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Press Statement

CSO counts the number of “Meaghers, electric cars, and the price of a jar” in new ads to promote awareness of our work

CSO press statement, , 11am

Today (Monday 04 September 2023) the Central Statistics Office (CSO) launches a new radio and social media advertising campaign aimed at raising awareness of our work and how much we rely on the public to complete our surveys.

Count on Us, We Count on You

The “Count on Us, We Count on You” campaign uses rhyming triplets to help paint a humorous picture of the type of data we collect, combined with a strong message about the importance of taking part in our surveys and having your voice heard. The ads aim to remind people that while everyone can rely on the CSO to provide accurate and independent data on social and economic conditions in Ireland, we cannot do it without the support of those households who are randomly selected to take part in our surveys.

Among the rhyming triplets used in Radio Ad 1 are:

“We count schools,
And ‘how many ‘O’Tooles’?

We count emissions,
And social conditions.

We count beds,
And newlyweds.”

While among the rhymes in Radio Ad 2 are:

“We count loans,
still living at home?

We count Meaghers,
electric cars,
and the price of a jar.”

(Watch the video below)

Gerard Doolan, Senior Statistician in the Social Data Collection Division, said: “The new advertising campaign uses a rhyming format to try and capture, in a light-hearted way, the breadth of the type of data the CSO collects. By raising awareness of our work, we hope it will encourage more people to complete our surveys if they are asked to do so. A play on the word ‘count’, which obviously the CSO does very well, packs a serious message as well. That message is that while people rely on the CSO to provide independent, verifiable facts for all, we rely on people to complete our surveys to enable us to do our work. This is summed up in the final line of the ads: ‘CSO. Count on us, we count on you’.

The CSO would like to thank everyone who has completed our surveys, particularly over the last number of years, which have been challenging for everyone. The CSO has measured Ireland’s economic and social change for almost 100 years, but it is more important than ever for people to take part in our surveys to ensure people have access to independent facts.

If you are selected to take part in one of our Household Surveys, please complete the survey as they have vital national importance. The information we collect in our surveys brings clarity, insight, and transparency around what is happening in our economy and society which helps community groups, organisations, businesses, and Government plan for our future. Your voice matters, and by completing our confidential surveys, you make sure your voice is heard, and that your story becomes part of the story – the story of Ireland.”

About CSO Surveys

Around 60,000 households are surveyed throughout the year by our team of interviewers on a wide range of topics such as health, travel, income, living conditions, crime, employment, household expenditure, and well-being. Households are selected at random for a survey and are sent a letter inviting them to take part. Many of our surveys are conducted by our team of 120 interviewers who knock on doors all around the country, while some are conduced online or over the telephone.

All information gathered by the CSO is confidential and we never share your data or sell it to any other Government agency or third party. The information in the surveys is published in the form of statistics, which are freely available to everyone on our website. No individual or household will ever be identifiable from the published data.

CSO Interviewer Ber O’Mahony: “There is joy in the job every day”

Ber O’Mahony, who has been working as an interviewer for many years and is now a field staff co-ordinator managing a team of interviewers covering Cork city and county, Limerick city and county, Kerry and Clare, talks about what it is like to be an interviewer and the qualities that make a good one.

Ber’s gift is her ability to put people at ease almost instantly. “My superpower is my ability to talk,” she laughed.

When it comes to being a member of the CSO field staff, Ms O’Mahony described it as a very interesting job as you never know who you are going to meet when you knock on the person’s door.

“It gives you the chance to meet and talk to all different types of people and encourage them to take part in the CSO surveys. It’s really important that everyone asked to take part in our surveys takes the time to complete them because the data we collect influences policy decisions. That means the surveys must reflect all types of people’s life experiences.

There are days when you are standing outside the door in the rain hoping your tablet doesn’t get wet, or sometimes you realise that you might be the only one that person has talked to that day or that week. But that’s the beauty of the job – there is something different every day. There is joy in the job every day.”

CSO interviewers work 25 hours a week and the hours are flexible. “Not only is the job really interesting, the hours are flexible which means it could suit those in caring roles or older people. Anyone from the age of 18 to 70 can work as an interviewer and it’s a job that offers real flexibility in terms of fitting the demands of the job around your own life. It’s also a great way for people to get out and meet people and stay active and busy. And you will never be bored as no two days are the same,” she said.

She believes the key elements of a good interviewer for the CSO are being interested in people and being able to listen.

“You need to be someone who likes talking to people, and perhaps, more importantly, who is a good listener. You have to be interested in people’s stories and their life experiences and understand the importance of what we do. We are collecting these surveys to capture the changes in our society, so policy makers have the right data to make informed decisions.

Our surveys cover everything from adult education, health, household budgets and finances, to the Labour Force Survey. I always think it is better to do these interviews face-to-face, as you get better information and build a connection with someone. People generally like to be of help. By completing our surveys, you are being helpful to your community and society,” Ms O’Mahony said.

You can register your interest in becoming a CSO interviewer on our recruitment page.  

Upcoming Survey

In the next few weeks, the CSO will start inviting around 600 families to take part in the pilot phase of the Growing up in Ireland (GUI) survey. The GUI is the national longitudinal study of children and young people in Ireland which has been providing invaluable insight on children’s lives and their experiences for almost two decades. 

The pilot will take place between October and December 2023 in preparation for next year, when the CSO will be asking around 10,000 parents of nine-month-olds to take part in the Cohort ‘24 study.

Later this month the CSO will be rolling out an advertising campaign in a number of health and community settings to raise awareness about the GUI survey. The data from this survey is crucial for policy makers to make informed decisions on early childcare interventions and other areas affecting the lives of children. We would really encourage any families who are asked to take part in the study to do so, as the information collected will help shape childhood experiences in Ireland into the future.

Campaign Video

Watch the 'Count on Us, We Count on You' campaign video below.



Gerard Doolan, Senior Statistician in the Data Collection Division (+353) 21 453 5130
CSO Press Office (+353) 21 453 5000

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