Saturday, April 11, 2009

Clean cities may not be conclusive

I'm currently taking a public relations campaigns class in order to graduate. I, along with five others, am working on a sustainability campaign for the University of Memphis. I recently reviewed an article of the "Top 25 Least Wasteful U.S. Cities", and naturally, the title of the article caught my eye. What I had hoped would be an insightful view of Nalgene, known for their plastic water bottles, and their findings on what made these 25 cities so spectacular.

I was rudely disappointed.

Lets begin with the numbers. Nalgene concluded research from a mere 3,750 people in a nation that currently holds a population of 306,198,441 citizens. If I did my math right that would mean that for every one person interviewed in the research, they ultimately represented 81,653 people and their sustainability efforts in the United States.

3,750 people is quite a small number when trying to conduct conclusive research.

Another eyebrow raiser would also be the survey used in the research. While San Francisco was rated number one on the list with 86% of citizens stating they "live an "extremely" or "somewhat" eco-friendly lifestyle," it was also noted that the term "eco-friendly" was not properly defined.

Instead of finding useful research to gain insight on, I wasted 15 minutes using my PR research skills from last semester to critique the professionals.

And who says they would never use what they learn in school in real life?

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