New Tech, Same Methods for 2015 State of the Union

It’s always energizing to see our dials back in action during high stakes political events like on the broadcast coverage of last night’s State of the Union. And while some of the networks have traded their in-person dial groups for new second screen polling tools, the method employed to score and dissect the President’s address can be traced back to the use of our dials in CNN’s coverage of the 2008 Presidential debates. This is the same continuous, moment-to-moment method of gathering feedback that we, here at Dialsmith, have pioneered and facilitated through the development and support of our Perception Analyzer tools for more than 30 years. Why is this method still so relevant today as it was a decade or even two decades ago? Well, the benefits were apparent again last night as it gave those reporting the ability to pinpoint the specific moments or messages with the highest impact.  

For its coverage of the State of the Union, Fox News leaned heavily again on Political Pollster Frank Luntz who ran his own in-studio focus group equipped with our Perception Analyzer dials. Here’s a clip.


Courtesy of Fox News

CNN and MSNBC took a different approach in their SOTU coverage this year, using a second screen polling tool to gather continuous feedback from thousands of viewers across the country. While reporting these results is more infotainment than scientific, the ability to continuously poll a large population of viewers from their homes as they watch opens doors to all new applications for dial testing.


Courtesy of CNN


Courtesy of MSNBC

For us here in the dial testing world, this year’s coverage of the SOTU is another indicator that the dial testing methodology is alive and well and expanding in new directions. New tools and new applications of the method are being explored and we here at Dialsmith are excited to be right in the middle of it. If this year’s SOTU got you thinking about how dial testing can help you in your research, check out the free “Essentials of Moment-to-Moment Research” eBook or our List of “10 Ways Dial Testing Will Improve Your Research.”