The idea of sampling is the process of selecting some of the people in the population so that conclusions can be drawn about the entire population (Cooper, Schindler, 2011). The true test of a sampling plan is how well it represents the characteristics of the population. A sampling plan is a detailed outline of which measurements will be taken at what times, on which material, in what manner, and by whom (Sampling). It should allow all questions, as stated in the company’s goals, to be answered.
Penton used a multistage qualitative communication study to determine the long-term feasibility of the reader service card used that is used by readers to be able to request additional information from a particular advertiser. First, Penton drew a small sample of participants from their database of 1.7 million domestic subscribers. The research team then conducted phone surveys to pre-test the reader-targeted mail questionnaire. A telephone survey is described to be the workhorse of survey research (Cooper, Schindler, 2011). It is a low cost and efficient means of contracting information from people. There are disadvantages or weaknesses when conducting telephone surveys that may have impacted Pentons data. One disadvantage is that there is a limitation on the interview length. A second disadvantage is that there are limitations on the use of visual or complex questions that are used in face to face interviews. Studies have suggested that the response rate in telephone studies is much lower than comparable face to face interviews (Cooper, Schindler, 2011). Participants can find it much easier to terminate a phone conversation.
Following the phone surveys, a second pretest through mail went out to a considerably small sample size of 300 subscribers. After the second pretest became finalized, the mail survey went out to 4,000 managers, executives, engineers, and purchasing agents that were selected from the database by using...