Google Form template as a starting point to survey your audience.

Click below to make a copy of the survey template. You must be logged in to Gmail to make a copy. Google will not retain any survey data.

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