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Archive for October, 2009

Teachers Are So Important . . . And Probably Getting More Important Every Day

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Well, just an ordinary day in Dallas. As I get out of my air-conditioned car I noticed the temperature gauge is sitting at 100 and thankfully I only have a short walk. That walk consists of 20 steps to the mailbox and then 35 steps into the air-conditioned house. Sounds like an ordinary day so far except as I was going through the mail and praying I had no bills (which wasn’t the case) I noticed that my son got some mail. No, it wasn’t a credit card offer or a magazine subscription. He actually got mail. It was a postcard that read:

A few comments:

Amazing that he started the school year on Monday and got the postcard on Tuesday. Way to be organized Mrs. Burgess.

The postcard made Riley feel wanted, accepted and like he belonged in the class. Way to be relevant Mrs. Burgess.

The postcard got Riley very excited about learning something this year. Way to be impactful Mrs. Burgess.

Yes, I knew the school system in my town was good but frankly I thought what she did, how she did it and what she said was terrific, amazing and will have a very positive impact on my son. First of all, thank you, Mrs. Burgess, for making  a difference.

I am sure there are similar stories out there that involve teachers:

  • What have your kids’ teachers done that has impressed you?
  • Are there any games they are playing in the classroom that have helped them learn?
  • What programs do your kids’ schools have that are very impactful?
  • If you are a teacher, what are the most effective programs that you have/teach in the classroom?

I really look forward to hearing your comments.

PS – As I write this posting, I have not met Mrs. Burgess. That will change as I plan to go in one day and personally thank her.

Everyone Loves Giveaways And Promotions. What’s Your Favorite?

Monday, October 5th, 2009

So there I am last week after work with clicker in hand changing the channels back and forth between the Boston Redsox/Whitesox game and the NY Yankee/ Tampa Bay game. While I was watching the Yankee game the announcer came on and talked about a few upcoming promotions at Yankee Stadium. The three they mentioned were:

September 07 vs. Tampa Bay Rays – 1:05 pm

Hand Sanitizer Keychain – 1:05 PM Game

1st 18,000 fans 21 and older

Presented by New York Presbyterian Hospital



September 08 vs. Tampa Bay Rays – 7:05 pm

Soup Bowl Night

1st 22,000 fans in attendance
Presented by Boar’s Head


September 16 vs. Toronto Blue Jays – 7:05 pm

Plush Yankees Whistle Night

1st 18,000 fans in attendance

Presented by P.C. Richard & Son



I must admit I began to smile, then chuckle which turned into a full on laugh out loud moment. I said to myself, "Soup Bowl night at Yankee Stadium? That’s the promotion they are going with to sell tickets? Really? Will that get it done?"

Sorry to pick on this promotion but it doesn’t really make sense to me. When I was a kid, it was bat day, it was mascot day things like that–not soup bowl night.

  • What is your favorite promotion at a stadium?
  • How about the funniest promotion at a stadium?
  • Any promotions come to mind that really made you go out and buy tickets?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Hello Researchers! Doesn’t A Successful
Research Project Start With “Quality”

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

I think it’s safe to say that no matter what the research project objectives are, one thing that every custom research project has in common is respondents. I think it’s also safe to say that every client WANTS and NEEDS the right respondents for their research project. It doesn’t matter if it is a qualitative or quantitative study, they want the right respondents. That’s for sure. They are paying for and deserve respondents that qualify, are truthful and rely on companies to ensure that their partners’ or vendors’ quality standards are very high. People who don’t know our industry that well always question the quality of respondents. Since I have been in the industry for over 25 years I know many people who have quality front and center of everything they do and really would like for them to share some best practices with readers of the blog.

Ok now that I have bored you a little bit on the obvious, the question is, "What do data companies really do in terms of quality?"

  • How do panel companies recruit new panelists?
  • What traps are they putting in place to catch people who might be falsifying data?
  • How do focus group facilities ensure that Fred Smith is really Fred?
  • How do they make sure that the recruiter isn’t leading the respondent?
  • How do telephone interviewers get trained to make sure that they are following the screener/questionnaire exactly the way the client wants them to?
  • What are the quality standards for coding and translation companies?

I look forward to hearing from Chris D, Craig S, Steve S, Roseanne L, Amy S, Todd B, Harriet N, Ann T.B, Carl I, Michael H, Ed S, Peggy O and many, many others–all of whom I have known for many years and have a lot of quality standards in place.