Again this year, a very diverse group of researchers from all segments of the industry  participated in the second annual Respondent Cooperation Workshop organized by the Council for Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR), and held in Orlando, Florida on February 3-4.   This year’s meeting consisted of invited speaker presentations on special topics and reports from task force groups formed during the initial meeting last April. The workshop was an excellent place to discuss research findings and to share insights into interviewer training that others have found to be successful. 

Research reported by Paul Lavrakas (Nielsen Media Research) identified four refusal “themes” and classified 18-34 year olds into categories based on each.  Paul also suggested tailored refusal avoidance tactics for each theme. 

Kathy Frankovic (CBS) discussed techniques for improving cooperation in a polling environment.  She mentioned that CBS now recalls non-working telephone numbers and finds that they constitute about 1% of their completed interviews.  This is something all of us may want to consider regarding our own surveys. 

A task force report presented by Kathy Pilhuj from Scarborough Research addressed “Improving Survey Introductions/Scripts.”  She shared some of the training modules developed by Scarborough, including some that considered the importance of the initial interviewer approach, self-confidence, voice tone and inflection, and interviewer style.

Another task force report presented by Ellen Gregory (MRSI) and Morris Davis (M. Davis & Company) covered results of an industry wide survey regarding interviewer satisfaction (several AAPOR members participated in this survey last December).   A written report is in progress and will be made available shortly.  An updated presentation of the results will be presented at the MRA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Results from both focus groups and a national mail survey that are helping CMOR to develop a national ad campaign educating the public about the “social good” of legitimate survey research were also reported.  A brief logo preference survey was conducted with attendees prior to the workshop and reported by Jane Sheppard, CMOR’s Director Respondent Cooperation.  All research conducted on this project confirmed a preferred logo and it is currently being revised graphically based on the information obtained in the surveys.

Various CMOR task forces are continuing and are always in need of volunteers who are interested in making a difference in the industry.

There were many other interesting presentations and discussions.