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Linlithgow Palace Focus Group – answers to frequently asked questions

Click below for your focus group application form (as a Word Doc!)
So what exactly is a focus group?
A focus group is a group made up of a cross-section of ordinary people who do not previously tend to know each other. We ask for views on a variety of ideas and issues about, in this case, how we tell the stories of Linlithgow Palace on site - how people tour the Palace and its surroundings, for example. It helps us make sensible choices about future plans.
How many people will there be?
We anticipate that the same 10 to 12 people will attend each session, plus our friendly facilitator.
Do I have to know a lot about Linlithgow Palace?
No, although if you do, it certainly shouldn’t stop you applying! We’re keen to get a good cross-section of people who know the Palace well – but also include those who may not have visited before.
How long will it take and where will it happen?
The focus group sessions will be designed not to last more than two hours at most.  They will either taker place at the Palace itself or somewhere nearby.
How many sessions are there, when, and do I have to attend them all?
There will be three sessions in all, planned at times to suit the majority of focus group members (you’ll be asked about this on the short application form), between the end of May and the end of August 2010. We’d prefer you to attend them all so we can get to know you, but understand when this isn’t always possible. 
Will I be paid?
There is no payment as such, but if you attend all three sessions, you will be given £30 to cover your travel expenses. If you only manage to attend two or one, this amount will be reduced to £20 or £10.
What’s in it for me, then?
If you live in or near Linlithgow it’s a chance to play a part is shaping the way the Palace’s stories are told in the future. These will be lively, fun, informal discussions. It will also give everyone involved a chance to meet the Palace team and ‘get under the skin’ of one of the busiest Palaces in Scotland. Focus groups often make friends and keep in touch after the group sessions are over.
Will everyone who applies be selected?
We need to make sure that the focus group is balanced. For example, if everyone who applied visited the Palace every day, it wouldn’t mean the group was representative. So the questions are written to work out how you like to learn and think, and we do assess each application form to see how it ‘fits’ within the group. We guarantee that every person who applies will hear from us one way or the other before the end of May.
What if I’m a member of Historic Scotland staff?
We would prefer Historic Scotland staff not to apply, but would be happy for their families to do so if they are interested.
If I’m not selected, is there anything else I can do to help?
Many people visiting the Palace this spring and summer will be given a postcard survey to fill in. Some will be interviewed face-to-face by one of our team. And anyone visiting the Peel (the lovely parkland surrounding the Palace) can text a response to the survey promoted on many noticeboard points around the site.
So what do I do next?
Please fill in our (rather fun) form by clicking on the link at the top of this page (a Word Doc). Then simply put a X by your chosen answers. You are welcome then to return it by e-mail by pasting in your response to the ‘contact’ page of this  website or by post, as you prefer.  Ideally we'd like to hear from you before 4 June and will be back in touch during the following week.
            Many thanks for your interest in Linlithgow Palace!
© Interpretaction 2010

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