PRN had been using focus groups to conduct its research, which is primarily aimed at providing parents with content and information on children’s programming. It examines television programs based on message, age appropriateness, interactivity, useful lessons, violence, diversity, overall quality and other topics of real interest to parents. For example, by researching parents of kids who watch Arthur, new parents can learn what the show’s themes, level of violence and diversity ratings are. Now that Nielsen is involved, managing director David Keefe says PRN will expand to prime time programming research next year. He also says his audience is now reaching out to ad agencies and media content owners.
“We will market our reports to parents through Internet subscriptions or even digest size publications,” Keefe says. “We want to help parents make the best decisions possible about what their kids watch.”
The first report using the Nielsen platform will be field tested in December and published in Q1 of 2003. More than 200 surveys will be completed for each PRN-designated television program. PRN will develop and market consumer targeted research products focusing on television shows regularly watched by children nationwide, utilizing data collected by Nielsen.
PRN is a privately held company headquartered in Westport, CT. Keefe says it is “totally independent” of any political or religious interest groups. He says the reports published by the group will be subjective. “Some shows will fit the way a parent wants to bring up his or her kid,” he says. “Some won’t. It is up to us to provide the information.”