For Immediate Release
Sarah Lock, City of Beloit
firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-364-6726
Quality of Life Survey Starting in Beloit Next Week
January 19, 2022—Next week, many local residents will receive a phone call from a polling firm asking questions regarding how they feel about life in the greater Beloit area. Their answers will help determine the future of our community.
This Quality of Life survey is being funded by Quint and Rishy Studer and conducted by Mason- Dixon Polling & Strategy, based in Washington, D.C. Mason-Dixon is coordinating with the City of Beloit, Downtown Beloit Association, Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce, Greater Beloit Economic Development Corporation, and Visit Beloit to develop questions and release survey results.
Its questions are designed to collect feedback about the general well-being and happiness of Beloit residents. The survey shows how people are feeling about various aspects of life, including employment opportunities, economic growth, education, confidence in local government, and the environment.
“The City of Beloit appreciates the work being done to help us get an accurate picture of where the community is,” said City Manager Lori S. Curtis Luther. “It’s important to know our opportunities and challenges as we create strategic plans for our city’s growth and success.”
As a highly respected independent polling and communications firm, Mason-Dixon conducts Quality of Life surveys in communities across the country and is known for having a high degree of reliability. Through the use of proven standards and methodologies, Mason-Dixon ensures accurate findings and designs surveys with a tight focus so they don’t overwhelm people. This results in objective data that’s hard to “spin.”
“Almost every community says that their main goal is to provide a great quality of life for their residents,” notes Quint Studer. “Yet very few cities actually measure it. And so I really believe that having an objective, valid measurement for the quality of life allows the community to
celebrate where they’re in great shape, and also to look at where there may be areas to improve upon. So I really commend Beloit for having the courage to do this.”
The Quality of Life survey will allow the Beloit community to take a tailored approach to building a vision by getting clarity around the problems residents believe most need to be solved. This means the community is less likely to make costly mistakes. Because a good diagnosis also reveals the community’s bright spots, it gives residents something to celebrate.
Finally, having reliable metrics at the start of a process like this creates a baseline that the Beloit community can use year after year to monitor progress. The results of the survey will be publicly shared for the community to engage with and to highlight ongoing community needs and improvements.
Participants in the Quality of Life survey, which will start the week of January 24, 2022, will be randomly selected residents living in the 53511 zip code area and reached via a combination of landlines and cell phones. The sample will be designed to represent the demographics of the local population in terms of age, race and/or ethnicity, gender, income, and so forth. Results will be delivered to the community upon conclusion of the survey through a variety of communication channels.
While it surprises many people that this kind of survey is conducted over the phone rather than using a more high-tech method, Mason-Dixon has found that a phone call allows for more clarity and precision.
The surveys will come from a 608 number. Voice messages are not left (it’s inefficient and costly), but several attempts will be made at different times of the day. Once contact is made, respondents will have the option to take the survey at that time, schedule a call-back, or call an 800 number at a time of their convenience. We encourage individuals to share their views with the survey takers.
To learn more about the Quality of Life survey, please visit the Greater Beloit Chamber of
Commerce website at https://greaterbeloitchamber.org/quality-of-life-survey/.
Quality of Life FAQs
Q. How are survey participants selected? Do I have to be a registered voter to participate in the survey?
A. Who participates in the survey is defined by the client and their research objectives. Issues impacting the quality of life is the business of the body politic which starts with the voters and includes policy makers, elected officials, and business and community leaders. In addition to the set of the quality-of-life benchmark questions, the survey is also an opportunity to address specific public policy, community, and economic development issues as identified and defined by the client/community. Understanding and documenting voter opinion, with as high degree of confidence as practicable may be a primary research objective. All participants are randomly selected.
Q. What if people only have a cell phone and no land line?
A. Our survey list includes both landline and cell phone numbers.
Q. What if people screen their calls?
A. Getting the community to engage is vital. The level of community awareness and branding of the survey is key to making it successful. If residents know what it is and how important the data is, they are much more likely to participate.
Q. Will the number have our community’s area code?
A. Yes. It will have a 608 number.
Q. Do you leave a message?
A. Voice messages are not left, as they are not efficient and costly. However, several attempts are made at different times of the day and evening to each working telephone number which increases incident rates. Once contact is made, the respondent is given options to take the survey at that time, schedule a call-back, or given an 800 number to call at a time of their convenience.
Q. What geographical area will be covered in the survey?
A. This is defined by the client/community and the decision is driven by research objectives. Some considerations are physical political boundaries, jurisdictions, and forms of local government. The level of intergovernmental and regional cooperation and coordination are also considerations. The QOL survey is an opportunity to explore, encourage and leverage these relationships and their common cause.
Q. How are the questions determined?
A. The core set of the benchmark quality of life questions are based on a set of community qualities and characteristics that help define the quality of life. These questions can be said to be universal. In addition, the QOL survey and process are an opportunity to address the “here and now” issues facing a community. The data, analysis, and findings from the QOL survey can help provide clarity, focus, and direction on these priority issues.
Q. How valid is the survey and its results?
A. The residents surveyed accurately represent the actual demographic breakdown of our community; i.e., the ratios of the respondents’ gender, race, age, political affiliation, and area of residence mirror the county’s actual universe of targeted population. The larger the sample and the number of respondents, the higher degree of confidence in the results and findings. For Beloit, WI the survey sample size is 625. The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 4 percentage points. This means there is a 96 percent probability that the “true” figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled. (The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as a gender, income, or race.)
Q. How much does the survey cost?
A. A survey this extensive is an important investment for your community. The amount paid to Mason-Dixon Polling for their services totaled $32,550. All expenses are paid by a donation from Quint and Rishy Studer.