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8. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Presentation

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Presentation for Pew Research Center's Methodological Workshop on Public Opinion Research in Sub-Saharan Africa

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8. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Presentation

  1. 1. FOCUS GROUPS AS A STRATEGIC TOOL Brian Paler, Vice President
  2. 2. 2 Who we are • Almost 40 years of experience in over 90 countries Including throughout sub-Saharan Africa (Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, RSA) • Research for political leaders, advocacy groups, intl. orgs • Expertise in both international and domestic campaigns • Research designed to simulate all scenarios, full campaigns • Research as a starting point for comms & strategy objectives
  3. 3. 3 Do focus groups still actually matter? • They’re not representative, and results are not definitive • They’re slow and take time to organize • They’re expensive • People probably lie more in group settings with peers • There’s plenty of newer and sexier ways to get data
  4. 4. 4 Yes - People are more than numbers • Politics inherently a human activity • Only opportunity for deep, open-ended listening • Best chance to see people, hear them in their own words • No pre-judgment of responses • Not all data created equal • Challenges conventional wisdom • Don’t always have access to Big Data & social analytics (Notable: Hillary Clinton’s campaign cut them in the last few weeks)
  5. 5. 7 ways to use qual to improve quant
  6. 6. 6 1. Make focus groups more than just about “the Why.”  Don’t limit your qual to retroactively explaining numbers  Think beyond tracking opinion and more about moving opinion  Listen for all hypotheses, not just your own ideas Using focus groups to improve your survey Survey application: Create more accurate, comprehensive close- ended responses in your surveys. We almost always encourage groups before surveys
  7. 7. 7 1. Make focus groups more than just about “the Why.” 2. Listen for what people are NOT saying  Is your issue top-of-mind? Are they thinking about it at all?  Is there real awareness of your campaign/program?  Can’t force people to care about things they’re not interested in Using focus groups to improve your survey Survey application: May change level of detail you can probe in a survey
  8. 8. 8 1. Make focus groups more than just about “the Why.” 2. Listen for what people are NOT saying 3. Watch for mood, intensity, and nuance  Do you detect anger? How much?  Is there interest? Apathy?  Are there visceral reactions? Using focus groups to improve your survey Sometimes you have to watch really closely Survey application: Focus your survey on those issues that evoke a strong reaction.
  9. 9. 9 1. Make focus groups more than just about “the Why.” 2. Listen for what people are NOT saying 3. Watch for mood, intensity, and nuance 4. Look for insights on believability and credibility  “Do you believe/trust this person?” is rarely a sufficient question  Does indirect questioning provide more evidence? Using focus groups to improve your survey Survey application: Surface potential trust issues in leaders to dig deeper in the survey.
  10. 10. 10 1. Make focus groups more than just about “the Why” 2. Listen for what people are NOT saying 3. Watch for mood, intensity, and nuance 4. Look for insights on believability and credibility 5. Watch for comfort levels  Are topics as sensitive as you thought they were?  Watch for silence, embarrassment, acquiescence Using focus groups to improve your survey Survey application: Treat sensitive topics differently. Move further down in survey; avoid trigger words, add socially validating qualifiers, “Some people say…”
  11. 11. 11 1. Make focus groups more than just about “the Why” 2. Listen for what people are NOT saying 3. Watch for mood, intensity, and nuance 4. Look for insights on believability and credibility 5. Watch for comfort levels 6. Replicate focus group language  How do they process new information?  What language are they using to talk about new information? Using focus groups to improve your survey Survey application: Use language you hear in groups to present that new information in the survey.
  12. 12. 12 1. Make focus groups more than just about “the Why” 2. Listen for what people are NOT saying 3. Watch for mood, intensity, and nuance 4. Look for insights on believability and credibility 5. Watch for comfort levels 6. Replicate focus group language 7. Think through what unlocked doors/changed impressions  Note when new information changes mood and tone  Focus on what stuck with people. What are they walking away with? Using focus groups to improve your survey Survey application: Double down on winning/memorable messages in the survey.
  13. 13. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner 10 G Street, NE Suite 500 Washington, DC 20002 T: +1 202 478 8300 Fax: +1 202 478 8301 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner 2 Eastbourne Terrace London, UK W2 6LG T: +44 (0)20 3740 9029 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner 350-1 First Canadian Place Toronto Board of Trade Tower Toronto, ON M5K 1C1 T: +54 11 4772 0813 WORLD HEADQUARTERS EUROPEAN HEADQUARTERS CANADIAN HEADQUARTERS THANK YOU

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