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WPA Advocacy Work Deck

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Public opinion research, in its most basic form, has been used for centuries in democracies in the form of a popular vote. Now, however, public opinion research can be utilized in the campaign process …

Public opinion research, in its most basic form, has been used for centuries in democracies in the form of a popular vote. Now, however, public opinion research can be utilized in the campaign process to either shape a campaign or shape the perception in order to win the election. Public opinion research is also commonly used during the lawmaking and policy changing process to determine popular desires. Market research from Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research provides unmatched information that can make or break a politician, election, organization, lobbyist, or political objective.

This republic is based on the principle that the elected officials are representative of the population for which they were elected. Public opinion research is most important at the beginning of the governmental chain during the election process. A politician can use public opinion research to get elected in two manners: by shaping oneself to conform to the majority opinion, or by shaping public opinion to conform to one’s desires.

In order to be truly representative, the elected official must pay close attention to the desires of the population. In many instances, a popular vote may be held to give the public the chance to be counted. However, the voting process is very expensive and time consuming. Public opinion research can be used to understand more about the public, and its analysis gives a clearer perception than a simple vote of the people of the drivers and motivations of the public. Similar to an election, the results of public opinion research can be used to shape the practices of the government to conform to the public, or to shape the public opinion to conform to the practices of the government.

More recently, lawmakers and policy makers have been using economic impact analysis to determine the large scale effects of new policies and legislation. With more information about the economy as a whole, and how it will react to changes in the government, lawmakers and policy makers will make better choices for the future of any economy.


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  • 1. Page 1 Public opinion research is commonly used during the lawmaking and policy advocacy process to determine the best approach forward. WPA Research provides the most accurate information available and utilizes advanced communication techniques to ensure your position can put its best case together. WPA ‘s Advocacy Work
  • 2. Page 2 WPA’s Superior Results •Advanced methodologies. In every research project, WPA first works to fully understand the goals of our clients. From those goals,WPA determines a unique and appropriate mix of methodologies and analytical tools to ensure thatWPA provides our clients with meaningful, actionable results in our final reports. AllWPA research is custom research. While some tools are standard to particular problems, we customize the way we deploy them to meet your particular problem. •Strategic advice. Starting on day one, we help build the insights of research into the strategic plan of an organization. Our team consists of experienced communications and organizational professionals as well as researchers, making us uniquely suited to translate research into actionable plans. •Ongoing consultation. Research can inform every aspect of your efforts and we are constantly available to our clients to help them use data to understand the changing environment in which they are operating and use our research to inform strategic and communications decisions on an ongoing basis. WPA is a strategic partner with your effort. We are active members of your team on an ongoing basis as we interpret data collected by us for you, public data on your issues, and national data trends.
  • 3. Page 3 Advocacy Case Study WPA’s research and presentation of the data helped to convince key City leaders to publicly oppose the initiative to ban the cameras and has been critical in rallying early opposition to the initiative. ATS was facing an initiative to ban the use of red light cameras in the City of Houston. In order to effectively fight this measure, they needed the public support of the Mayor and Council. Both were reluctant to publicly support the red light camera system without reassurance of the views of Houston voters. WPA conducted a poll of Houston voters that demonstrated approval of the red light camera program and support for their elected officials who had implemented it.
  • 4. Page 4 Key Tool: Message Maps Effectivenes • Using a scientific “treatment effects” design we can determine exactly how effective each message is at changing peoples’ minds. • This effectiveness measurement is shown on the “x” or horizontal axis. • The more effective message, the to the right it appears. Stickiness • Our message “stickiness” analysis tells us which messages will be most memorable to people. • The “stickier” a message is the likely it is to break through the clutter and reach people. • The “stickiness“ measure is shown the “y” or vertical axis. The “stickier” message is the it appears on the graph. Believability • The final measurement on message maps is believable a is to an audience. • Messages that fail the belief test won’t work regardless of how well they score on other measures and they could even backfire on a Organization. • Believability is by bubble size. The more believable a message, the larger its bubble. Message Mapping™ is the optimal tool to determine exactly what to say in communications.
  • 5. Page 5 Message Maps Broken Down Impact is illustrated using a mapping chart that illustrates each message based on increasing Effectiveness, “Stickiness” and Believability. Bubbles located farthest from the point of origin (the area shaded green) are the best messages in terms of effectiveness and stickiness. On this Map, Messages 2, 4 and 5 are the best messages, balancing effectiveness and stickiness. Message 1 is very memorable, but not particularly effective. Message 3 is neither memorable nor effective. Your Organization is given easy to use “map” for further action.