Tips on employee surveys, LGBT outreach, and more

If I conduct an employee survey for my client or company, what best practices should I follow?

Employee surveys
If I conduct an employee survey for my client or company, what best practices should I follow?

PR pros can use employee survey feedback to help shape internal communications programs for their clients, says Jared Heyman, president of Infosurv.

"When employee surveys are used for this purpose," he adds, "we recommend that they contain no more than 45 items, and should take employees between 10 and 15 minutes to complete."

The survey should contain mostly multiple choice or Likert scale question formats (in which respondents specify their level of agreement to a statement), along with a few open-ended questions in order to allow employees to comment on areas that aren't covered by closed-ended survey items.

"In developing your survey," Heyman advises, "touch upon topics like overall employee satisfaction, corporate culture, supervisor relations, training, pay and benefits, work environment, and corporate communications."

LGBT outreach
What are some things to keep in mind when developing tourism PR efforts for the gay and lesbian community?

Start by being honest and assess whether your destination or travel product is gay-friendly, says Jeff Guaracino, VP of communications at the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation.

"Then assemble a group of stakeholders from hotels, businesses, marketing groups, and government that builds strong community support for the initiative," he says, adding that it is crucial to agree on campaign goals, conduct research, and develop tourist-friendly initiatives, such as gay-sensitivity training.

"When you launch your campaign, be ready to react if things don't go according to plan," Guaracino says.

It is also important to keep your campaign true to your brand. "Gay and lesbian travelers, who continue to outspend heterosexual travelers, will appreciate the same things others do about your destination," he explains. "Be it the quaint streets, the great nightlife, the history, the convenience, or the great architecture."

PR forums
What role do forums have in PR? Are they effective?

When looking for a way to help clients reach their audiences online and create a sense of community around their brands, forums can be a useful PR tool. Kimberly Eberl, principal at Motion PR, notes that free online forums have experienced a recent boom in use.

"[Online forums} are often heralded as easier than responding to blogs or infiltrating chat rooms," she says.

Forums are often targeted around a topic or interest, so they can provide a way to introduce relevant products or an upcoming event to a particular audience. They also provide a way to build buzz around a brand.

"The 'viral' benefit can extend long after the launch of a new product as the community can continue the conversation past a launch date," Eberl says.

Send your questions to: Please contact Beth Krietsch if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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