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Step 1: Plan the research. Determine the following information:

  • What you want to learn

  • How much information you need

  • When you need the information

  • How you’ll apply what you learn

  • What your budget is

  • What your criteria are for participants

Step 2: Identify who will complete the diaries or activity logs.

The participants you select depend on the goals of your research. If you’re focusing on your audience’s day-to-day experiences in relation to some aspect of tobacco use, you’ll

want audience members to complete the diaries. For example, if you want teenagers to keep diaries documenting when they encountered tobacco among friends, family members, and others in their lives and how those encounters made them feel, recruit teenagers willing to participate. (When recruiting youth respondents, you may need

parental permission.)

If you’re focusing on participants’ experience with a program as a pilot test, you’ll want the participants to keep the diaries. You’re likely to recruit participants on site. You’ll probably need to provide an incentive (e.g., a gift certificate once the completed diary is received), and you also may need to remind participants to return the diaries at the end of the research period.

Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights

Step 3: Develop and pretest the form for collecting information.

Here’s how to create a user-friendly document to collect the data:

  • Write questions that are specific to your objectives. For example, for a pilot test of a health education program, provide a description of the module(s) used each day and include entries such as the following:

    • Date

    • Title of module used

    • Description of activities completed

    • Record of how long activities took to complete

    • Response to whether the respondent would participate in these activities again

    • Reasons the respondent would or would not participate again

  • Include examples of participant feedback.

  • For a log related to smoking behavior, you might include entries such as the following:

    • When the first cigarette of the day was smoked

    • What the person was doing when smoking each cigarette

    • Whom the person was with when smoking each cigarette

    • How the person was feeling when he or she most wanted a cigarette

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