ERIC Number: ED177372
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr-27
Reference Count: 0
Meeting Consumers' Information Needs: Putting Research to Work.
The Consumer Information Center is a federal program which encourages federal agencies to develop and release consumer information to the public. It also promotes consumer awareness and access to information through the "Consumer Information Catalog" and a mail order distribution operation. Through research, the Center can learn the needs and wants of consumers, help make decisions about marketing and distribution of information, and select publications for the Catalog. One of three methods of research is the nationwide testing survey, performed quarterly on 2,500 households: it involves interviews in-home where subjects are asked to respond to twenty consumer titles. Responses are then organized demographically for future comparison. The second method is the catalog audience survey designed to elicit responses to similar items from catalog subscribers. Finally, a sampling of 1,000 catalog orders is made for indications of preference. Overall results indicate a "respondent effect" due to enthusiasm on the audience survey and a significantly lower interest on the nationwide survey expressed by those over 65, those earning less than $10,000, and those with some high school education or less. When suggesting topics for publication, consumers consistently select similar items. Research results are used to establish consumer information priorities, and to target certain publications to certain demographic groups, and to reach less responsive audiences through radio, television, and the popular press. (FP)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Services Administration, Washington, DC.
Identifiers: Consumer Information Catalog; Consumer Information Center
Note: Paper presented to the American Council on Consumer Interests annual conference