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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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Sugar Under Fire Again Amid Allegations Industry Funding Diverted Scientific and Consumer Attention to Fat

featured / in the news / health communication / social marketing / research
Deny and subvert. South Park’s parody of Tom Brady’s strategy for dealing with bad press could easily be applied to a number of people, industries, or contexts. The latest in the spotlight is the sugar industry—under fire last week amid allegations the industry funded and influenced research with an agenda to shift the blame to fat. The outcome, many are arguing, was a potentially misplaced focus on low-fat diets…which opened the door for increased sugar consumption and contributed over several decades to the challenges we face with chronic diseases and obesity. Deflategate may be fizzling out with Brady halfway through his suspension, but the sugar industry’s woes are seemingly just beginning. Sugar Advertisement The latest uproar was sparked... more
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Is Direct Mail Dead? Not So, Say Millennials

youth / millennials / elections / voting / generational research / in the news / featured
As a Millennial, I know firsthand how much my generation relies on the digital world as an information source. So when I read that 42% of Millennials prefer political mail over digital forms, I went straight to the source of the statistic to find out more: a white paper recently released by the United States Postal Service (USPS) , which summarizes the results of a survey and series of focus groups concerning Millennials’ attitudes and perceptions about political mail. While there is a plethora of research to support how digitally inclined (or even dependent) Millennials are, the USPS study is unique in that it captures the behaviors of Millennials from a different angle. Results suggest that grabbing the attention of Millennials through digital... more
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Fors Marsh Group (FMG) Awarded Contract for 2016 Election Administration and Voting Survey

featured / news / blog / in the news
Aug. 16, 2016 — The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has awarded Fors Marsh Group (FMG), LLC, a contract to conduct the 2016 Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS). FMG will administer, compile data and report on this biennial survey, working with each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, FMG will prepare the 2016 EAC Election Administration and Voting Survey Comprehensive Report. This report will explore many facets of the electoral process and voting technology. It will include sections on voter registration and recommendations related to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and to the voting participation of uniformed services members, their families and overseas citizens. "FMG... more
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The Role of Women in the U.S. Military throughout History

military / military research / generational research / in the news / featured
With the nomination of the first female major-party presidential candidate in the United States, we are reminded about the tremendous progress that has been made in women’s rights and opportunities in our country. The U.S. Military is no exception. Women have played a valuable role in the U. S. Military since its inception. During the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War, women supported military efforts by serving primarily as nurses, seamstresses, or cooks. Some fought alongside the troops while disguised as men while others served as spies. During the two world wars, women served in positions in military intelligence, maintenance and supply, administrative support, and cryptography. In 1942 the Women Army Corps was officially created, opening more than 400 jobs to women. Women in... 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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The New Era of Telework: Benefits and Drawbacks

featured / careers / in the news / personnel development / human resources
Even in the face of metro outages or inclement weather, productivity loss has remained minimal in the Washington, D.C. metro area—at least among professional workers. This can be largely attributed to the number of both private and public sector organizations with policies in place that allow for scheduled, occasional, or situational remote work. This practice is commonly referred to as teleworking or telecommuting, and typically includes the following:
  • Replacement of time spent working in the office with time spent working from a remote location (often the employee’s own home)
  • The use of telecommunication technology (e.g., phone, email, instant messaging)
The federal government has long been on the forefront of implementing policies and technology that ensure that... 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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When is research "debunked"?

featured / in the news / psychology / market research
We rely on scientific research findings to form the basis for a variety of important decisions about issues like how money should be spent, how to keep people safe, and what kinds of foods to eat. Research findings that are widely accepted as true by the public affect decisions we make. A study of how the lay public is confused by news reports on cholesterol and diet provides one example (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9566.ep10932547/abstract). When published research findings conflict with each other and there’s no consensus on the truth, the trustworthiness of that research is called into question. Lately, the popular media has summarized a number of debates among academic researchers regarding the trustworthiness of published research. An article on attitudes toward same-sex marriage was retracted by... more
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Data and Elections

featured / blog / in the news / voting
There has been quite a bit of media coverage this week about the long lines that occurred at the polls in Maricopa County, Arizona during the recent primary elections. The questions raised include whether the lines were caused by having too few voting locations and confusion over new voter identification requirements. However, the bigger issue was likely a lack of staffing at the polling locations and lack of care in selecting where to locate the polls. In our book Evaluating Elections: A Handbook of Methods and Standards, Michael Alvarez, Lonna Atkeson, and I discuss how simple data analysis can help local election offices avoid making simple election mistakes. A simple review of the historical data for Maricopa County suggests that having... more
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Sure, It's Bad — But Will It Ever Happen to Me? Looking Back on National Preparedness Month

featured / behavior economics / public health / in the news
This past September, a range of organizations—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency—participated in 2015's National Preparedness Month. Throughout the month, these and other organizations have been encouraging individuals and community groups to (1) learn what protective measures they should take before, during, and after emergency events, like hurricanes, floods, and wildfires; (2) make a plan to implement those measures and stay informed of emergencies; and (3) seek out ways to support community preparedness. Visit Ready.gov for more information on actions you can take to be prepared. Looking back on the past month, and reflecting on the... more
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President Obama is a Fan of Behavioral Economics, And Here's Why

