Strategic Planning - Focus Groups
Surveys - Training - Evaluation
Earlier this month we heard this newsletter won an IABC Gold Quill Award of Excellence--in great part because of those of you who completed our effectiveness survey and provided us with additional outcomes research to use for our strongly measurable workplan
Thanks for all your suggestions. Keep them coming!
Hope to see you during my travels in month to Europe and Brazil.
|Tip: 10 issues for planning focus groups
A key issue is how to select focus group participants. It helps to start by identifying how communication might be different for various subgroups to make sure you probe each one. For example, differences in how employees experience communication might vary by job, shift, location and working environment. Then select participants randomly from within each of those subgroups.
1. How many focus groups?
| 2. Should I also have a survey?
| 3. How to schedule sessions?
| 4. How to select a facilitator?
| 5. How to choose participants?
| 6. How to conduct the sessions?
| 7. How might results vary by group?
| 8. How might results vary by location?
| 9. What about online focus groups?
Sometimes, communicators will purposely select focus group participants because they are considered to be vocal or opinion leaders. This is a mistake because you'll tend to hear what you've already heard from these people before. Listen to a cross-section of your audience to hear what you haven't heard
from the people who don't usually cross your path. Similarly, letting people volunteer to participate in focus groups will generally result in bias.
Re-using the same group of people as a focus group over time to track change is also a problem. First, the number of people involved is too small to be able to project your conclusions
to the entire group. In addition, these people can become sensitized to the topic being researched and are no longer similar to the average people in your entire audience base.
Read on for more tips on addressing the 10 questions above.
Case study: Comparing what executives say with what supervisors are doing
Survey questions can be designed not only to quantify how well a corporate message is getting through, but to capture how salespeople are communicating those messages to customers, or how supervisors communicate them to employees.
One client's executives had been communicating to employees that all three key metrics by which they ran the company were intended to be equally important. A survey question about this issue showed that only 27% of employees knew this. About 50% selected one of the three metrics as being more important than the others, and another 23% didn't know.
A second question asked employees how their supervisors were weighting these same three metrics in the way they managed their groups. Less than half of employees said they were unaware of any of the three metrics being focused on more heavily. The majority did feel supervisors were putting more emphasis on one metric over the others, usually on production numbers.
| Workshops and a webinar
In the next few months, I'll be conducting training on strategic planning, communication measurement, ROI, and getting leaders to listen to us. (See full speaking schedule.) I'll also be consulting for clients in Europe the first three weeks in June and in Brazil the first week of July, with some time still available in between.
(See full speaking schedule.) I'll also be consulting for clients in Europe the first two weeks in June and in Brazil the first week of July with time available in between.
- May 30, webinar on "How to Get Leaders to Listen to You," (CIPR Inside)
- June 3, Vilnius, World Lithuanian Economic Forum
- June 18-19, Oslo, internal communications course (NCA)
- June 27-29, Sao Paulo, two-day course on measurement (Syracuse University)
- July 2-3, Sao Paulo, two-day course on measurement (ABERJE)
- Sept. 30 or Oct. 1, Biloxi, MS, communication measurement (SPRF)
We can also conduct customized workshops for your organization based on concepts in our one- and two-day programs, or provide you with pre-recorded audios of one-hour segments of these workshops:
A practical manual on measurement
"A definitive hands-on resource... from advice on conducting focus groups, to measuring communication flow, to survey question construction, it's all here."
--IABC Communication World
Now in its 3rd edition, this practical guide to communication measurement is filled with samples
of questions and reports, as well as dozens of stories
about how measurements have been used by others.
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