Public Affairs Research

Canvass research projects are designed to achieve a multitude of aims and to find out what you need to know.

The nature of the research that Canvass conducts varies. In some cases, it’s part of the strategic planning that develops the goals and positioning of an organisation. In others, it’s part of a particular marketing, PR or advocacy campaign to achieve those strategic goals. Below we outline specific applications of our research.

Ongoing tracking studies allow our clients to compare and contrast shifts and developments over time, to understand changes in markets and changes in sentiment or to see changes to competitive positions and in the needs of their members and stakeholders.


Canvass conducts public affairs research, social research, B2B and B2C research through a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies tailored to the brief.

These include one-to-one depth interviews, mini-groups, affinity groups, focus groups and online qualitative research, as well as online and telephone surveys. We support fieldwork with targeted desk research.

Strategic Planning

There are many inputs into the planning process undertaken by Boards and senior management teams. Providing credible, independent, evidence-based inputs is the difference between planning based on strategic intelligence versus relying on gut feel.

Canvass research is part of the ‘due diligence’ of decision-making. When the stakes are high, scientifically-based research methodology is a necessary complement to experience and a chance to test strongly-held views. 

Companies and organisations retain Canvass when they need professional, independent advice on market positioning,  reputation and branding  strategic initiatives, such as:

  • mergers and acquisitions  
  • stakeholder engagement and lobbying programs
  • corporate communications testing

Our experience ensures access to hard-to-reach stakeholders to uncover awareness, understanding, positioning, perceptions, comparisons and agendas.


Influential campaigns depend on understanding the lie of the land, having the support of credible facts and figures and getting well-crafted messages through the right channels to reach audiences. Campaigns that work are proactive, timely and cost-effective.

From another perspective, when issues that threaten your organisation erupt in the public arena, knee-jerk reactions are not the answer. Quick thinking and effective responses are based on an understanding of different perspectives and relative stances on the issue.

Firstly, Canvass campaign research determines where your stakeholders are on an issue. We test the messages and symbols that will shift sentiment and alter behaviour. Canvass then tracks opinion during the campaign for timely progress reports and ongoing strategic advice. Finally, we evaluate campaigns across all the metrics.

In addition, Canvass has graphic design, media training and PR expertise on hand for fast, all-inclusive campaign assistance when you need it most. Canvass works at every stage of a campaign to:

  • identify and measure current attitudes, sentiments and positions of key audiences  
  • form the building blocks of advocacy and/or profile-raising campaigns  
  • create and test the most effective campaign messages and channels  
  • communicate independent research findings to audiences  
  • track campaign progress to enable tactical adjustments
  • measure and evaluate campaign results against campaign aims.

Tracking Studies

Member Consultation Programs: It is critical that organisations which represent and cater to members consult with those members to monitor their views and their needs.

Canvass works with membership bodies and representative organisations to understand the needs of members – levels of satisfaction and engagement, loyalty and views on issues of importance to them – and track changes to key metrics on a regular basis.

Canvass offers depth interviews and focus groups with a sample of members to identify and understand views, as well as easy-to-use and efficient online questionnaires to measure the extent to which those views are held by the wider membership.

Views can be tracked annually or to explore a particular issue with members. Reporting identifies the extent to which the organisation is delivering against objectives, as well as trend analysis from year to year. Canvass also advises membership bodies about communicating research insights back to members to underscore strategic initiatives.

Industry Tracking Studies: Industry Tracking Studies are a cost-effective way of understanding the dynamics and drivers of a sector over time. They are syndicated, quantitative research, enabling industry participants to underwrite research which sheds light on issues of importance in their sector.

Using robust samples, the research findings are analysed and presented in engaging, visual and interactive formats to bring insights to the fore.

Canvass also advises syndicate partners on communicating the results to the media and other key stakeholders.