featured / behavior economics / in the news
This past Wednesday, Mr. President issued an executive order encouraging federal agencies to use insights from social and behavioral sciences to improve their programs and outcomes and to better serve the American people. The order also formally establishes the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, a group of experts that has spent the past year and a half conducting experiments and implementing improvements in a variety of government programs. By making simple changes such as sending out letters to potential participants or changing a program's default option, these researchers have been able to bring about significant and cost-effective changes. Among other things, these changes have resulted in increased retirement security, better educational access, and improved compliance among government contractors. What's... more
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Small Steps, Big Differences - Embracing National Wellness Week

featured / advertising research / health research / in the news
With beach season in the rearview mirror and holiday festivities ahead, I feel tempted this time of year to pull out my sweaters, find a cozy fire and hibernate for the winter. Unlike January, I find the fall a particularly difficult season to try and "overhaul" one aspect of my health - such as starting a ‘diet' program or instituting a new fitness regimen. Yet in 2011, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) chose September as the month to celebrate National Wellness Week (this year, September 13-19) in an effort to promote the importance of not just nutrition and physical fitness, but the many other aspects of what it means to be "well." SAMHSA defines wellness as "not the absence... more
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Fors Marsh Group Makes Inc. 500|5000 List for Third Consecutive Year

featured / news / blog / in the news
Arlington, Va., September 2, 2015 – Inc. Magazine ranked Fors Marsh Group No. 4,285 on its 34th annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. This is the third consecutive year Fors Marsh Group (FMG) made the list. Inc 5000 Fors Marsh Group The 34th annual Inc. 5000 list takes a comprehensive look at America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Yelp, Pandora, Timberland, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, LinkedIn, Zillow, and many other well-known names previously gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000. Compiled from percentage revenue growth over a three-year period, the 2015 list represents the most competitive group of privately-owned companies in Inc. 5000 history. As... 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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Work and Family are Top Priorities in October - National Work and Family Month

featured / organizational health / in the news
Negotiating the demands of work and home life is a familiar struggle for working adults. Many of us have felt stressed or tired upon returning home from work, been late to work because of commitments at home, or had to cancel a personal appointment because work was busy. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 56% of working moms and 50% of working dads say they find it very or somewhat difficult to balance work and family responsibilities. Furthermore, although much attention is focused on working parents in particular, conflict between work and home life occurs for any worker who has demands stemming from providing support to other family members, pets, self-care activities, and other commitments. October is National Work &... more
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Fors Marsh Group Makes Inc. Magazine’s 5000 List for Second Year

featured / news / blog / in the news
Arlington, Va., September 2, 2014 – Inc. Magazine ranked Fors Marsh Group No. 3,881 on its 33rd annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy— America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Yelp, Pandora, and Zillow gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 500|5000. Fors Marsh Group has the distinction of being ranked on the Inc. 5000 list for the past two years. “We are honored to be recognized for a second consecutive year as one of the fastest-growing U.S.-based companies by the Inc. 500|5000 list, and see it as validation of all the hard work by our team and the value our... more
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Is College Really Worth It?

career development / featured / in the news / blog
This past Tuesday, David Leonhardt of The New York Times addressed a common question confronting many American households, “Is College Worth It?” His conclusion, “Yes, college is worth it, and it’s not even close.” In his report, he cites new analysis from the Economic Policy Institute in Washington that reports that Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree and that this disparity far outweighs the increasingly high costs of college. But, as Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight.com puts it “just because people who graduate from college are better off, doesn’t necessarily mean that going to college is a... 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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The Psychology and Advertising Behind Black Friday

advertising research / behavioral research / blog / in the news
Hi MeganI have a confession to make – I am the woman in this Target Black Friday commercial. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving not only excite me because I know I get to spend time with my whole family, but it also means it’s the start of Holiday shopping – signified by Black Friday. After my family’s Thanksgiving feast, the women in my family, young and old, circle up with piles of ads and start discussing stores and deals. Over the years, 5 am alarms turned into 3 am alarms, which turned into shopping all-nighters. Nothing makes me happier than frolicking in the aisles of Target at 2 AM and grabbing the very last iHome that’s... more
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Inc. Magazine Unveils Its Annual Exclusive List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies: FMG Makes the List

news / in the news / featured
Arlington, Virginia – August 22, 2013 –Inc. Magazine today ranked Fors Marsh Group No. 2,235 on its seventh annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Fors Marsh Group joins LivingSocial, Edible Arrangements, CDW and Lifelock, among other prominent brands featured on this year’s list. In a stagnant economic environment, median growth rate of 2013 Inc. 500|5000 companies is an impressive 142 percent. The companies on this year’s list report having created over 520,000 jobs in the past three years, and aggregate revenue among the honorees reached $241 billion. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an... 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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