Media Research   Primary Research            Secondary Research    Collecting Data        Purpose: Audience ResearchPurpos...
Primary Research•   Original research•   New information•   Asking people questions•   Surveys•   Interviews•   Focus grou...
Questioning•   Questioning for primary research:    •   one-to-one interviews    •   questionnaires    •   focus group/aud...
Closed Questions•   Put people at ease - start with easy to answer ‘closed’ questions•   Demographic information - age, ge...
Open Questions•   Allow for more personal responses - views and opinions•   Longer answers•   More meaningful•   Qualitati...
Recording Interviews on Camera•   Talking to camera or off camera?•   To camera - direct, like a video diary•   Off camera...
Asking the Question•   Write down the questions•   Brief your interviewee•   Ask the interviewee to include the question i...
Filming and Sound•   Don’t move the camera - reframe in between answers•   Monitor sound on headphones•   Use an external ...
Focus Groups•   Primary Research•   Feedback about a new media product•   Quantitative and qualitative information    prim...
Secondary Research•   Information gathered by someone else•   Saves time•   Prove findings from primary research•   Media r...
The Internet•   Advantages:    •   Quick and easy    •   Lots of information    •   Download and print information    •   ...
The Internet•   Disadvantages:    •   Not always reliable    •   Can produce too much information    •   Some information ...
Referencing webpages•   Author/source of webpage•   Year it was published•   The URL•   Date of access•   Gray, M. (2011) ...
Books, journals, archives •   Information photocopied from books, journals, or archives     needs to be read and understoo...
Referencing Books•   The required elements for a book reference are:    •   Author, Initials.,    •   Year.    •   Title o...
Quantitative Information•   Measured and counted•   Set of numbers•   Presented as a table, chart, or diagram•   Primary a...
Examples of Quantitative Information •   Examples of quantitative information include:     •   readership for magazines an...
Qualitative Information•   Subjective•   Opinions, views, and preferences•   Primary and secondary methods produce qualita...
Examples of Qualitative Information•   Difficult to analyse personal and subjective responses•   “I really like the site an...
Audience Research•   Target audience•   Preferences and buying patterns•   Classifications - age, gender, ethnicity, social...
Age•   Some products have age restrictions•   Age categories for films set by the BBFC•   Age categories for games set by P...
Gender•   Media products aimed at either men or women•   Mostly seen in the magazine industry    purpose/audience/gender
Ethnicity•   People’s needs vary according to their culture and language•   Media products are aimed at people from partic...
Social Class•   Income - how much money people have to spend on products•   Jobs are linked to income•   Rough scale is us...
Social StatusSocial Grade          Social Status            Chief Income earner’s occupation                              ...
Geodemographics•   Where people live•   Sometimes organised according to postcode•   Local or regional issues that impact ...
Psychographics•   People’s lifestyle•   Interests and hobbies•   Attitudes and opinions•   Disposable income•   Types of m...
Market Research•   Highly competitive•   What the market looks like•   Other competitors•   Comparing products•   Economic...
Production Research•   Provide content to develop the new product•   Availability of technology and personnel•   Suitable ...
Information Trail•   You need to be organised•   Keep a log of all your research•   Annotate secondary research with your ...
Information Trail Example          Research   Primary or       Source of           Description of                         ...
Collating•   Large amounts of research need to be collated and stored•   Sift out what is needed and what is to be disrega...
Storing•   Research folder•   Clear index system•   Highlight and annotate secondary information•   Written commentary    ...
Sensitive Information•   Sensitive material should be stored securely•   It must be kept private•   The Data Protection Ac...
