Since 1995, Bluestem Communications has commissioned, managed and disseminated public opinion studies that have helped organizations develop smarter and more incisive education and communications campaigns. After each new research project, we have conducted dissemination meetings and workshops with key organizations to help them incorporate the research results into their communications efforts.

Bluestem Communications works directly with public opinion polling firms to design focus groups and surveys that answer key questions about public awareness, attitudes and perceptions regarding particular environmental issues. We then translate the research results into communications recommendations for our partners and clients that help them identify target audiences, rather than focusing energy on the broadly grouped “general public.” We also use public opinion research to develop values-based messages, identify the messengers whom target audiences trust and determine which communications pathways (e.g. newspapers, public radio) they are exposed to most often.

When working with groups that cannot afford to conduct original public opinion research, Bluestem Communications gathers and synthesizes existing research to provide grounded recommendations for our partners and clients.

Canadian Public Opinion of Great Lakes Restoration

With funding from the Joyce Foundation, Bluestem Communications (then known as Biodiversity Project) teamed up with Great Lakes United in the summer of 2007 to commission public opinion research regarding Great Lakes restoration in Canada.

Working closely with Bluestem Communications and Great Lakes United, the polling firm (McAllister Public Opinion) planned focus groups and designed surveys for the public, Canadian elected officials and decision-makers. Bluestem Communications and Great Lake United disseminated the results from this research through a day-long meeting with Great Lakes organizations. We also produced a final report, which included a comparison of the Canadian data to similar U.S. data collected by another polling firm.

Bluestem Communications then incorporated the data collected throughout this study into a comprehensive communications strategy for Great Lakes United and their partner organizations. We then built upon this strategy by creating an online “message kit” for organizations working on Great Lakes issues in Canada. This message kit provides user-friendly recommendations and resources to help organizations communicate about the Great Lakes in a strategic and effective fashion.

Public Perceptions and Attitudes of the Mississippi River

The Mississippi River Network hired Bluestem Communications in 2007 to manage public opinion research on the Mississippi River. Bluestem Communications worked closely with the public opinion firms Fairbanks, Mauslin, Mallin & Associates and Public Opinion Strategies to plan focus groups and design a regional survey to assess public perceptions and attitudes regarding the Mississippi River.

The results of this research revealed how residents of the diverse ten-state region interact with, understand and feel about the River. This data informed the overall campaign strategy, messages and chosen techniques for getting the message out to the public.