First, a shameless plug for the “Who Needs Feminism” campaign! The PR campaign was created a little over a year ago by sixteen Duke University students in Rachel Seidman’s “Women in the Public Sphere” class. The purpose of the campaign is to challenge stereotypes about feminists and change the perception that society no longer needs feminism by taking photos of individuals holding a sign listing why they need feminism. The campaign quickly spread around the world with individuals sending in submissions to the Duke students’ tumblr and groups holding their own campaigns and photo shoots. The Carolina Women’s Center continued its campaign on June 20 in the Pit, and we received so much support from students and employees at UNC! If you missed seeing us in the Pit, you can also submit photos of why you need feminism to the Carolina Women’s Center by our email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second, I’ve realized that in most of my blogs, I’ve talked about specific programs or events, but not what I’ve been doing on a day-to-day basis, so I wanted to give an update on what’s going on with my focus group projects. For the past couple of weeks, I have been spending a lot of time planning and recruiting for focus groups. Although I have done interviews and surveys before, I am totally new to focus groups, and it seems that you can never plan enough for them. So I am sharing the list (for beginners!) that I made of tips for planning and recruiting for focus groups:
1. Call everyone in HR. Immediately. Don’t email. Call.
2. Do not go through the organization’s mass email system. No one reads those, and sometimes people can opt out of receiving them. Instead, get a list of all eligible participants, and send them personalized invitations.
3. Ask everyone you meet at the organization if they want to participate/ help/ or know who might be interested in participating/ helping with a focus group. People respond better when you say their friend/ supervisor/ colleague recommended them.
4. Get other people to recruit for you. Suggest that they host a focus group with their colleagues or in their department. People are surprisingly responsive to this, and then you can get a group of people who are already comfortable with each other.
5. Make it easy for people to participate. Offer focus groups at different times of day. Let departments organize a focus group and go to them. See if the department supervisors will count attending the focus group as work time.
6. Offer food. This is the most important one.
Even though I have been learning as I go with the focus groups, It actually seems like everything is coming together. As I finish my first few focus group sessions, I’m sure I will have many more tips about writing questions and moderating!