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Research methods and techniques

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An introduction to research methods and techniques used in the creative media industries

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  • \n
  • Primary research is original research that is undertaken to find out new information. This involves asking people questions. The main techniques used by researchers when conducting primary research are asking people to complete a questionnaire, interviewing people in the street or over the phone, or running a focus group.\nIn the creative media sector, a film company, television producer or games developer will show a preview of their new product to a group of people, often called a focus group, and ask them what they think of it. The answers that the focus group give often lead to changes being made to the product before it is launched.\n
  • It is likely that you will use some form of questioning technique for the research tasks that you undertake. You may decide to conduct one-to-one interviews, either face-to-face or via telephone or email. You may produce a questionnaire to survey a larger group of people. You may organise a focus group or audience panel. You may decide to host an Internet forum.\nThink very carefully about the form and structure of the questions you pose, using both open and closed questions to ensure you obtain the required information.\n
  • As a general rule you should start with straightforward closed questions that are easy to answer and put people at ease, such as age, gender, occupation and marital status. This will get them responding and will provide basic demographic information so you can check you have covered a representational sample of people, and include more respondents in your research if not.\nClosed questions are often answered with yes, no, or don’t know, or an answer picked from a range of given options. If you use closed questions with tick boxes, it is important to include all of the potential answers. You will need to decide whether to include an ‘other’ or ‘don’t know’ option.\nClosed questions can be quick and easy for respondents to answer. They provide quantifiable data which you can represent in the form of graphs, charts, and diagrams.\n
  • Open questions, where you ask for a more personal response, provide qualitative information that can give more meaningful insights. Open questions allow the person answering to give their own views and opinions on the subject. They often start with the words; what, why, when, how, or who,\n
  • You should first decide whether your interviewee is talking to camera, or talking off camera?\nIf you are operating the camera, as well as asking the questions, then the person you are interviewing will appear to be talking to the camera. This will appear as if they are talking direct to the viewer, and will therefore feel more personal, like a video diary.\nMost interviews use the off camera technique, where the person asking the questions is sat next to the camera. The person answering the questions will be looking in the direction of the camera, but not directly at it.\n
  • It is a good idea to write down the questions you are going to ask, between 5 and 10 should be enough.\nBefore filming, you should brief your interviewee so they know what to expect. Don't ask them the questions before filming, as you want their answers to be fresh. \nAsk your interviewee to include the question in their answer. This means you won't have to include an introductory commentary to each question.\nKeep quiet when your interviewee is talking and wait for them to finish answering before moving on to the next question.\nIf you leave a short space it encourages them to summarise their answer, giving you a useful sound bite.\n
  • You don't want to be moving the camera when your interviewee is talking. You can re-frame your shot when they are listening to the next question.\nSound is very important. Take time to get it right.\nIf possible, wear headphones to monitor the sound levels.\nThe inbuilt microphone on the video camera is very good in quiet conditions, but if you are filming in a noisy environment, such as outside, then it is best to use an external microphone or boom mic. \nMake sure you get the microphone as close to the person speaking as possible, without getting it in shot.\nRecording a separate track of background noise in your key locations will help your sound mix when editing your interview.\n
  • In the creative media sector, a film company, television producer, or games developer will show a preview of their new product to a group of people, often called a focus group, and ask them what they think of it. The answers that the focus group give often lead to changes being made to the product before it is launched.\n
  • Sometimes media companies will decide to use information that has already been gathered and analysed, and this is known as secondary research. A media organisation will often use secondary research to save time and to add to their own primary research. They will also use it to help them prove that what they are saying is true. For example, a magazine publisher might want to prove to an advertiser that their magazine really is read by thousands of teenage boys, and will use information from an organisation such as the National Readership Survey (NRS) to support what they are saying. Media research organisations carry out their own primary research and then sell the results to media companies who use this secondary research to add to their own.\n
  • Using the Internet is a form of secondary research. You can use it to quickly find a lot of information. It is easy to download and print material for your research folder.\nInternet search engines enable you to undertake searches for very specific information\n
  • Some websites are not always reliable.\nInternet searches can provide too many irrelevant results and webpages can contain a lot of information, some of which is not relevant.\n
  • When using research found online, you will need to make a note of website from which you have collected the information, as well as when you accessed it.\nWhen completing your bibliography, you will need to know the following; the author or source of the webpage and the year it was first published, the title of the webpage and the web address or URL, and the date you accessed the webpage.\n
