Friday, July 18, 2008

May I Ask You a Few Questions?

Whenever I’m walking down the street and see someone with a clipboard coming my way, I immediately bolt in the other direction or pull out my cell phone and call someone. I try to avoid researchers at all costs. That is, until I became the researcher.

A couple of days ago, Ashley and I were sent down to the East 4th District around lunchtime to interview people passing by. It’s very interesting to observe people – especially when they see you and try to get away. I saw everything – people scurrying to the other side of the street, people telling me that they are in a hurry but walking at a slow pace, people pulling out cell phones, people asking for any free compensation and people just ignoring me. When people did cooperate, I was so thankful. I couldn’t thank them enough. It’s tough trying to get people to answer a few questions for research!

The whole experience made me realize how important research is. Some research requires how ordinary, everyday people act and what their habits are. Learning what people do and don’t do and what people like and dislike can be vital to a project. Every campaign needs to have facts to go by, so research is essential.

So the next time I see a researcher with a clipboard heading my way, I might think twice before heading in the opposite direction. What he/she is asking may be worth something.

Kristen N.
Program Management Intern

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