Have you ever done the Nielsen Ratings Diary? I was contacted about 2 months ago about interest. First it was a mailing with a survey as to my interest and eligibility. In it was 5 crisp $1 bills. I sent it back, filled out. Of course, who wouldn’t want to be part of keeping certain shows on the air? To be part of this process that almost all of us have heard about all our lives.?
So about 3 weeks go by and I get a call from Nielsen wanting to get some info from me for “demographic purposes.” They ask what some of my favorite shows were and my watching habits. He goes through the script and informs me that I will be receiving my envelope within the next few weeks; no specific date given. Then about a week after that, I get another mailing that says that I will soon receive my envelope with the diaries included. Why? Why send that? That’s wasteful. I was already told. It was documented already.
Okay, so I get the big envelope that has three diaries inside. One for the downstairs living room, one for upstairs bedroom and one for 3B’s bedroom. It’s hard to dictate what he watches because it’s usually something on Discovery Channel and while he’s asleep there are several infomercials playing. When I come in his room on the mornings I have him at home, I put it on Boomerang because it’s usually Tom & Jerry. He leaves shortly thereafter.
Here’s the thing: when I got the envelope I opened it, saw the diaries and another five crisp $1 bills. Do they have their own money printer? Just get $$ by the sheet? I have no clue. But, what I did was put them aside. Then, on Sunday afternoon, I look to see what I’m supposed to do and the diaries started the Thursday prior. Okay, well, that’s only 4 days, no problem, right? Um, no. Now, I want it to be as accurate as possible, that’s what it’s for. So I had to go back and remember what we watched and when. That took me a few hours. I knew what channels but did I know what? Like Food Network. We watch that a lot in this house but I wanted to be accurate as to what was on. Same with Food’s sister channel HGTV. On the weekends, especially they don’t have a set schedule, per se. It’s more like a guideline as to what you may see.
The diaries are smallish and hard for those of us (like me) with horrible handwriting to make neat and clean marks. Plus, who has to read all this? I know there are worse than me in the John Hancock department and people have to decipher this mess. My question is: Why don’t they offer an alternative online for those who are able to do so? I could fill this out much easier online and no one would have to try to figure what I have written. I think there would be less error and/or better copy & pasting. Results could be even quicker as it would be real-time, I’d think. I don’t know, I got $10 out of it and I’m doing what I can, it’s not up to me to read them.
So, I repeat, have you done one? What was your experience? Hit me up on here, or social media and tell me your experiences or thoughts on the Nielsen ratings. Do you think they could find a better tool than handwritten diaries? Let me know.
Until tomorrow (when I mail the diaries), same blog channel…
“We study consumers in more than 100 countries to give you the most complete view of trends and habits worldwide. And we’re constantly evolving, not only in terms of where we measure, or who we measure, but in how our insights can help you drive profitable growth.” – from “About Us” on Nielsen website.