Better diaries on the way


Arbitron announced diary enhancements that are intended to improve response rates for hard to reach demographics. Here are new initiatives being implemented beginning with the Spring 2008 diary survey:

–Second Chance Diary: In all continuously measured markets Arbitron will offer a second chance to respondents in households who initially agree to participate, but fail to return any diaries for the week they were selected. The second chance diary system will include only those households that return no diaries.

During the test of this initiative, Arbitron said improvements were seen in young male, black and Hispanic proportionality. 40% of the households who agreed to participate for a second time returned diaries.

“This is the best of both worlds for diary sample improvements. Typically when you improve proportionality, response rates go down and vice versa. With the second chance diary system, we are able to improve both proportionality and response rates,” said Ed Cohen, Arbitron’s VP of Research Policy and Communication.

–Young Male Promised Incentives: Beginning with the Spring survey, Arbitron is expanding promised incentives to non-continuously measured markets where the Male 18-34 proportionality index is less than 60, averaged across the most recent two surveys. At recruitment, households with young male respondents, aged 18-34, are promised an additional premium for each returned diary.

Promised incentives were successfully implemented in the Top Ten markets for black and Hispanic persons 12+ in Fall 2002 and has since been expanded to additional markets.