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Competitive Edge Helps the USS Midway Museum Understand its Visitors

Scott McGaugh, Director of Marketing for the Midway Museum, and John Nienstedt take a moment in front of the aircraft carrier’s “island.”
CERC gets to conduct a range of research across a fascinating variety of organizations. One recent survey project involved CERC designing custom research for the USS Midway Museum located in downtown San Diego. Prior to this effort, the Museum relied on generic data compiled by the San Diego Tourism Authority or culled from national research on museums. The problem with that, of course, is that no two San Diego attractions are alike and no other large museum comes close to the Midway's immersive hand-on approach to history. That’s what makes it among the most-visited museum ships in America.
Enter CERC. After designing a questionnaire tailored to get the answers the Museum needs, our interviewers manned stations in front of the carrier to conduct 1,200 visitor intercept interviews from May through October 2019. Of course, the analysis had to be customized as well; there is no cookie-cutter that could do the Midway justice.
The results of this extensive research will help Scott McGaugh, the Midway's Director of Marketing, adjust the museum’s advertising. Findings from future research will be compared to the 2019 benchmark to determine what types of marketing succeeded in luring more visitors. CERC is proud to be a research provider to the USS Midway Museum.

The Edgy Interview: Cynthia Bryant, Executive Director, California Republican Party

Cynthia Bryant, Executive Director of the California Republican Party
Cynthia Bryant is all about the Golden State and this reflects in all she does as the California Republican Party’s Executive Director.  As you’ll read in this installment of the Edgy Interview, she’s been involved in California politics, at all levels, basically forever. But Cynthia’s love for the state clearly ventures well beyond the bounds of politics, stretching into the arts, food, sports and even a certain property she has her eye on. Glad we ask questions on a wide variety of topics. 
Read the Edgy Interview

CERC President John Nienstedt at San Diego Municipal Debt Symposium

CERC President John Nienstedt (middle) responds to a question posed during the San Diego Municipal Debt Symposium’s campaign messaging panel
CERC president John Nienstedt was delighted to appear on the San Diego Treasury-Tax Collector Office's Municipal Debt Symposium panel on “Developing Your Message to The Community.” The hour-long session was moderated by NBC’s Alex Presha. With co-panelist political consultant Tom Shepard of Tom Shepard & Associates, John spoke to how developing winning messages is a fascinating, complex and multi-step process. CERC has developed MPower, our patent-pending system to identify messages that work, those that don’t and those that backfire. The Symposium, held this year at the San Diego Marriott in Mission Valley, is dedicated to educating public agencies about debt financing, federal compliance,updates in the field of public finance, new debt instruments, and the politics of securing voter approval of those debt instruments.
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5 Groups of People Whose Campaign Advice You Should Ignore

Guest Column by Chuck Muth, PsD
Chuck Muth, Professor of Psephology (the study of elections) and political consultant, has been a friend of CERC since 1992.  He publishes a brief weekly e-newsletter called Campaign Hot Tips. We thought this entry was particularly on point with Super Tuesday coming up and the “silly season” in full swing. We’ll add that one of the best ways to – legitimately -- ignore the chattering class during your campaign is by investing in expert survey research. By doing so you can block out distractions to concentrate on what really matters when it comes to winning a race.

As I was driving from Las Vegas to Southern California yesterday – took the kids to Knott’s SCARY Farm for our annual Halloween trip last night – I listened to a podcast interview of Dr. Emily Letran. 
Emily has a truly amazing story about how she escaped to the United States from Vietnam in the 1970s…and went on to become a huge success as an entrepreneur.  A great “American dream” story.
And one thing she said in the interview really caught my attention…
“I think some people who are on Facebook like to feel important so they give their opinions.  And then there are other people backing them up and everything.  But for me, unless that person has that business, is successful in that business, then I’m not going to listen to that person.”
Nailed it!
When you’re a candidate, EVERYBODY has an opinion on how you should run your campaign. 
And they just can’t wait to share their “expertise” with you.
But if they’ve never run for office themselves or managed a campaign…don’t listen to them.
1.) That includes friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers.
2.) That includes campaign volunteers.
3.) That includes “armchair quarterbacks” on social media
4.) That includes ivory tower political science professors whose body of knowledge is limited to what they’ve read in a textbook somewhere.
5.) And it especially includes the chattering class in the media who sit up in the peanut gallery criticizing candidates and pontificating on what you *should* be doing.
Ignore them, for they know not what they speak. 
Take your cues from people who have actually been there/done that.  And done it successfully.
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The San Diego Business Forecast: County Businesses Moderately Confident Through Holiday Season

Looking into the new year, San Diego County’s business community is moderately confident with a Business Outlook Index (BOI) score of 15.1. The BOI ranges from +100 to -100, with zero being neutral. All index components have held steady for six straight months. This month's survey also assessed attitudes towards health & wellness and found an astonishing 81 percent of companies believe they get a payoff for investing in their employees’ well-being.

Dig deeper into these survey results and more in the San Diego Business Forecast.
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