A survey deadline helps maintain the momentum of the project. Many PSPs have found that having a survey open for between two and three months has been sufficient time to generate enough responses to achieve saturation point, where no new themes are emerging.
A PSP may wish to download and forward its survey responses to its Information Specialist weekly so that the cleaning and categorisation of the data can begin early while the survey is still live.
As the Steering Group monitors the responses and targets any under-represented groups, it may decide to close the survey early or to extend the deadline, depending on the range of responses and the themes being identified. Where resources are scarce, a Steering Group may decide that it will close the survey once it reaches a maximum number of responses, rather than risk producing an overwhelming dataset.
During the survey period, it is important that the Steering Group continues its communications to promote the survey, using the methods it has decided on, for example, newsletters, social media and e-mails. Regular updates to the Steering Group on the demographic profile of the respondents will help to inform and target this ongoing publicity.