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  • Providing transportation or reimbursing participants for agreed-on transporta- tion costs

  • Arranging for child care

  • Letting participants know you’ll provide snacks or refreshments

Recruiting for Telephone Interviews If you’re recruiting for telephone interviews,

create a spreadsheet with spaces for the following information about each potential participant: the time zone in which the person is located; the date, time, and number at which they should be called; and the result of each call (e.g., scheduled an intervie , no answer, bus , or refused). This type of spreadsheet also can be helpful in planning in-person inter- views and using other research methods.

Step 5: Develop a moderator’s guide.

The quality of the moderator’s guide is critical to the success of focus groups. The guide tells the moderator or interviewer what informa- tion you want from the sessions and helps him or her keep the discussion on track and on time. Your contractor will draft the guide for you if you need this service. Before it is drafted, you’ll need to determine the following information:

  • What you want to learn from the focus group or interview

  • How to apply what you learn

  • What tools (e.g., descriptive informa- tion, message concepts, or other draft

Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights

creative work) you’ll need to provide for the sessions

You should write questions for the guide that relate to the purposes you’ve identified. Most questions should be open-ended, so partici-

pants can provide more in-depth responses than just “yes” or “no.” Also, make sure the questions aren’t worded in a way that will prompt a particular response. For example,

don’t ask, “What problems are you having with quitting smoking?” Instead, you could phrase

t h e q u e s t i o n m o r e n e u t r a l l y b y a s k i n g , W h a t problems do smokers have with quitting?” Participants will then be more likely to offer honest responses, rather than the answers they think you want. The time and depth of explor- ation given to each issue should reflect the issue’s importance to your purposes. (See Appendices 3.3 and 3.4 for examples of moderator’s guides.)

In the focus groups, don’t include questions

for group discussion if you need individual responses. However, you can have the moderator give each participant a self- administered questionnaire to complete before the session. Participants also can be asked to individually rank certain items (e.g., potential actions, benefits, or message concepts) on paper during a session to combine individual and group reactions.

Step 6: Conduct the focus groups or interviews.

Focus groups and interviews typically begin with the moderator welcoming participants and briefing them on the process (e.g., that

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