Tag Archives for " Market Research "

Avoiding the Grand Plan Re-do: Part II

By Kym Reinstadler, SCN Feature Writer | Expert Insights

Thanks for coming back for Part II of veteran school communicator Gerri Allen’s tips on how to do research — and why it’s so important for school leaders to make decisions after having listened to a cross-section of constituents, about 75 percent of which don’t have school-aged children.

School Communicator Gerri AllenGerri handled school communications for the Washtenaw and Livingston County intermediate school districts for 30 years before beginning her own communications consulting business.

In Part I, Gerri touched on some primary and secondary methods of gathering research, including focus groups and online surveys. In Part II, she dives into scientific research, the kind based on random samples that can be generalized to a wider population. (“I marvel that talking to 384 randomly selected people can tell you what 100,000 people are thinking, but it does – with 95 percent accuracy,” Gerri said.)

Surveys astound me, too. Let’s get to it! – KYM

Here’s Part II from Gerri –

Conducting a random sample survey

Simple random sample surveys are ones in which a portion (or sample) of the population is drawn so that each person has an equal chance of being selected.   Samples chosen in a random fashion can be considered unbiased because no one member in the population has any more chance of being selected than any other member. For this reason, random samples are said to be representative of the population from which they were drawn. These surveys are often referred to as scientific polls—like the ones conducted for political candidates and issues in the recent election.
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Start with good research and avoid the “re-do.”

By Kym Reinstadler, SCN Feature Writer | Expert Insights

I’ve worked shoulder-to-shoulder with people who consider “research” to be procrastination – one step on the ladder of productivity from contemplating one’s navel. No time to be tentative, they’d say. Nothing is accomplished until you roll up your sleeves and actually do something. 

That’s why I started taking notes when I heard Gerri Allen speak with conviction about the importance of school leaders doing research at one of SCN’s Come Smart, Leave Smarter workshops this summer. Here’s a school communicator who knows that research isn’t “running in place.”

School Communicator Gerri Allen

Gerri Allen

Gerri, for readers who haven’t met her, served in school communications for the Livingston and Washtenaw County Intermediate School Districts in Michigan for 30 years. For the last three years she’s worked as a communications consultant serving the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), among other clients. She studied journalism at Eastern Michigan University and reported for newspapers in southeast Michigan for five years before accepting a position in school public relations with a K-12 school district. Gerri subsequently earned a master’s degree in public relations and advertising at Michigan State University.

Gerri says school administrators and school communicators (“the most generous group of professionals you’ll find anywhere”) have taught her most of what she knows about the importance of acting on decisions that are based in research. “I’m not the expert,” she insists. 
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