  • Secondary information can be found in books, journals, and archives. These can all be accessed in libraries.\nWhen using this information, it is important to annotate photocopies with your own notes, highlighting the usefulness of particular passages.\nAlthough secondary information from books can be more reliable than the Internet, it is still necessary to consider the original intention of the research information, as well as the date it was published.\n
  • When using research found in published materials, such as books, you will need to make a note of the publication from which you have collected the information.\nWhen completing your bibliography, you will need to know the following; the author or source of the book and the year it was published, the title of the book, and the edition, unless it is the first. You will need to include the place of publication, which will be a town or city, as well as the name of the publisher.\nFor more information on referencing, look up ‘Havard referencing’.\n
  • When you undertake your own research you will obtain two main sorts of information. The first is called quantitative and the second is called qualitative. Quantitative information can be measured and counted. It can usually be shown as a set of numbers and is often presented in the form of tables, charts, and diagrams. Both primary and secondary research methods can produce quantitative information.\n
  • Media companies need information on how many people are reading their magazines and newspapers, watching their films and television programmes, clicking on their websites and listening to their musical products. Factual information about ratings, circulation and viewing figures, website hits, and market analysis can all be presented as quantitative data.\n
  • Qualitative information is more subjective and is concerned with people’s opinions, views, and preferences. Both primary and secondary research methods can produce qualitative information. It is often very important within the creative media sector as it is used to find out what individuals and groups think and feel about a particular media product.\n
  • The results of qualitative research are often more difficult to analyse than quantitative data and the information is often difficult to represent statistically, particular if the responses are personal and subjective. Examples of qualitative feedback to a website could be...\n
  • The profile of the target audience, their preferences and buying patterns are important considerations for any media producer. A lot of time, effort and resource is put into research to better understand audiences.\nA number of classifications are used to describe a media audience. Researchers talk about audience demographics. By this they mean the way in which an audience can be classified according to a range of different socio-economic and personal factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, social class, occupation, level of education and sexual orientation.\n
  • The age of the target audience is important because some kinds of product can only be shown to or bought by certain age groups.\nThe British Board of Film Classification (bbfc) puts an age category on all films shown at the cinema and available on DVD in the UK. Computer games are now given an age classification by the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) system.\nMany advertisers are also interested in what different age groups are reading, watching, and interacting with as they can then decide whether or not to advertise their products within particular media products.\n
  • Gender is also an important category to media companies as many media products are targeted at either men or women. This is most clearly seen within the magazine market, which has specific magazines targeted at males and others targeted at females.\n
  • People’s needs and wants as consumers will also vary according to their culture, language and background, and many media products are available that target people from a particular cultural background.\nThe media industry is now very much a global one and newspapers, magazines, radio and television programmes from all over the world are readily available to people living in the UK.\n
  • You can also categorise an audience according to a rough idea about their social class. Social class is often linked to a person’s income, which can be important for advertisers. For example, it is no good advertising an expensive top-of-the-range sports car to people who are unemployed or have a low disposable income.\nMost companies involved with media research and production use a scale that puts people into categories according to the sort of job they do and the amount of income that they have. The scale is a very rough one and does make some very broad assumptions about what people earn.\n
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  • The study of where people live is called geodemographics and is important for media producers and advertisers when producing media products for a local or regional audience.\nKnowing the profile of the local and regional population and understanding the issues that impact on that community can help a local newspaper and regional radio station provide the right content to appeal to their target audience.\n
  • Information about a person’s lifestyle, referred to as psychographics, is also important to advertisers and media producers as it gives them important clues as to what interests they have, how much disposable income they are likely to have and what type of media products they are likely to be attracted to.\nFor example, people who have an active lifestyle are likely to be interested in media products that reflect this, so they might read health-related magazines, watch travel programmes, and visit sports-related websites. You can see that advertisers of travel-related products, health foods, and sports equipment would be interested in targeting these people with products and that psychographic information about the audience is important in helping them choose the right medium to advertise in.\n
