How long can response rates go?

In the United States the random-digit dial (RDD) telephone interviewing methodology is used for many important syndicated and publisher-sponsored readership studies. One the most prominent syndicated studies, Scarborough, which measures newspaper and magazine readership in 75 local media markets uses RDD. It’s average response rate is 38% and does have markets where is lower. Also many individual newspapers in smaller markets and small newspapers in major markets have also conducted, or want to conduct RDD studies to estimate a total audience of their individual newspapers for their use in ad sales. The Audit Bureau of Circulations is currently setting up standards and audit procedures to insure that a common readership question is used and a standard set of demographic questions asked. ABC will also audit the studies to insure that the minimum standards are adhered to.

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