Building a Representative Audience
Those who are civically involved are often, unfortunately, not entirely representative of the whole population. By offering access on mobile phones and the internet, we lower the barrier to participate, which leads to more representative results. People who live far away, who have children or busy schedules, who might feel intimidated or who work several jobs now have more flexibility and access to participate. Even with this, we know it’s not easy to reach a representative audience.
The best way to improve representation is to measure the problem and your progress. You can do both on Polco. Your engagement and result dashboards show how well you are doing (or not) in reaching a representative audience. With real-time reports, you can adjust your outreach to those historically under-represented geographic and demographic areas of the community.
You can also follow our playbook of outreach and topics, aligning each to help bring diverse groups to Polco. For example, you could strategically ask questions about playgrounds to attract young families or promote questions on social media to attract younger demographics. Reaching out to community partners such as religious organizations and employers can also help reach historically less engaged residents.
Confidence in Your Results
Finally, together with the National Research Center (NRC), which has 25 years of experience cultivating scientific survey results for cities (using statistically significant sampling), we have well-calibrated methods for supplementing multi-modal outreach, including postcard mailers. We can use anticipated response rates and can proactively over-sample areas or demographics with traditionally lower response rates. Our team of survey scientists and statisticians can help reweight your results for analysis, as well as provide you with results you can be confident in.