  • The media marketplace is highly competitive. Media producers often undertake detailed market research into their target market or commission other companies to undertake research on their behalf. The are interested in what the market looks like, who the other competitors in that market are, and what their products are like. This involves looking at what the competition has to offer and comparing similar media products already in the market to see what the commercial opportunities are. They are particularly interested in the economic factors within the market and what potential revenue is available.\n
  • If the audience research goes well and the market analysis is favourable, a media company might decide to launch a new product into that market.\nProduction research is needed to provide content and gather material to allow the company to develop the new product.\nAs part of the production research you will also investigate the technology and personnel available, as well as checking out suitable recording and production locations. You need to thoroughly research and plan production and post-production stages to ensure that it all runs as smoothly as possible. Creative media productions can be very complex and so production research needs to be comprehensive.\n\n
  • You will need to be well organised and keep a record of the sources you have accessed. The best way of doing this is to keep a log of all the library, Internet and archive searches that you have undertaken while carrying out your research.\nNote that simply collecting pages of secondary information from the Internet or photocopy from books, journals and archives needs to be read and understood, annotated with your own notes and used to inform the production process.\nIt is important that you clearly understand what the original purpose of the research was, who commissioned it and when it was conducted. Not every piece of research you find will be reliable or valid.\n
  • \n
  • The amount of information that you will gather when undertaking your own research can be very large, particularly when it is lined to one of your own creative media productions, and you will need to collate and store your research material.\nCollating your research material involves sifting through all of the material to identify what is useful and what needs to be disregarded. Sort your material into useful categories that will help you to find it easily at a later date. Once you have done this, you need to log, organise and store your research material in a safe and secure way.\n
  • It is good practice to create a research folder in which you can store all of your relevant research material. It needs to have a clear index system so that you can easily find a relevant piece of information. Any secondary material that is stored should be highlighted and annotated so it is clear what you have selected from it and what it has been used for.\nIt is also good to include some form of written commentary in your file that explains to the tutor and moderator what is in there, how it was obtained, why it has been included and how it has been used.\n
  • Research material can be very sensitive, particularly if it contains people’s personal views about something, and they might be very unhappy if it is made public or the wrong person sees it. The Data Protection Act is a law that says that anyone who handles personal information has to be very careful about how it is stored and who has access to it.\n
  • Research methods and techniques

    1. 1. Media Research Primary Research Secondary Research Collecting Data Purpose: Audience ResearchPurpose: Market Research Purpose: Production Research Research Log Collating and Storing
    2. 2. Primary Research• Original research• New information• Asking people questions• Surveys• Interviews• Focus groups primary_research/definition
    3. 3. Questioning• Questioning for primary research: • one-to-one interviews • questionnaires • focus group/audience panel • Internet forum• Use open and closed questions primary_research/questioning
    4. 4. Closed Questions• Put people at ease - start with easy to answer ‘closed’ questions• Demographic information - age, gender, occupation, marital status...• ‘Yes’, ‘No’, or ‘Don’t Know’• Multiple choice - tick boxes• Quick quantifiable data primary_research/questioning/closed_questions
    5. 5. Open Questions• Allow for more personal responses - views and opinions• Longer answers• More meaningful• Qualitative information• What, why, when, how, or who? primary_research/questioning/open_questions
    6. 6. Recording Interviews on Camera• Talking to camera or off camera?• To camera - direct, like a video diary• Off camera - looking in the direction of the camera but not at it• Person asking the questions should be next to the camera primary_research/interviews
    7. 7. Asking the Question• Write down the questions• Brief your interviewee• Ask the interviewee to include the question in their answer• Keep quiet and wait for them to finish• Leave a space for them to summarise primary_research/interview_questions
    8. 8. Filming and Sound• Don’t move the camera - reframe in between answers• Monitor sound on headphones• Use an external mic if outside• Move the mic close to the interviewee without getting in shot• Record a wild track - background noise for the edit primary_research/filming_interviews
    9. 9. Focus Groups• Primary Research• Feedback about a new media product• Quantitative and qualitative information primary_research/focus_groups
    10. 10. Secondary Research• Information gathered by someone else• Saves time• Prove findings from primary research• Media research organisations carry out research to sell to media companies secondary_research/definition
    11. 11. The Internet• Advantages: • Quick and easy • Lots of information • Download and print information • Specific search enquiries secondary_research/internet_advantages
    12. 12. The Internet• Disadvantages: • Not always reliable • Can produce too much information • Some information will be irrelevant secondary_research/internet_disadvantages
