On average, stories based on research surveys generated more than five stories in the Indian media, according to Surveys to Know, Surveys to Show, a report from Genesis Burson-Marsteller in association with Impact Research & Measurement.

In 2013, the Indian print media published 1,750 stories based on survey reports commissioned by 258 companies in India. In 2014, the numbers increased to 2,004 stories, based on the survey reports commissioned by 261 companies. Multinational companies operating in India commissioned more than 50 percent of the surveys.

Despite the potential for bolstering research findings through the stamp of approval of accredited research firms, conducting independent in-house surveys is on the increase. And the study shows that even if the sample size is small, if the findings are relevant media houses will consider carrying the survey stories.

The study also sees visual storytelling on a rise: in 2013, 25 percent of the survey articles carrying an infographic allocated 100 percent area to the infographic; whereas in 2014, 32 percent of the survey articles devoted full area to the infographic.

According to Nikhil Dey, president of Genesis Burson-Marsteller, "The use of surveys or research reports as a public relations tool can be traced back to the times of Edward Bernays as far back as 1923 when he effectively used a survey to showcase the preference of American public for a particular type of soap in a well-documented case study of successful public relations. Over 90 years on, the public relations industry continues to use surveys and research reports and we thought it would be interesting to get a sense of how receptive the media in India are to using the results of surveys in their reportage."