connections chapter news

May 2015
Vol. 14, Number 4

Remember to check out the QRCA calendar of events
for upcoming Chapter events

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News


Global Connections Through the International Chapter

Astrid Velasquez,

The QRCA’s Virtual Chapter has finally changed its name to the “International Chapter.”  That might seem like a small thing, but it is important for members based outside of North America to be involved in matters that address their specific needs for information and networking possibilities.  

As you may know, the International Chapter is sponsoring several webinars about topics relevant to the latest trends in research and also presentations about managing international projects.  The most recent presentation took place on April 23rd through a virtual bulletin board that allowed everyone the chance to log in from any time zone or country around the world.  This online BB offered the opportunity to all attendees to connect with other researchers in many countries.  We encouraged participants to talk about their research expertise, best practices, methodologies, geographic location, etc.  We had members joining from 14 different countries and from all continents.  Everyone shared a little bit about the type of projects they manage and what they do best.  This is certainly a great way to start creating your own database of researchers and experts from around the world!

So, if you are managing international projects or have the need for a qualitative consultant in another country, you should participate in all of the International chapter presentations.  It will give you the opportunity to create your own database of colleagues and research experts from around the world.  But most important, the International Chapter is seeking to become “the place” where researchers go to learn about other countries, how research should be done in other places, any specific cultural issues that need to be taken into account, appropriate adaptations to be made to screeners and moderation guides, how work is done in foreign countries, and, mostly, how to ride the learning curve while avoiding the common mistakes related to conducting international research.

So, wherever you are based, don’t miss the next opportunity to participate in the presentations coordinated by the International Chapter….you never know when a big international client might come knocking on your door.

The QRCA International Chapter is here and it is doing great things!

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The OHINKY Chapter to Learn the “Language of the Mind”

Sharon Laukhuff,

It’s very familiar territory for QRCs to be asked to understand the customer better: Why do they have this behavior pattern? What is this emotion about? 

At its upcoming meeting, OHINKY Chapter members will be learning about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), which can be used as a tool to offer more value to clients. Learning NLP is sort of like learning the language of the mind – which we think might be useful for us.

Miguel Martinez-Baco, VP Qualitative and Hispanic Insights at Directions Research, will help us understand NLP and how we can use it with our projects. Miguel has more than 15 years of both general market and US Hispanic market research experience and is skilled at distilling actionable insights and direction. He is a RIVA-Certified Master Moderator, is a certified Neuro-linguistic Programming Trainer and Master Hypnotist. 

The OHINKY chapter meeting is scheduled for May 22 from 11:30 AM -1:00 PM EDT at SIRS, 201 Martha Layne Collins Blvd, Highland Heights, KY 41076. The chapter plans to offer FocusVision for those who cannot attend in person. 

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Philadelphia Chapter Bans Boring Reports

Laurie Tema-Lyn,

The Philadelphia Chapter of the QRCA hosted a very informative and inspiring presentation to a full house at Schlesinger Associates, Bala Cynwyd, on April10.

Entitled, “Amp Up Your Reports: Content & Beauty,” Philly Chapter’s own Carolyn Marconi (Catapult Marketing) and Toronto Chapter’s Sarah Jane Johnson (Athena Wisdom) offered practical advice for writing reports that are well organized, content rich, visually appealing and easy for clients - even those not present at the research - to digest.

Research reports have changed a great deal in the last decade:

  • They have moved from archival documents to decision tools
  • Clients and management team members are stretched thin; they are forced to make speedier decisions
  • Good reports help clients do their jobs
  • The digital landscape has changed expectations about report-writing

Best practices from Carolyn:

  • Speak with your client before you start writing so that the report is aligned with what is needed. Discuss how the report will be delivered (in-person, telephone meeting or just a digital hand-off) and who will be viewing
  • Clarify deliverables: does the client want conclusions, recommendations or implications?
  • Develop an overall framework/look for the report
  • Tell a story and tailor that story to fit the objectives, scope, client and culture
  • Use verbatim - but not an overwhelming number of them - to enhance the story
  • Don’t overlook the basics of correct grammar, punctuation, parallel structure, etc.

Observations and advice from Sarah:

  • Keep in mind that there are two different kinds of presentations: the Ballroom and the Boardroom. If you are speaking in the ballroom (as in a TED talk) then your slides are mood setters, mostly visuals. If your presentation is in the boardroom, then you must include the important verbiage. However remember that the whole brain is activated by telling stories, not statistics; stories are remembered, statistics are not
  • Sarah tends to do two different types of reports: strategic (e.g. deep dive studies, ethnographies, positioning) which have broader objectives; and tactical reports (e.g. for concept optimization, advertising testing, shop-alongs) which are fairly tangible and have less focus on emotional understanding.  When doing strategic reports, start with the synthesis - the big picture - which comes out of all the component parts. For tactical reports, start with the analysis and then work up to the overarching theme

Carolyn and Sarah strongly agree that good design matters a lot in creating quality reports.

  • It helps readers better understand the information and digest it more quickly
  • There are times when it may be worthwhile to hire an outside designer to help create a template or a final presentation
  • There are a multitude of good design resources available for hire and many excellent books on how to optimize PowerPoint

A few final tips:

  • Avoid full sentences in PowerPoint slides
  • Avoid sub-bullet points which create visual havoc
  • Use color effectively: certain colors make the heart beat faster; others are calming
  • Consider using visual metaphors to communicate the big ideas
  • Consider developing a consistent color and style for reports to communicate your brand

After the two excellent presentations, the program continued in a workshop format during which participants showed some of their sample report pages in order to elicit feedback.

philadelphia chapter
The Philly chapter’s meeting featured speakers Carolyn Marconi (Catapult Marketing) of the Philly chapter and Sarah Jane Johnson (Athena Wisdom), a member of the Toronto chapter of QRCA.

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Southeast Chapter to Meet Friday, May 15 – Everyone Is Invited!

Randi Stillman, 

QRCA Southeast Chapter is planning a lunch meeting for Friday, May 15, at California Pizza Kitchen, North Point Mall in Alpharetta. Mark your calendars now! Specific meeting details to come; please stay tuned.

Along with local chapter members, any out-of-town QRCA members who are in Atlanta that day are invited to attend. We can even try to find a local member with a spare bedroom to help you save on hotel costs. For more information, feel free to contact Chapter Co-Chairs: Randi Stillman (, 404-326-0671) or Joel Reish (, 770-609-5500).

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