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Self-Serving Surveys

Another day, another survey. The Fast Company mail room is inundated with ostensibly objective studies via the public-relations machines of companies, trade associations, and advocacy groups, all trying to make a point (or a pitch). Are they credible? Relevant? Interesting? You make the call.

"New Survey Reveals Americans Should Make Sleep a Priority."
Tylenol PM
"Study Finds Business Travel Alternatives, Emergence of Web Conferencing and New E-Leadership Spur Trend Toward Virtual Collaboration."
MCI, "a leading global communications provider"
"You're Not Alone: Orbitz Holiday StressSaver Survey Reveals Over 60% Find Staying With Family Over the Holidays Stressful."
Orbitz online travel service
"Surveys Find 'True Love' a Top Priority for Singles; Recent Surveys Explore Relationships, Modern Dating Challenges, and the Quest for True Love."
eHarmony, "the Internet's fastest growing relationship service"
"National Study Finds Families Remain Unprotected; Americans Still Have Not Prepared Wills."
LegalZoom.com, which "takes the hassle and expense out of preparing common legal documents"
"New Survey Shows People Embarrassed by Head Lice, Though Condition Has Little to Do With Hygiene."
Safetek lice removal kit

A version of this article appeared in the March 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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