Taking part in the survey?
Have you been interviewed? Or has an interviewer called to your house? Here are the answers to some questions that you might have.
Are you filling out a diary?
Please go to radiodiary.co.uk to complete your 7 day listening diary.
Having problems completing the diary?
Please email email@example.com or call 0808 238 5473 for assistance.
How do I know the interviewer is genuine?
All of our interviewers work for Ipsos-MORI – one of the UK’s largest and most respected market research organisations. Additionally they carry photo ID, and are required to tell the local police that they are working in an area, but if you have the slightest doubt about the validity of the interviewer you can call Ipsos-MORI to check on 020 8861 8090. If you are still uncertain, then we recommend that you simply decline to take part. Genuine interviewers will take “no” for an answer, and leave you alone.
What exactly is RAJAR?
RAJAR stands for Radio Joint Audience Research, and is the official body responsible for collecting and publishing audience statistics for all of the UK’s radio stations, national and local, BBC and Commercial (hence the use of the word “Joint”). We are owned by the broadcasters and are run as a not-for-profit company.
What is the survey for?
RAJAR provides stations with relatively simple information – which stations are being listened to, how many and what types of people are listening, and what days and times are they listening. Almost every decision made by a radio station about which programmes and presenters are aired and when they are scheduled is based on information gathered from our survey.
How did you get my address?
The Post Office keeps an official list of all non-commercial addresses in the UK. It is called the Postal Address File (PAF), and we use this as the basis of our sample. Within designated areas we select random addresses and ask if anyone at those addresses is interested in taking part in our survey. We have no idea who lives at an address until the door is opened.
Why was I chosen?
Like most surveys RAJAR uses a sample of people to represent the views of the nation. This sample is selected very carefully so that it is as representative as possible in terms of geography (where people live) and demography (their age, gender, ethnicity etc.). We interview in different areas (urban and rural), at different times (9am – 9pm) on different days (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) to ensure we get the best possible spread of people.
Who gets to take part is decided by our interviewer who keeps a quota to ensure a good representation of different types of people – young and old, male and female, working and not working and so on.
Why was I not chosen?
Sometimes the interviewer will already have enough of a certain type of person which explains why people who may be willing to take part might not be selected. If, for example, an interviewer has already recruited enough young people, they will be looking for older people at the remaining addresses.
My next door neighbour was recruited, but the interviewer skipped my house, even though I was willing to take part. Why?
In order to achieve the best possible dispersion within an area, the interviewer is instructed to call at every fourth address on a street.
What do I have to do?
It’s really simple – every time you listen to the radio for at least five minutes, you should keep a record of the following:
- The station you were listening to
- The time you started listening
- The time you stopped listening
- Where you were when you were listening (e.g. home, car, work)
- How you listened (e.g. on AM/FM, DAB, online or via a TV)
That’s it – the diary is designed to make entering this information as easy as possible and it shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes to enter each day’s listening.
And remember – we’re only interested in “live” listening. If you’re listening to a pre-recorded programme, or a podcast, or any other form of audio, please don’t include it.
On my TV I can get radio stations and TV stations with the same name. Which do I include?
You should only include the radio stations. If the station is playing music videos, it’s TV, not radio!
Isn’t there a better method than keeping a diary?
Radio is really complicated to measure because it is so readily available – in different rooms all over the home, in the car, at work, out and about on a mobile phone or a laptop. Even on a TV! There are systems that can measure some of those very well, but only the diary measures them all equally.
RAJAR works with a variety of companies who are developing new measurement systems, which may be viable in the future, but for now, we believe that the tried and tested diary (incidentally – the most popular means of measuring radio in the world!) is the best common denominator.
Is a diary system that relies on people remembering things really the best solution?
