Last week, I received this notice from Luntz Global, the local market research and messaging group led by GOP pollster Frank Luntz. “It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear,” the firm proclaims on its Web site.
The Redskins had used Luntz to survey Redskins fans last summer, and they are evidently doing so again this summer. “We are always getting feedback from our fans,” a team spokesman explained. Naturally, I filled out the brief survey in an attempt to participate.
Sadly, I was not invited to Sunday’s session. Happily, a Sports Bog reader (with whom I share mutual friends) was accepted to the session. The fan and I chatted about his experience; here’s one man’s report on what it’s like to be polled by the Redskins.
* To start, participants surrendered their phones and were given a questionnaire on a clipboard. Many of the questions provided perhaps 18 or 20 answers, asking participants to put a plus sign next to the six best options, and a minus sign next to the six worst options.
* What sort of questions? One, for example, concerned team slogans. Among the choices were Believeland, Unfinished Business, United in Burgundy, Keep Pounding, Capital Passion Capital Pride, Redskins Nation, Hail Yeah, Tradition Worth Fighting For and Next Season Begins Now.
* Other questions — for example, when participants were asked to rate sample statements from a coach or GM — provided only two answers. The focus group members were asked for their preferences between answer A and answer B.
* After doing their written work, participants were sent into a room with a one-way mirror, where Luntz himself led a group discussion session. For example, he would ask the participants, who numbered about 30, to use one word to define new coach Jay Gruden. He also asked everyone to describe owner Dan Snyder in one word.
* Luntz also joked that he enjoys doing his football focus groups more than his political ones.
* And obviously, there was a question about whether or not The Post treats the Redskins fairly. (NOT, duh, smh.)
* There also were questions about Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III and the way the quarterback has been handled through two seasons. Participants were asked if they liked Griffin, if they feel more favorably about him now than after his first season, about who was to blame for his injury. They were also asked for their impressions about Snyder, about his involvement in football operations, about the decision-makers who surround him.
* Participants were also given a dial with little controllers that could move the dial from 0 to 100. They were asked to watch videos and move the dial based on their positive or negative impressions: during Bruce Allen news conferences, Dan Snyder interviews, Harry Reid speeches, animated clips and passages of hype music, interviews with coaches and players.
* And yes, of course they were asked about the Redskins name. My attendee reported that the participants were overwhelmingly supportive of the team’s name; a few participants felt otherwise, but the discussion remained civil.
* At the end, participants were given an envelope containing one $100 bill as payment for their participation. There were also refreshments.
Did you participate in a focus group session? Or are you Frank Luntz? Let us know!