New method of audience research boosts ministry

By May 28, 2007

Int'l (MNN) — Words of Hope's Lee DeYoung says they're doing new research this summer in East Africa, specifically targeting eight language groups living in extremely isolated areas.

Why? The radio ministry wants to figure out the best to way to narrow their outreach focus.  However, audience research is not so easily accomplished in the nomadic areas. 

To that end, DeYoung says, "Words of Hope is launching a pilot project to test a new research technique. These will be face-to-face interviews with trained people, and the new technique is really how to find statistically-valid random samples of people who speak one of the eight languages that we will be researching."

The countries surveyed will include Sudan, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It will focus specifically on broadcasts in these languages: Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Luganda, Acholi, Lingala, French, and English.   

They're using Global Positioning Satellite technology to match their radio footprint and figure out where to send their interviewers. Interviews will be conducted by indigenous local interviewers, to be trained by WOH. They're hoping to gather at least 3,600 usable interviews — a minimum of 300 per language.

"When that is finished, we will take that information, process it, and hopefully understand the audience better. We want to understand what things we're doing well, what things maybe aren't working well, and do a better job of programming in the future."

It's all being done with the idea of making the message of the Gospel as clear as possible via radio broadcasting. WOH hopes, along with their partners in ministry, to build the church by winning the unreached to Christ and by encouraging Christians in the life of discipleship.

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