Survey Results Are In!
We want to thank our readers for their great response to the survey we sent out in early spring. We asked for input about Bridges—if you were reading the newsletter, what you thought about its content and how it could be improved.
Nearly 430 readers responded to our request. And we were pleased to learn that you enjoy Bridges and find it informative.
What else did we learn from the survey?
- Most of you—77 percent—read every issue.
- The lead article is the obvious favorite; it is read by more than 95 percent of subscribers. But other stories are close behind at 81 percent.
- Seventy-four percent of readers have discussed an article with colleagues. Others have sent links to stories or made copies for friends.
- More than 57 percent of respondents prefer general-interest issues of the newsletter over a themed approach.
- Almost 47 percent have used web site links in articles to find out more information.
- More than 36 percent of subscribers have made a financial decision based on something they read in Bridges. And articles have even been used as teaching aids!
It was a bit of a surprise, in this age of technology, to learn that almost 75 percent of readers prefer to receive the printed version of Bridges than to read it on our web site. However, 61 percent would still subscribe if it were only available online. (To read Bridges online, go to www.stlouisfed.org/Publications/Bridges. You'll find both current and past issues.)
What topics pique your interest? At least half said:
- small-business development,
- financial literacy,
- regulatory issues,
- community development finance,
- affordable housing,
- community development in rural areas,
- achievement gap,
- community development in urban areas, and
- predatory lending
Topics that did not receive as high a rating but still were of interest include entrepreneurship, environmental issues, IDAs and other asset development, and the unbanked.
What suggestions did you have?
Overall, we received many more comments than suggestions for improvements. The majority of observations were complimentary, referring to the newsletter as informative, thoughtful and inviting. Suggestions included publishing more information from bankers on community development and lending, explanations about regulatory changes, spotlighting "best practices" and strategies that work, and introducing an "FAQ" column.
Who reads Bridges?
The majority of readers are either in the financial services or community and economic development fields. Subscribers also include government employees, educators, researchers, businessmen and students.
Again, thanks to all who took time to fill out the survey. You've given us a good idea about the kind of information our readers want. Your responses will guide future editions of Bridges and ensure it remains an effective communications tool.