Common Ground Initiative

The Power of Online Surveys

February 23, 2011

Case Study: How Online Surveys Provide Constituent Insight

As an elected official, it’s crucial to have the tools in place to be able to quickly and effectively listen to your constituency. As hot-button issues arise, having the ability to take the pulse of the citizens you represent in a minutes notice can greatly enhance your understanding of your constituency. In the digital age, such a tool is found in Common Ground’s online survey tools where individuals can put in their two cents on hot issues and current legislation in a matter of seconds with a click of button.

Rep. Kevin Cameron of HD-19 in South Salem recently used an online survey to collect input and feedback about a proposed bill in the Oregon state legislature that would ban plastic bags in Oregon grocery stores and require a 5 cent deposit on paper bags. After Cameron saw the bill over the news and his office received several calls about the bag issue, he decided to advertise and cross-pollinated his two question survey on the proposed legislation across all of his digital communication platforms such as his Facebook page, Twitter, E-newsletter, and Official Website.

Combining Earned and Digital Media

Cameron’s survey also caught the attention of Salem-area radio show host, Bill Post on 1430 AM. Post recognized the opportunity for Salem residents to tell their State Representative what they think about the proposed bag bill and strongly encouraged his listeners to go to Cameron’s website or Facebook page and take his online survey.


Within 72 hours, Cameron’s survey received over 285 responses from his constituents via his email list, web visitors, Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Cameron posted the survey results to his website and featured them in his next e-newsletter. Due to the back-end sophistication of the survey tool, Cameron’s office can download the survey data into a spreadsheet and send follow up segmented messages via email and direct mail to respondents according to their responses to the survey. See full results of the survey below.