What is an Insight Community?

An insight community is a group of people coming together to provide opinions and feedback on everyday products and services.

Pittsburgh Speaks is an insight community where you can regularly provide feedback to business and institutions that want to hear what you have to say.

Pittsburgh Speaks reflects your passions, your interests, and your connections about the things you care about.

What to Expect

Once you join, expect to receive 2-3 surveys each month. These surveys help us get to know you, which allows us to find opportunities for you to participate in studies, online bulletin boards, focus groups, product tests and more.

Once you are identified as a candidate for a research project, you will be contacted by a member of our team – either by email or telephone – to discuss the opportunity. We’ll tell you everything you need to know – from dates and location – to the expected time commitment and any other requirements.

You always have the choice to participate in the research or decline the opportunity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about Pittsburgh Speaks? You can find your answers here.

If you’re new to the idea of an insight community, you probably have a few questions. We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions. And if you still need some answers, let us know by clicking the button below and sending us an email.

Pittsburgh Speaks is an insight community operated by Schmidt Market Research. It is made up of people like you who are interested in sharing their opinions and views on a variety of topics to help influence businesses and institutions that do business in the Pittsburgh area

Members of Pittsburgh Speaks participate in research studies in a variety of ways:

  • In person at a focus group facility
  • On the telephone
  • Online from a computer or device


If you are 18 years or older and live within the Pittsburgh metro area, you are eligible to join. So are your friends and family members! The process is free and only takes a few minutes. Click here to become a member. Pittsburgh Speaks reserve the right to refuse any membership applications not in accordance with our terms.

You will be asked for some basic demographic information to create your profile. Once your initial profile is complete, we can begin matching your lifestyle and interests to any number of research studies. When we find a study that fits your profile, we will contact you either by email or phone to see if you qualify.
You could be asked about products you buy. You might be asked for your opinions on services you use. Maybe you’ll be asked for your thoughts on clothes you wear, television shows you watch, or activities or events your attend. You can always choose not to answer a specific survey or certain questions.
You could be asked to participate in an online survey. Maybe you’ll be part of an interview via telephone, webcam, text, or instant messaging. Sometimes you’ll be asked to join a discussion board via your computer or mobile device. You could be invited to a shop along, or a product test. It all depends on the project!

We conduct many surveys targeting different ages, interests, and characteristics. Not every member of Pittsburgh Speaks will qualify for every survey we do because we try to match you with surveys that reflect your lifestyle and your interests. Sometimes we have more members respond than expected and we reach our quota quickly. We recommend you try and take the survey as soon as you receive the notification.

We’ll send you 2-3 surveys a month, and most surveys will take 2-5 minutes. But we always tell you how long you can expect surveys to take you to complete. Time dedicated to in-person research can vary widely, but we always tell you how much time you will need to dedicate to the opportunity.
In-person research may take part at stores, corporate offices, community centers, public spaces, or professional focus group facilities. Most offer free or reimbursed parking. We will also send you directions so you know where you’re going.

There will be surveys that allow you to stop and proceed at a later point in time, but there will also be surveys that will not allow this. Our system will alert you of the process and what is allowed at any point in time. Also, most of our surveys will not allow you to go back and change answers to questions. We encourage you to take your time and read each question before answering.

We will never share, sell, or rent, individual personal information with anyone without your advanced permission, unless ordered by a court of law. We have security measures in place to protect against loss, misuse, and alteration of your information, in our system.  Check out our Privacy Policy.

No, it never costs you to join. We’ll never ask for payment of any kind. And we’ll never try to sell you anything either!

On the other hand, YOU will be eligible to earn incentives for participating. Incentives include cash, gift cards, and products. All incentives will be clearly defined.

A focus group is a group of people brought together for an in-depth discussion on a specific topic. Organizations and institutions rely on focus groups to obtain feedback. Focus groups are really helpful in:

  • Generating ideas on how to solve a problem or fill a need
  • Understanding what people think about brands or products
  • Providing input on advertising campaigns
Focus groups consist of between 6-12 people. Participants are chosen based on certain characteristics. You will usually meet at a focus group facility. A moderator will lead the group and encourage discussion among the participants. Sessions can last from 90 minutes to three hours. Participants receive incentives, like cash or gift cards, in exchange for their participation.
Yes. You can earn incentives for participating. Incentives include cash, gift cards, and products. All incentives will be clearly defined.

You can read all about our privacy policy here. You can also read about the Respondent Bill of Rights that we adhere to here.

Each month Pittsburgh Speaks conducts a drawing for those that have participated in the community. Participants have a chance at winning 1 of 3 $50 gift cards Additionally, cash incentives, gift cards, and products are provided for specific surveys and research.

Surveys can be completed on your own time- day or night. In-person research generally takes place during business hours or early evening hours. Bulletin boards take place during a specific window of time. We will always let you know what to we expect.

My Question Isn’t Listed?

We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at support@PittsburghSpeaks.com

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