Arbitron watching participation levels in disaster areas


There’s been no change yet in Portable People Meter (PPM) and diary samples for radio markets impacted by recent wildfires, floods and tornadoes, but Arbitron says it is monitoring the situation.

The radio ratings company sent this notice to clients and trade publications:

“Dear Arbitron Client:

Arbitron is closely monitoring Diary sampling and PPM panel participation in areas that have been impacted by tornadoes, floods and fires over the past weeks. Our thoughts are with those who have been most profoundly affected by the loss of loved ones or the loss of homes and/or businesses, and with all those who are working on recovery efforts in their communities.

Arbitron is currently in the midst of its Spring 2011 Diary survey. The natural disasters that occurred in the last days and weeks of April happened after diaries had been mailed for weeks 4 and 5 of the survey, and while placement calling was in progress for week 6. We have closely monitored each area of the survey process as well as local market conditions, including evacuation areas, power outages, and the status of telephone and U.S. postal services. This monitoring continues where needed. Each step of the survey process is monitored and assessed by Arbitron — including daily reviews of contact rates, anecdotal information (comments during the interviews from respondents) and diary return rates — to determine whether additional measures or sample may be needed to meet Arbitron’s In-Tab targets for surveys.

We are also closely monitoring various PPM panel metrics on a daily basis and are making adjustments when and where necessary.

We will continue to track and monitor progress in individual markets until our performance data indicate that these steps are no longer necessary and/or appropriate. As always, your Arbitron account manager is available for any specific questions you may have.”