Improving African American Survey Response Rates for Leisure Marketing and Planning Studies


  • Bruce E. Wicks
  • Kathryn A. Norman


citizen input, nonresponse bias, leisure marketing, African American participation, telephone survey,


Public agencies frequently use mail surveys as a way to gather citizen input. The results of these studies may be integrated into the policy, program and budgetary processes of an agency. However, the lack of participation among African Americans in traditional mail survey research raises the possibility of nonresponse bias. This case study examines two issues: first, the belief that nonparticipation in mail survey questionnaires by African Americans is based upon a lack of perceived personal connection felt by participants to the subject content being surveyed; and second, there are more effective ways to obtain input from the hard-to-survey populations than written mail surveys. Findings show higher response rates among African Americans when an alternative survey method, a phone survey, was used instead of a mailed survey.





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