In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Harvey Mudd College’s magazine, the HMC Bulletin, we decided to assess how well the publication was meeting the needs of today’s readers. We sent about 18 percent of our readers* a comprehensive readership survey developed by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). HMC’s data joins that of some 200 participating colleges and universities contributing to this first-ever broad picture of higher education publications’ readership. Responses from our readers will help drive continuous improvement by allowing HMC to determine which attributes of the magazine readers value and which ones they do not.
Of the 2,009 surveys sent, we received 172 completed surveys (approximately +/- 7 percent margin of error). The results were very positive and are summarized below.
The magazine is a key information provider. More than 38% of respondents receive All or Most of their information from the magazine; about 40% receive All or Most HMC information from emails (event notices and enewsletters).
The HMC Bulletin is interesting. 88% of respondents read Every issue or Most issues. 47% read Most of it; 15%, All of it. The magazine is kept for more than one month by 33% of respondents; 28% hold on to it for up to one month.
The HMC Bulletin is compelling. 37% spend 30 to 59 minutes with the magazine; 40%, 10 to 29 minutes. 10% spend 60 minutes or more.
The printed version is preferred. Readers overwhelmingly prefer to read the HMC Bulletin in print, (61%). 21% like to see it both in print and online.
The HMC Bulletin spurs action. Top actions taken as a result of reading HMC Bulletin: 37% attended an event; 30% made a donation; 27% saved an article or issue.
The magazine content was rated overwhelmingly Excellent or Good, and “layout and design,” “photography” and “writing” were also highly rated.
Topics considered most memorable during the past year included the largest first-year class of women, alumni “experts” (Spring 2010) and Bill Gates’ visit.
In the open-ended response section, readers shared what they “liked most” about the Bulletin: current students and their projects/experiences, Class Notes and alumni profiles.
Suggested areas for Improvement
Read the Full Report
For all data, you may download a copy of the bulletin survey 2011 report (pdf). Our goal is to constantly improve the HMC Bulletin, so we are thankful to all who provide feedback. Please contact the magazine Senior Editor Stephanie Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The magazine survey was sent to a random sampling of alumni, parents, donors, friends and faculty with active e-mail addresses.