    13. 13. Referencing webpages• Author/source of webpage• Year it was published• The URL• Date of access• Gray, M. (2011) Collating and Storing, [online], Available: http:// mrgraymedia.co.uk/research-techniques/collating-and-storing/ [15 Sep 2011] secondary_research/internet/referencing
    14. 14. Books, journals, archives • Information photocopied from books, journals, or archives needs to be read and understood • Annotate with your own notes • It is important to clearly understand the original purpose of the information, who commissioned it, and when it was published secondary_research/books
    15. 15. Referencing Books• The required elements for a book reference are: • Author, Initials., • Year. • Title of book. • Edition. (only include this if not the first edition) • Place of publication (town or city, not a country): • Publisher.• E.g. - Baron, D. P., 2008. Business and the organisation. Chester: Pearson. secondary_research/books/referencing
    16. 16. Quantitative Information• Measured and counted• Set of numbers• Presented as a table, chart, or diagram• Primary and secondary methods produce quantitative information collecting_data/quantitative
    17. 17. Examples of Quantitative Information • Examples of quantitative information include: • readership for magazines and newspapers • viewing figures for film and TV programmes • website hits • ratings collecting_data/quantitative/examples
    18. 18. Qualitative Information• Subjective• Opinions, views, and preferences• Primary and secondary methods produce qualitative information• How people feel about media products collecting_data/qualitative
    19. 19. Examples of Qualitative Information• Difficult to analyse personal and subjective responses• “I really like the site and found it easy to use”• “The colours are too bright, and it is hard to navigate”• “Overall I liked it and would use the site again” collecting_data/qualitative/examples
    20. 20. Audience Research• Target audience• Preferences and buying patterns• Classifications - age, gender, ethnicity, social class, occupation, education, and sexual orientation• Demographics - socio-economic and personal factors purpose/audience
    21. 21. Age• Some products have age restrictions• Age categories for films set by the BBFC• Age categories for games set by PEGI• Advertisers use age categories to decide where to advertise purpose/audience/age
    22. 22. Gender• Media products aimed at either men or women• Mostly seen in the magazine industry purpose/audience/gender
    23. 23. Ethnicity• People’s needs vary according to their culture and language• Media products are aimed at people from particular cultural backgrounds• Global industry - media products from around the world available in the UK purpose/audience/ethnicity
    24. 24. Social Class• Income - how much money people have to spend on products• Jobs are linked to income• Rough scale is used to make broad assumptions on what people earn purpose/audience/social_class
    25. 25. Social StatusSocial Grade Social Status Chief Income earner’s occupation Higher Managerial, Administrative, or A Upper Middle Class Professional Intermediate managerial, B Middle Class Administrative, or Professional Supervisory or Clerical and Junior C1 Lower Middle Class Managerial, Administrative, or Professional C2 Skilled Working Class Skilled Manual Workers D Working Class Semi and Unskilled Manual Workers Those at the lowest level of State Pensioners, Casual or Lowest E subsistence Grade Workers purpose/audience/social_status
    26. 26. Geodemographics• Where people live• Sometimes organised according to postcode• Local or regional issues that impact on that community purpose/audience/geodemographics
    27. 27. Psychographics• People’s lifestyle• Interests and hobbies• Attitudes and opinions• Disposable income• Types of media products they are attracted to purpose/audience/psychographics
    28. 28. Market Research• Highly competitive• What the market looks like• Other competitors• Comparing products• Economic factors• Potential revenue purpose/market
    29. 29. Production Research• Provide content to develop the new product• Availability of technology and personnel• Suitable locations for production• Thorough research ensures the smooth running of the production• Complex productions need comprehensive research purpose/production
    30. 30. Information Trail• You need to be organised• Keep a log of all your research• Annotate secondary research with your own notes• Understand the purpose of secondary research - it’s not all reliable or valid research_log/information_trail
    31. 31. Information Trail Example Research Primary or Source of Description of Advantages/ Date Can be used to... Technique Secondary Information Information Disadvantages Adv. Good reliable Information about source of Can be used as12/9/1 Internet Website: healthy diet government Secondary captions in the final 0 research www.eatwell.gov.uk 8 tips for eating well information video Food myths Dis. Produced a lot of information - not all relevant Book: Romanoff. J, Adv. Good source of The Eating Well Good recipes but reliable information13/9/1 Using the Healthy Food Secondary Healthy in a Hurry not all suitable for Dis. Time 0 library recipes Cookbook, (Norton our target audience consuming and took 2005) a lot of time to find information Adv. Good for getting people’s Interview with Mrs Lots of information13/9/1 Could interview her views Interview Primary Foxton the school about cooking meals 0 for the documentary Dis. Need to record cook for target audience what is being said so it’s not forgotten research_log/information_trail
    32. 32. Collating• Large amounts of research need to be collated and stored• Sift out what is needed and what is to be disregarded• Categorise to make it easier to find• Log, organise, and store safely and securely collating_and_storing/collating
    33. 33. Storing• Research folder• Clear index system• Highlight and annotate secondary information• Written commentary collating_and_storing/storing
    34. 34. Sensitive Information• Sensitive material should be stored securely• It must be kept private• The Data Protection Act - anyone who handles data must be careful with storage and access collating_and_storing/sensitive_information

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