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Fors Marsh Group to Conduct the 2017 State of the First Amendment Survey for the Newseum Institute

current events / government / news / qualitative research / free speech / free expression / freedom of press / featured
First Amendment Survey for the Newseum Institute Fors Marsh Group, LLC (FMG), a Washington, D.C.-area research-based consultancy, has partnered with the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center to conduct the Institute’s annual State of the First Amendment (SOFA) survey. This year’s SOFA survey measures Americans’ knowledge of their core freedoms and samples their opinions about today’s First Amendment issues. "We are excited to partner with the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center," said Dr. Krysha Gregorowicz, public policy senior researcher at FMG. "FMG’s experience in survey development, sampling, and analysis positions us well to provide unique insight into the current state of the First Amendment in the United States. As a mass media and... more
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To Really Address Fraud Claims, Conduct Comprehensive Election Audits

elections / current events / featured / voting / in the news
Recently, President Donald Trump said that Vice President Mike Pence will head up a commission to investigate voting irregularities and possible fraud, especially related to voter registration. Examining elections to identify fraud requires in-depth election audits—a methodological examination of the processes and procedures that states and localities use to manage their elections, with all of their complexities. An audit looks at the process used to implement each aspect of an election, the personnel and how they are trained to implement the processes, and only then examining the bottom line—the numbers and the performance of the election. In our books Confirming Elections and Evaluating Elections, my collaborators and I wrote about how to audit a popular election and how to evaluate election administration.... more
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Strategies for Engaging Every Voter

elections / government / military research / current events / featured
I recently wrote an article for the Washington Post about actions that State and local election officials can take to improve public confidence in elections. Voters want information – they want to know what is going on with the administration of elections so that the process is transparent. Council of State Governments Overseas Voting Initiative’s Policy Working Group Today, the Council of State Governments is releasing a report from its Overseas Voting Initiative’s Policy Working Group The report titled, "Overseas Voting: Strategies for Engaging Every Voter," that contains policy recommendations for improving the voting experience for U.S. military voters and citizens living abroad. The recommendations in the... more
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The PokemonGo Get Out the Vote

featured / current events / in the news / marketing research / behavior / voting
If you are one of the many staring out your office window and wondering, why people, and groups of them, are staring at their phones and pointing it at a random sign, fountain, or building with so much eagerness, well, you are not alone. The answer is ‘Pokémon Go.’ This craze has been taking over lives, been the source behind many entertaining memes, and been popular marketing discussion as to the future of augmented reality and the implications for brands. There has even been talk that Pokémon Go has been more effective in getting people off the couch than other more targeted fitness campaigns. This campaign has legs – including those legs of all the players in the world – excited to actively explore the... more
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Overseas Citizens Can Vote – No Matter Where They Are: Military & Their Families

featured / voting / elections / military research / current events
Armed Forces Voters Week is happening now – June 27-July 5. As communities of friends, supporters or employers of Service members, spread the word about the resources available to make it easy for overseas U.S. citizens and Service members to register and vote. Help make sure their vote is counted! Members of our Armed Forces protect our freedoms and liberties. One of those cherished freedoms is the right to vote – and Service members and their families can exercise that right from wherever they are stationed around the world. Fors Marsh Group has worked with the agencies dealing with military recruiting and retention since its founding, and we’ve studied voting processes and patterns of voting – especially voting by military personnel – for years. We... more
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Naked and Afraid: From Reality TV to Tobacco Products Packaging?

featured / tobacco / current events / in the news / communication research
Today, on World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for plain packaging of tobacco products. Each year on May 31, WHO and partners highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocate for specific efforts to reduce use across the globe. The focus of conversation today is plain packaging, which WHO argues “is an important demand reduction measure that reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, restricts use of tobacco packaging as a form of tobacco advertising and promotion, limits misleading packaging and labelling, and increases the effectiveness of health warnings.” WHO World No Tobacco Day | May 31 So what’s the skinny for chatter around the water... more
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Keeping the Significance of Memorial Day