It’s worth remembering that memory is required for any measurement system, whether it is pushing a button, carrying a device or writing something down, and as human beings, memory is one of our most important skills. We rely on it heavily on to enable us to live our lives, and we should not underestimate its power. Furthermore, with the diary, people are not being asked to remember their listening – they are simply being asked to remember to keep a record of their listening. There is a big distinction between the two. If you are asked how many buses, aeroplanes or post boxes you saw yesterday, then admittedly your memory may be a bit vague, but if you are asked to keep a record of every bus, aeroplane or post box that you see tomorrow, that’s a completely different task, and one that you will be able to respond to much more accurately.
How can you work out the Nation’s listening?
Every week RAJAR asks over two thousand people to take part in the National Listening Survey. Then, after 3 months, we aggregate all of the data and the listening habits of those people (after 3 months there will be more than 25,000 of them!) are used as a proxy for the entire country. So if 4% (i.e. 1,000 of our 25,000) listen to a certain radio station, then we are able to conclude that 4% of the UK population also listens to that station.
This is a simplistic explanation – we take lots of other variables into consideration so that we achieve a good balance in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, working/not working, geography etc. – but it gives a good idea of how a sample can be used to infer the listening habits of the nation.
Why should I bother to complete my diary?
Radio stations need to know who is listening in order to provide the programmes that their listeners will enjoy. If they didn’t have this information, they wouldn’t know whether the programming, and indeed the station, was working or not.
Another good reason to complete the diary is that the interviewer who recruited you does that job for a living and will be paid less for every diary that is not completed.
Has the survey got anything to do with advertising?
Unlike the BBC, which is funded by the licence fee, Commercial radio stations need to carry advertising. Without advertising they simply would not exist. As well as telling the stations how many people are listening to a programme, the RAJAR data also tells them how many people are likely to have heard an advert. This information is used by the stations to work out how much money they can charge for the advertising they carry. The amount of advertising allowed, as well as the nature of that advertising, is strictly controlled by Ofcom – the government’s watchdog for what gets broadcast on radio and TV.
I don’t listen to the radio – what is the point in me taking part?
In order to work out how many people listen to the radio, we must also measure how many people don’t listen, so even as a non-listener, your participation is valued. Additionally, there are some non-radio related questions about TV and newspapers that we would like you to complete.
What will happen to my data?
The first thing we do when we get your data is remove any personal information, such as your name and postcode. The remaining listening information is anonymised and added to the data from the other survey participants before being aggregated (mixed up and the average calculated).
Will anything else happen as a result of taking part in the survey?
You may be re-contacted for two reasons – as part of a quality control process to check that the interviewer carried out the survey correctly, or to take part in additional research provided you have consented to this. Under no circumstances will you be asked to buy anything, or added to a mailing list or contacted by any other party as a result of participating in the survey.
Who do I contact if I need help?
The interviewer will give you a card that shows the helpline number, which you should call if you have any queries.
Can I do it the following week as I’m away this week?
Unfortunately, your area has been chosen to balance the sample for one particular week. You cannot take part in a different week as it will be someone else’s turn. If you’re away, or cannot participate for any reason, then sadly there is nothing that we can do to switch things around.
Can I give my diary to someone else to complete?
No. You have been chosen to participate because the survey needs someone who matches your exact profile. We can only accept data from people who have been selected by the interviewer, otherwise the data and the person’s profile will not match and will provide misleading information.
Another family member would like to take part. Can they?
Sadly, unless recruited directly by the interviewer, nobody else in your family can take part on this occasion. However, there may be an opportunity for another family member to take part in the future. Once we have interviewed in a particular street we will not go back there for a year. But after a year, your street is just as likely to be chosen as any street in your area.
Finally… some facts about being recruited for RAJAR…
RAJAR’s interviewers call at 350,000 addresses every year, which means that the chances of your door being knocked on is about 1 in 60.
Because interviewers do not knock on every door in a street (in practice, it’s every fourth address), the chances of your street being selected in 1 in 15.
On average, each person on the survey represents 2,000 others who live in the same area.