Experiences using a variety of recruitment techniques to conduct public surveys about counter-terrorism

Claire Irvine1
1Queensland Police Service, Brisbane, Australia

A survey investigating the reach and perceptions of the Project Unite (the Queensland Police Service’s (QPS) Commonwealth Games Security Awareness) campaign was developed as part of an evaluation. There were two survey recruitment techniques implemented: on-line and face-to-face. 1,737 respondents were recruited on-line and 343 respondents were recruited through conducting surveys face-to-face in areas with high pedestrian traffic.

The on-line survey was marketed through: the QPS’s website, Twitter account, myPolice blog, and Facebook page. Additionally, $500 was spent on paid Facebook advertising. The number of survey respondents peaked after the tweets, blog posts, Facebook post and paid social media advertising. However, the number of survey respondents was not sustained over-time. The paid advertising through Facebook proved the most effective, reaching the largest number of unique browsers. The QPS website recruited very few respondents.

Several analyses of the survey technique and demographics of respondents were conducted. Results suggest more females were recruited on-line than males, however, the face-to-face surveys were relatively even. Surprisingly, the cohort of respondents who completed the survey on-line were older than those who were recruited face-to-face. Further, those who lived local to the Commonwealth Games and had an affiliation with the QPS, were more likely to be recruited on-line than face-to-face. There was no significant association between the survey technique and Commonwealth Games affiliation.

Recruitment effectiveness, cost considerations, respondent demographics and response implications in recruiting survey respondents on-line using different marketing tools, and conducting surveys face-to-face will be discussed.

Claire Irvine is currently a Senior Research and Evaluation Officer in the Queensland Police Service’s Research and Evaluation unit. Claire has worked in a research capacity for the Queensland Police Service for over 4 years, having previously worked in the Road Policing Command’s Research and Policy Development unit. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in criminology and has recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Policy Analysis. Claire has a keen interest in experimental criminology, evidence based policing and translating research into policy.

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