We’ve all fished before. Fished for compliments, fished for approval, fished for the perfect dessert to accompany your Sunday roast. Some of us have even been on Plenty of Fish, trying to hook a date with the perfect partner. But here at BEAM, we’ve gone fishing to find the perfect participants to take part in a very specific project for one of our favourite clients.
Last year we were commissioned to manage a research project all about fishing. Sounds easy right? Cast your line and wait for them to bite…wrong. Turns out finding the perfect participants for this project took time, patience, and the perfect bait to net the right people to take part.
The project took place over three UK locations. We recruited and project managed the recruitment and execution of face-to-face depth interviews, mini groups, and larger focus groups, with over 80 participants who were either current, potential or lapsed anglers. Recruitment consisted of both list and free-find recruitment methods and we used our experienced in-house recruitment team and our trusted network of freelance recruiters to scour the riverbanks, canal sides, waterways and shorelines of the UK to tackle recruiting the right people for the job.
Now, finding current or lapsed anglers wasn’t the issue. Finding anglers who were willing to share their experiences (both good and bad) of fishing, purchasing and renewing the appropriate rod licence and maintaining interaction with the Environment Agency were tricky to find as todays pace of life is juxtaposed to the relaxed and laissez-faire nature of fishing. That, accompanied with group attendance after business hours, and during the summer months when any spare time meant fishing time proved quite the challenge.
Building trust with this audience was key to the project’s success. We spent hours reading blogs and observing developing conversations on social media through groups and threads to understand the range of mindsets and attitudes of these audiences, familiarising ourselves with people who were active or passive anglers. This helped us in the recruitment process to empathise, understand and encourage honesty throughout screening. Invites were sent out via email and by post to those who were not engaged with technology to welcome them to the research. We chatted to partners and wives (and husbands) to communicate the purpose and practicalities of the research to encourage attendance and participation in the sessions.
The efforts we made over and above to engage and encourage our participants meant that attendance rate was high with near-to-full attendance across all groups and depths and the findings of the research was plentiful and revealing for our end client.
Have a hard to reach audience that requires a little more effort to catch? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org (apologies for all the fish puns in this blog – we were krilling ourselves writing it)