One day aided recall, or a few days without aids

Date of publication: July 1, 1995

Author: Aine O'Donoghue


Ireland has a 35 year history of measuring radio audience levels using the one-day aided recall method. The establishment of 20+ new local independent stations in Ireland in 1990 provided an ideal opportunity to review all radio audience measurement methodologies available. This led to a decision by the JNLR (Joint National Listenership Research) Committee to use the diary method for the new national radio listening research unless it was found to be unsatisfactory, when pilot tested in parallel with the one-day aided-recall method. It was felt that the benefits of having one-week listenership data for respondents would far outweigh those of continuity which aided-recall could provide. In the pilot study 420 people were interviewed using one-day aided recall. They were then asked to maintain a diary for the forthcoming week. Variation in the method of return of the diaries, and in relation to incentives were tested. While the overall response rates on the diary were satisfactory and average week-day listenership figures were quite similar for the two techniques (diary 4% higher), the amount of time spent listening was considerably higher - 15% - on the diary method. The JNLR Committee and the Advertising Industry might have come to terms with these higher listenership levels, but the variations between the two methods when analysed by demographic groups caused the Joint Committee, and more particularly the Advertising Industry to rescind their previous decision in favour of diaries, and to set up the JNLR (Joint National Listenership Research) in Ireland based on the one-day aided-recall method. It has been running satisfactorily since its inception and has to date published 10 reports.

Aine O'Donoghue


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