Profiles in PR – Evolving Strategies
Your Name: Adam Schaeffer
Your Business: Evolving Strategies
Your Position: Partner & Director of Research
Public Opinion Research
Your Niche Area of Expertise
My area of expertise is the design, execution and analysis of message experiments. But I’m a generalist at heart; intellectual cross-pollination and creativity are essential to sustained success.
How Did You Get Started in this Business?
What drives me is a desire to understand politics and human behavior in general. I have a wide range of interests, but since childhood two have been central; biology and politics. Over the years, I’ve moved from a focus on animal behavior, evolutionary theory and political theory to policy analysis and political psychology. At ES, we integrate tools and knowledge from all of these fields, and more, to solve problems in communications and public relations. It’s all about understanding human behavior.
Do You Have Any Advice for Potential Clients?
1) Make sure you know what questions you want to answer and why you want those answers. That’s a lot harder than it sounds.
2) Make sure you use the right tool; traditional polling, focus groups, field tests, and our PocketTrials all have their place and their purpose. You can seriously hurt yourself if you use the wrong tool for the job.
3) Always ask a lot of questions and insist on full transparency, including the raw research data; it’s the best check on fraud and incompetence.
Why Should an Organization Hire Evolving Strategies?
It is not enough to just do better what everyone has been doing for decades. Other opinion research firms use essentially the same approach from 50 years ago, now with the help of computers. The old way is not just inadequate, but dangerous. We’re leading a paradigm shift in public opinion research. And the key is our PocketTrial; it’s like your own small-scale clinical drug trial, but it’s your message we’re testing. Unlike standard polls that simply ask respondents if they agree with or find an argument convincing, Evolving Strategies executes large-scale, controlled message experiments to determine the real impact of a message.
We use the most advanced methods from the fields of political behavior, experimental psychology, and behavioral economics to develop and test communications strategies. ES delivers the opinion snapshot of a standard poll, the color and insight of a focus group, and the movement and certainty that’s missing from both. And we translate sophisticated statistical analysis into clear, actionable information contained in accessible reports. The details are complex, but we take care of those. What we give you is simple clarity.