APCO Study – A case of poor disclosure and premature pronouncements?

In my earlier post, I highlighted a study by APCO Worldwide declaring that PR suits and blogger pros were at odds in their perceptions of how well PR executives were doing in reaching out to bloggers. I asked for a detailed report of the study, and while none surfaced, a fellow blogger–Bill Sledzik, who teaches PR and media ethics at Kent State University–sent me a four-page summary that concluded with five broad pronouncements that APCO termed “consensus points” based on its discussions with bloggers.

But for this specific study, guess how many bloggers did APCO hold discussions with? Well, the population sample size for this study was a grand 102 people (55 PR professionals and 47 bloggers). While I don’t think that the conclusions themselves are anything terrificly new or controversial, delivering industry “best practices” based on a survey of such minute sample size is. APCO does no credit to the marketing research profession. It even did a press release publicizing the study, and ironically enough, a website that aims to “bridge the gap” that it found in the study. Is the company aware of criticisms of its study in blogosphere?

The summary report–quite appropriately entitled “badscience”–that Bill Sledzik sent me is attached. Thanks, Bill.



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