As previously posted, television network ATV in Austria recently brought Dialsmith and the Perception Analyzer to Austria to work with their network and consultants to conduct a focus group and air the real-time moment-to-moment results during the broadcast of a presidential debate. We had the pleasure of working with Dr. Peter Hajek of Peter Hajek Public Opinion Strategies and Martin Thür, reporter and producer for ATV. You can watch the debate with results online and Martin has been kind enough to offer some background on what led to his interest in bringing the Perception Analyzer to ATV:
David Paull: Hi, Martin. What is the focus of your work at ATV?
Martin Thür: David, first and foremost: Thank you! You did a terrific job. Your company and especially Dan [Welch, Dialsmith's director of products and support] were one of the most professional and nice people I ever had the pleasure to work with. To answer your question, I work in the ATV news department as a reporter and producer. I’m responsible for all election programs here at ATV.
DP: How did you learn about the Perception Analyzer and what made you want to bring it to ATV for the debate?
MT: We saw it on CNN. I just liked the tool, this instant response to everything that is said, matches perfect with our needs. Our target is to let our viewers understand why politicians say things, how this affects their life. The Perception Analyzer gives us the possibility to integrate a large group of non-voters in a political debate.
DP: What were your goals for the use of the technology and how do you feel those goals were met?
MT: Well first of all our goal was to implement the data into our live studio environment. We connected our Viz pros with your Dialsmith guys and they worked seamlessly together. On a political level we wanted to know how parts of the non voter react to the things Mr. Fischer said. We divdied the focus groups into a group split into the main party preferences, age and gender. It was only hours before the broadcast as we knew for sure which participants of the focus group where really there, and which not. Dan had no problem at all with that and did a terrific job implementing the new focus group members.
DP: What kind of feedback have you received about the technology and its impact on the broadcast since the debate aired?
MT: A lot of people asked us who it was done with, and how they can use it. In general people wanted to see even more from the focus group, so I think it worked perfect.
DP: What was it like for you to work with Dialsmith?
MT: One word: Perfect.
I also want to say it was a pleasure working with Martin and his colleagues at ATV. They knew what they wanted and were great to work with to make it all happen.