The National Readership Studies Council (NRSC) has faced quite a few problems following the release of the National Readership Survey (NRS) 2007, and the industry voicing its discontent with the survey. Sam Balsara, Chairman, NRSC Technical Committee, informed that the NRSC had taken a few steps back to reconsider its future course of action, and had taken a few decisions in the course as well.
One of the first decisions that have been taken is that the NRSC will have its own secretariat. Balsara informed, “It’s going to have a full-time senior researcher with a few deputy researchers. There would be a permanent secretariat of the NRSC. Obviously, no one in the technical committee can sit and look after the study with the attention that it needs today – this will address that.”
The Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), too, could be a part of the NRSC. Balsara observed, “When we had formed the NRS, the ISA decided not to come in at that time and, therefore, we went ahead without the ISA then. However, my understanding now is that the ISA is very happy to collaborate on the NRS and be a part of the NRSC.”
Balsara further said that even as that was happening at one level, on another level, the process of defining parameters and the evaluation of the next NRS was underway. NRSC is in the process of speaking to two research agencies for executing the research for the survey. Balsara divulged that a decision on this would be taken within a month, and by mid-2008, the next NRS could be expected.
“I think the charter tells us that we must not be in a hurry. Increasingly, we are learning that it’s not important to just be doing everything right, but also to be seen doing everything right. That is what we are doing now. We are carrying all the interested bodies with us, and taking everyone’s advice along the way,” Balsara added.
However, this was the case in 2006 as well, when NRS was still recuperating from the blow that NRS 2003 faced. It was in 2006 when NRS had brought in ACNielsen India as the single research agency, and Ernst & Young as the auditor. Balsara said, “The last NRS was distinctly superior in many aspects to the preceding NRS surveys. When you take out a billion set of figures, it is very simple for somebody who wants to find fault, to tear it apart in 15 minutes. The point is that every publication thinks it is doing well, and when you have a study that can impact your saleability, it has to be controversial for some quarters.”
Balsara stressed that it was important for the NRSC to also be seen as doing things right and hence, the Council was taking further steps in that direction.
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