Don’t expect answers from Jupiter Research

In show #150 of FIR last Thursday, Shel and I talked about Toby Bloomberg’s experience with Jupiter Research concerning their recent research report about corporate blogging.

This is the report that says 35% of large companies (in the US) plan to institute corporate blogs this year, and nearly 70% of all site operators will have implemented corporate blogs by the end of 2006.

I’d mentally-dismissed the research when I read the press release. Nice backgrounder with yet more big numbers about the blogosphere with the usual PR quotes. It didn’t seem wholly credible to me based on reading the press release, but I certainly wasn’t inclined to cough up $750 for the report. I saw a yawning gap between my perceived value of what the report might contain and the cost of acquiring it.

What makes the whole thing interesting, though, is Toby’s experience with Jupiter. She’d asked them for more information so she could get some facts to write about that research. But their PR agency just gave her the brush-off because Toby has a blog that’s connected with her consulting business, and they suggested she buy a copy.

So that’s what Toby blogged about.

The new twist in Toby’s tale is the experience of Fard Johnmar at HealthCareVox MarketingVox who did lay out the $750 to Jupiter. This is what it got him:

– A four-page summary of the research results
– A 30-minute interview (which I have not yet conducted) with the analyst responsible for putting together the report

Plus he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement so he can’t publicly comment in any detail about the research findings. Furthermore, the PR agency told him:

JupiterResearch is not revealing any more information about the survey to any member of the media. We do not play favorites. If we answered your questions, we’d have to answer everyone’s. It does not matter if you write for the Wall Street Journal or a blog. We are not revealing any more information about the survey’s methodology.

Bizarre. So Jupiter’s PR agency expects you to buy this “research report” yet they refuse to answer any questions about the research methodology. In which case, why should anyone trust anything in this resarch if no one will answer questions about how it was conducted? Looking at the agency’s response, you have to ask: Is Jupiter not confident enough about their methods and their research?

No wonder Fard’s conclusion is this:

I have two pieces of advice for readers:
– Don’t buy this report
– Don’t accept the results of this survey

Enough said about the research.

Now what about the PR agency? Well, it’s clearly a firm whose people lack some of the PR 101 basics on relationship-building, let alone an understanding of the area the report’s about.