Research is the Foundation of Most Everything Discovery Does

By Brianna Hall at Discovery Communications

The Consumer Insights and Culture team at Discovery Communications is a multitasking, information seeking, ideation inspiring work horse. We support all networks, divisions, and teams in the Discovery family and as an intern here I’ve been able to learn about how initiatives are built from the ground up.

My first month we had a request handed down from Discovery executives seeking Discovery’s next defining project. First we compiled information on sixteen different genres; everything from a comprehensive timeline of the 20th century to lookbooks of famous family bloggers. We organized five internal focus groups (one of which was comprised of all interns!) who would spend three days brainstorming: we were tapping into some of the best minds across all of Discovery’s brands and departments. The result was a fantastic collection of show ideas, stunts, new traditions, and events. The Consumer Insights and Culture team then had to decipher, record, and organize hundreds of ideas for Discovery executives to shape the company’s new tentpoles. And that was all in three weeks.

This is just one example of the many research tactics CIC uses to gather information. I’ve also been pulling out quotes and cultural themes from recordings of focus groups the team had conducted around the country earlier in the year, helped design surveys to collect data on Information Security, and written a weekly “Top 10 Social Trends” newsletter that is distributed throughout the company. Research is the foundation of most everything Discovery does, and witnessing and participating in this process has taught me about the intricate web of programming, internal communication, and data collection.