A Focus Group is a form of market research with a carefully selected group of people who participate in a planned discussion to gather perceptions about a topic. Members of the group are encouraged to interact & influence each other during the discussion and consideration of ideas and perspectives.
If you’ve had a successful Town Hall ‘Meet The Experts’ Meeting in which the audience indicated they want to know more about building community resilience, then the next step could be to arrange a professionally run Focus Group to gather more precise feedback about what the broader range of people in your community think about The Local Resilience Project.
Essentially you will need to hire or ‘borrow’ a private room with catering facilities and restroom to assure the comfort of the participants. Invite a small group of people (6 to 12) to spend a half day attending your Focus Group. They will be expected to have completed The Checklist, made themselves familiar with the Local Resilience Project website content and be willing to stay for approximately four hours. During this time they will be served refreshments and asked for their opinions and beliefs about the Local Resilience Project. Responses will be recorded but privacy assured. The data you collect will help you present a convincing argument to your local politicians, business leaders, media and neighbours of the need to begin some resilience building initiatives.
Two suggestions for Focus Group participant selection:
(i) a good representation of the age, gender, cultural and income backgrounds of your area, or (ii) a selection of ‘recognised community leaders’ well connected to the area and in touch with community opinion and values e.g. Religious leaders, Charity workers, School principals, Sporting officials, Health Care practitioners and so on. Again, the internet will be a rich source of information on how to run a successful Focus Group.