Thursday, July 06, 2006

Jupiter Research Alerts the Media, But Still Wants to Keep their Big Secret

You can’t eat your cake and have it too.

There has been an interesting buzz in the blogosphere recently about a curious study released by JupiterResearch on the gargantuan explosion we’re about to see in the number of corporations that kick off blogs this year. The buzz started when Toby Bloomberg of Diva Marketing Blog raised some questions about the results of the study. In short, the company’s PR firm refused to answer her questions.

Then another blogger, Fard Johnmar of, shelled out $750 to get a copy of the report. And – to say the least – he still has questions. One of the responses he got to his questions over the phone was, “JupiterResearch is not revealing any more information about the survey to any member of the media.”

There are a lot of weird things about this situation:

  • Why would a reputable research firm refuse to provide even basic info about a study’s methodology?
  • Why would a research firm that specializes in Internet and Web 2.0 research disregard bloggers?
  • Why would a research firm refuse to back up its results that it surely knows are counter to findings of similar studies?
But the question I can’t get out of my mind is:
  • Why would a company issue a news release to the media when it doesn’t want to talk to the media?
What’s the strategy here? I understand that the data is proprietary. I work with a non-profit that, among other things, conducts research and evaluation of school programs. When the data and findings are proprietary, we don’t issue a news release. If the client wants to, that’s fine, and we’ll answer reporter’s questions.

My organization is in no way a competitor of JupiterResearch. I am not a client. I’d never even heard of them until this brough-ha-ha. I did review their web site and find that they release research and data very frequently (from weekly to daily). I don’t know if all of their reports omit methodology information or other explanations for their findings. But doesn’t it seem just a bit arrogant to think people will believe what you say at face value without asking questions?

PR 101 says don’t court the media if you don’t want to dance. So it seems to follow that you really shouldn't court the media if you’re planning to stomp on their toes!

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