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Proximity Media Teams
Feb. 16, 2015
Spring Focus Group Report
Each of you will conduct and submit a report on a focus group session with a group of millennials
regarding their use of your team’s social media. Teams will use a Google Doc on Blackboard to
compose and edit the rationale statement for their sessions.
Schedule for drafts and final copy
Post a working draft of your report on Blackboard before the start of your section on Mon, Feb.
23 or Tues., Feb. 24.
Submit final copy for grading by end of day, Sunday, March 1.
There will be no regular class on Wed. or Thurs., Feb. 18 and 19; I will be in my office during class
Developing the rationale
Teams will work in class today developing rationale statements. The rationale can be broadly defined
or zero in on specific issues related to particular products or services and demographics (i.e. gender,
ethnicity, etc.). It should clearly identify the issue or problem under study, the information being
sought, and the value of that information for our clients.
Conducting the session
Each team member will recruit five individuals (not necessarily TU students) who can spend
approximately an hour talking about issues related to the team’s social media. You can also hold a
virtual session if you wish. Participants should be told that their identities will not be disclosed and
that all responses are confidential.
Formatting the report
The focus group report should include:
a statement of the rationale for conducting the session;
the session’s time and setting and basic demographic information about the participants (age,
sex, academic major/job);
a narrative account of the session organized by topics with quotes from the participants (use
first name pseudonyms);
a list of what you consider the two or three most important findings from the session with a
discussion of their implications for our clients and next steps your team should take.
You can find a sample focus group report as well as a report checklist on Blackboard.
Sample focus group report
Social Networking Team
Social Networking Focus Group Report
March 22, 2010
Here is my report on a focus group I ran with five college age males regarding their concerns about
hackers and predators on social networks. Most participants reported they were not concerned about
privacy or hackers and saw social networking primarily as a way to connect with women.
Focus Group Rationale
Social networks are increasingly subject to attacks by hackers and predators. Hackers are now
targeting users by sending messages to their social networking sites impersonating their friends, and
predators who frequent these sites have been charged with kidnapping, raping, and even murdering
young women. Our team wished to determine how these threats affect Gen-Y's use of social
networks and whether males and females view these threats differently. Information from these
session will allow Proximity clients to promote the safety of their social networking sites when
targeting Gen-Y users.
Setting and Participants
The hour long session was held in my apartment on Friday, March 12, 2010. The male participants
Larry, 21, a Towson Univ. senior business major;
Curly, 22, a Towson Univ. senior undeclared major;
Moe, 20, a self-employed mechanic;
Beavis, 19, a Towson Univ. sophomore computer science major (currently on academic
● Butthead, 19, a friend of Beavis.
We covered the following three topics during the session:
Concerns about privacy
Only one of the participants, Larry, expressed any concern about privacy. He indicated that since he
expected to graduate this spring he was afraid that "potential employers might be able to access stuff
on my Facebook account I don't want them to see." Moe, who has trouble remembering his MySpace
password, thought Larry's concerns were "paranoid."
Hacker attacks and online predators
None of the participants had encountered predators while online. Butthead, however, did note that he
sometimes wished female predators would contact him. Both Curly and Moe admit to having
downloaded viruses from MySpace, and Moe reports that he was sick for nearly a week after one
episode. Beavis said that he tries to lure hackers to his site and then "hack their accounts." He
believes he can parley skills gained from this activity into a position with the C.I.A.
Use of social networking sites as a dating portal
As expected, this topic prompted extensive responses which consumed most of the session. Larry,
who is also engaged, was reluctant to talk. The other four participants, however, traded many stories
about women they had met online. Beavis seemed to speak for the four when he exclaimed: "why
else would I waste my time social networking?" I remain skeptical about the trustworthiness of the
many reported online encounters, partly because by the end of the session I doubted that any woman
would pay attention to these four guys.
The two most notable findings for this session are that the male participants
believe they are invulnerable to hackers even though they freely share illegal files;
view social networking primarily as a means to meet women.
Although the males in this session may not avoid social networks because of fears they will encounter
hackers and predators, their obliviousness to the risk of downloading viruses could significantly limit
their ability to access sites.
In addition, concerted use of social networks by males to connect with women could make women
even more reluctant to interact with anyone on a social networking site outside a close circle of known
friends. We should consider conducting follow-up interviews to determine if our clients need to take
special measures to address concerns that women may have about social networking.