Literature Review
Team Members


Hometown News: Reaching out for Connectivity


Test Markets
Using a test market is an excellent way to measure the effectiveness of a media product. Even though it may be expensive, the results of this type of research can save greater amounts of money that would otherwise be spent on ineffective marketing. (Quera, 1977). "While controversial, no other device offers such practicality for gaining realistic information (Quera, 1977, p.189). We recommend that to pilot test Hometown News that we use a test market concept, by choosing two cities, one that uses Hometown News products and one that does not, then testing each city to measure whether their core objectives are met. Following this pilot test we could expand the scope of this study.

According to Quera (1977), the cities selected should be relatively isolated geographically and the population should reflect the racial and demographics of the nation as a whole. For the Hometown News study, each tested city should have similar media outlets. The only difference between the cities should be their use of Hometown News print products. The results of the study in each city could then be compared. Using a pair of test market cities from a medium-sized media market and another pair from a small media market could provide even more useful results. The effectiveness of television products could not be used in this test market concept because many of the Hometown News television spots air nationally, thus finding a city that was not exposed to the product would be virtually impossible.

Method (External Survey)
A total of 250 participants will complete the survey at each site. They will be chosen through random computer generation to complete the survey. The participants will be between the ages of 18 and 25; gender, education, income and ethnic background will be random through the computer generation.

Design and Independent Variables
Media use is the principle independent variable in this study. It will be measured through three two-part ten point itemed questions assessing people's exposure to and attention paid to given media outlets: a specific newspaper, local television news, and local radio news in each of the cities chosen as previously discussed. For each media outlet, the two-part questions will ask: "To what extent do you use/rely on <media outlet> as a source of information about local news", with the answers ranging from "rarely use" to "frequently use" over a ten-point spread; and "How much attention do you pay to <media outlet> as a source of information about local news" with the answers ranging from "little attention" to "close attention" over a ten-point spread. The design of these questions has been proven reliable through studies conducted by Chaffee & Schleuder in 1986 and more recently by Moy and Pfau as well as others in between (Moy & Pfau, 2000, p. 65).

Dependent Measures
The study features three dependent variables: whether or not the public is informed of military missions, their attitude toward the military and their awareness of military missions. Awareness will be measured using Likert-type seven-point scales asking questions such as, "To what extent are you aware of the military's hometown news programs" with response options ranging from "relatively aware" to "relatively unaware" (Pfau, 2002). Other awareness questions can be added as they relate to the military's activities at the time this survey is conducted.

To measure people's attitudes toward and perceptions of the military, the survey is designed with a general attitude scale using six bipolar adjective pairs developed by Burgoon, Cohen, Miller and Montgomery in a 1978 study (Pfau, Park, Holbert, & Cho, 2001, p. 2385). The pairs include the following: foolish/wise, unfavorable/favorable, wrong/right, negative/positive, unacceptable/acceptable and bad/good (Moy & Pfau, 2000, 63). A 0-100 likelihood of supporting scale measured the probability of the receiver supporting the military and its missions (Pfau, 1990, p. 201).

Data Analysis
Upon completion of the surveys, reliability ratings need to be computed for each of the measures for the three variables. The amount of exposure and level of attention the participants pay to the media outlets will have an effect on the attitude toward and awareness of military missions. To analyze how much information the participants are receiving, the researchers will need to average each participant's scores for the two-part ten-itemed questions for each media outlet. There should be one score for each media outlet for each participant in the area of how informed they are. Once the media measures are analyzed, researchers will need to analyze the data on the participants' attitudes and awareness and draw their conclusions from the data.

Method (Internal Survey)
Methods for administering the interview or internal survey will consist of immediately providing subjects who conducted interviews (print, radio or television) for any phase of the Hometown News Program with an easily completed form to assess effects. Timeliness and ease of completion are essential not to further burden participants, who may be conducting real-world operations, and to further champion the cause of improving their morale. This short survey could be administered, when the operational environment permits, via a laptop computer. If operational conditions prohibit the use of a laptop, a simple "hard card" form of the survey could be administered.

The survey consists of two Likert Scale questions evaluating two different but related affects of participating in the program. The two Likert questions ask about morale after the interview and how proud the interviewer will be when/if the product airs/runs. Both questions range from greatly increased/very proud to greatly decreased/much less proud with using 1-7-point measures.
Morale and amount of pride can be analyzed separately summing of each numerical response and then dividing by the number of participants. To analyze both together the sum of the numerical value of both questions would be added, divided by the number of participants, then by two (2 questions).

The third question, administrative in nature, will ask if the interviewee will list popular print, radio and television stations/newspapers that he and his family watch or read regularly in his/her hometown. Responses to this question could be analyzed and crossed referenced against existing databases and media lists for accuracy and possible updates. Information gathered from this question would require further validation because the interviewee may have been in the military for several years and the local market has changed since his departure.