Informing Your Pandemic Response with New Public Survey Data

The COVID-19 virus’s broad-reaching transmission over such a short period of time has been truly remarkable. Just as striking are the speed and scope of the changes brought about by the resulting pandemic. Few aspects of life, from personal lifestyles to economic activity and output, have been left untouched. And with many countries still in the early stages of tackling infection and prevention, every day brings new developments and information to consider.

As professional communicators, many of us are left wondering how to guide our organizations and advise clients about the pandemic’s impacts given the rapidly changing situation. But help is on the way! By special arrangement, CPRS is offering members access to a special series of reports from a tracking study being conducted by research firm Angus Reid. The weekly reports, which are not available to the public, summarize the evolving opinions and behaviours of Canadians on a wide range of issues related to the COVID-19 crisis. 

How can the reports help us steer employees, executives and clients through the pandemic? “In a time of crisis, open and transparent communication is crucial,” says Cailey Asher, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Development, at Angus Reid and CPRS Vancouver’s Director of Research and Data. “We believe that understanding what people are thinking, collectively or individually, is a key component of better communications. Hence, we will continue to provide at no charge, to the best of our abilities and with the generous support of Canadians, the best wisdom we can garner from across the country.” 

Data sets in the reports provide a treasure trove of information, including:

  • Half of survey respondents are now cutting back on spending, a rise of 13 per cent in one week

  • Only 14 per cent of respondents say their place of work has not been impacted, a drop of 9 per cent 

  • The number of respondents who don’t want to see companies launching new advertising or promotions at this time has risen 4 per cent to 61 percent

The data is being gathered from a weekly survey of 1,004 adult Canadians, all of whom are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The sample group is weighted and balanced as to gender, age and province, and provides for a national perspective as well as more localized information about BC. According to Cailey Asher, each survey includes a consistent set of core questions along with queries about new and emerging issues, such as brand loyalty. 

The summary reports include the data gathered over the preceding week (with notations of statistically significant shifts) as well as a list of critical insights prepared by Angus Reid analysts. They will be posted on the branch website and on the national branch’s COVID-19 resource centre. Those seeking a deeper dive into the data spreadsheets, or who have detailed inquiries about the study methodology, can contact Cailey Asher at (604) 908-0741 or [email protected]. The tracking study will continue for the duration of the pandemic.

Visit our new Research and Data webpage.

About the Author

Kate Macdonell, B.A., is a writer specializing in stakeholder relations and marketing communications, with extensive knowledge about the transportation supply chain, infrastructure, regulatory and commercial issues. An experienced researcher, she distills complex issues into constructive messaging and highly readable text for a wide range of public and private sector audiences.