featured / military research / current events / in the news
As a kid, it was hard not to look forward to Memorial Day: A day off from school, barbeques, good weather, the community pool opening for the Summer, and did I mention we got the day off from school? As someone who today works closely with the Military, I of course now approach Memorial Day with a stronger sense of somber gratitude for those who died protecting our country’s security and national interests. Because I was long one of them though, I like to withhold judgment on those who might forget the significance of today. However, the researcher in me can’t help but think about why it might be the case that we lose touch with the purpose of Memorial Day. I submit that it... more
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Taking Care of those that Serve and Protect: Military Member Wellbeing

featured / military research / current events / in the news
The month of May recognizes military service members and their families in many ways – including Military Appreciation Month, Military Spouse Appreciation, and of course Memorial Day. Armed Forces Day - May21,2016 One lesser known day, May 21, 2016, marks Armed Forces Day, a time to honor and acknowledge the people of the Armed Forces of the United States. At Fors Marsh Group, this day has particular importance as we’ve always had a longstanding commitment to supporting our troops through close relationships with multiple Department of Defense clients whose missions support troop wellbeing. It’s no surprise to anyone who watched the news that today’s service members must navigate an increasingly complex and constantly evolving environment.... more
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April: Month of the Military Child

current events / featured / psychology / military
At Fors Marsh Group, we’ve long supported and conducted research with military service members throughout the military career lifecycle – from new recruits, to current active duty and reserve component service members, to service members transitioning back to civilian life. At each stage of their journey, there is one constant that remains, and that is family. This April marks the 30th anniversary of the Month of the Military Child, which seeks to recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the youngest members of our nation’s military community. There are nearly 2 million U.S. military children, including over 1.1 million children of Active Duty service members and 700,000 children of Reserve Component service members. Approximately 37% of military children are age 5 and under, 31% are... more
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How to Moderate Focus Groups Like Oprah

focus group / qualitative / current events / featured
I am not usually interested in self-help books or “personal transformation” activities, but when a childhood friend invited me to go with her to a workshop hosted by Oprah Winfrey, I decided to embrace the potential cheesiness and buy a ticket. For two days, we (and a few thousand other people) listened as Oprah and a team of speakers talked about how to create “The Life You Want.” I heard all sorts of things over those two days---some of interesting, some useful, some a little crazy—but I found myself surprised over and over by how much Oprah was like a focus group moderator. As I watched her tell stories about her career and manage the crowd of thousands, I... more
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Gifting that Matters - Join FMG on Giving Tuesday

current events / arlington dc / featured / in the news
Target Shoppers on Black Friday

Tis the season for creating wish lists, hitting the malls, and overspending. Starting with Black Friday and continuing straight through Cyber Monday, Americans are overwhelmed with ads touting the latest deal, trying to persuade consumers to buy things they never knew they wanted, let alone needed. With so many ‘buying' into this craze and making these shopping days almost as anticipated as the holidays themselves, it's no wonder people start to feel empty inside (despite having their hands full of shopping bags). Are consumers walking away from these bargains feeling more festive and in the holiday spirit? Probably not.

In 2012, Henry Timms, an executive director with the nonprofit... more

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World No Tobacco Day: The higher the tax, the less death and disease

tobacco / social marketing / behavioral research / current events / blog
On May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners around the world will celebrate World No Tobacco Day. This year’s theme is to raise taxes on tobacco. According to WHO, research shows that higher taxes are especially effective in reducing tobacco use among lower-income groups and in preventing young people from starting to smoke. Increasing excise taxes on tobacco is considered to be the most cost effective tobacco control measure. The World Health Report 2010 indicated that a 50% increase in tobacco excise taxes would generate a little more than $1.4 billion in additional funds in 22 low-income countries. Hi Megan We already see the positive impact of high tobacco taxes in the United States.... more
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Totes Ma Goats: With invasive species month ending, goats join the cause.

