The latest release from Sheila’s wheels, that old favourite of dodgy extrapolation (and patronising women) is QUALITY TIME TO GO – and I’m afraid it’s time for another PR lesson in statistics.
To be interesting and relevant, it helps to have a majority of respondents supporting the point you are making.
In this case, research revealing “that almost half (45 per cent) of mums believe busy lifestyles are threatening the amount of time they can spend with their families” – means the majority (55 per cent) do not believe this – so there is no story here.
Likewise, “More than one in ten mums (11 per cent) offer their children lifts specifically so they can spend time talking to them” – so 89 per cent do not.
Surveys and statistics need to be used wisely by PR people if they are to have any value and not undermine the ability of the public, and journalists, to make decisions about important matters.
Whether or not mothers are talking to their children in cars is frankly of little interest to anyone – but abusing statistics in an attempt to grab a bit of press coverage serves to belittle the value of real data for public relations practitioners who may genuinely need to convey numerical information.