client work / current events / social marketing / blog
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) declared April as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month and asked that people join a fight they can’t win alone. In one Michigan county, APHIS will have some unlikely helpers too – goats! Starting next month, goats will graze on invasive species as part of a parks department pilot program. Though experts have deemed invasive species a serious risk, many laypeople don’t think invasive species are particularly dangerous or relevant (and thus don’t allocate many if any resources to learning about them or reducing them). A lack of public engagement and shared responsibility is problematic given a simple action or uninformed decision can wreak havoc on our environment. For example, a seemingly harmless souvenir... more
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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Conference Season

conferences / current events / usability / user experience / company events / blog
April is a really exciting month as it kicks off the start of the busy conference season and plenty of speaking engagements. My calendar seems pretty booked and I am excited to meet new people and talk about UX with others in the DC/NoVa area, and at conferences across the country. Here is a brief rundown of what’s to come – hope to see you at a few: Tuesday, April 8 - DC Web Women’s Code(Her) Workshop Series: I will be teaching about integrating usability testing methods in development. This should be eye-opening and encourage lots of conversation because many people do not even know that they can or should test their products even as early as during the coding stage. (David discussed this last... more
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YAHOO! helps you pick a winner: the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge

current events / in the news / user experience / blog
College basketball fans can rejoice because March Madness is finally upon us. Cinderella stories and nonstop games for three weeks will keep even the most hardcore fans satiated. When the NCAA Tournament arrives, so too do the bracketology experts. This year, the stakes have been raised. Not only can you compete with your friends for bragging rights, you can also compete for a billion dollars of Warren Buffet’s money. When you submit your bracket, you might want to hold off on giving your boss your two weeks notice. If you know a little something about college basketball you might bump your odds of winning the bracket challenge up to one about in 128 billion, according to a recent Washington Post article. To say the... more
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Going for Olympic (Advertising) Gold

advertising research / in the news / behavioral research / current events / featured / blog
On the heels of the Super Bowl comes another win for advertising with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Whether people are setting their alarms to watch the events live or avoiding all spoilers until the primetime rebroadcasts, the Olympics are traditionally one of the most watched television events. The Olympics dominated the Nielsen top 10 rankings for the week of February 3rd, capturing the top 4 spots with the February 7th Opening Ceremony taking first place with 31.69 million viewers. The Sunday Prime Time, Saturday Prime Time, and Thursday Prime Time broadcasts completed the top 4 (1). With such viewership it is no wonder that NBC Universal announced in September 2013 that it had sold a record setting $800 million in advertising to a... more
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Is TV Advertising Always a Touchdown?

advertising research / behavioral research / current events / in the news / market research / featured / blog
With the Super Bowl this Sunday, the advertising world is abuzz with predictions on what to expect from the top spenders and advertisers. At least they can count on the fact that TV ads continue to be trusted, and probably will for some time. Newspapers and Magazines are still most trusted forms of advertising, with almost two-thirds (63% and 62%, respectively) of consumers trusting advertisements from those sources. Television is not far behind at 61% (1). TV ads are also cited as very influential, with 68% of consumers indicating that they always or sometimes take action on something after viewing a television ad. And despite the rise of digital ads, TV accounts for the largest amount of advertising dollars spent, with over $63 billion spent... more
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Social Marketing and Beyonce Singing the Same Tune? Not Quite.

advertising research / behavioral research / in the news / blog / current events / social marketing
Last week Beyoncé set the Internet abuzz when she released a surprise new album in what some have called a stroke of social marketing genius. A great example of a common mix-up between social media marketing and social marketing, Beyoncé’s album release isn’t social marketing as we think of it. However, we’ve been excited to see social marketing (i.e., the application of marketing principles and techniques to plan, implement and evaluate social change programs (1)) trending in 2013 as well. The appeal of social marketing lies in its utility in producing behavior change through a consumer oriented approach. More and more, evidence suggests there’s more to behavior change than a rational, well-thought-out argument. This is an idea that seems second nature for marketers of products... more
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Gifting that Matters - Join FMG on Giving Tuesday

current events / arlington dc / featured / in the news
Target Shoppers on Black Friday Tis the season for creating wish lists, hitting the malls, and overspending. Starting with Black Friday and continuing straight through Cyber Monday, Americans are overwhelmed with ads touting the latest deal, trying to persuade consumers to buy things they never knew they wanted, let alone needed. With so many ‘buying' into this craze and making these shopping days almost as anticipated as the holidays themselves, it's no wonder people start to feel empty inside (despite having their hands full of shopping bags). Are consumers walking away from these bargains feeling more festive and in the holiday spirit? Probably not. GivingTuesday In 2012, ... more
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