Reader Feedback Will Inform Strategic Planning

May 15th, 2006 | By | Category: 17-4: Reforming Our Schools, Native Style
By Gerald E. Gipp, Ph.D.

GERALD E GIPPWith the advent of computers, cell phones, and the internet, the outside world is theoretically as close as a button. These modern devices should naturally bring people closer together, yet we often find ourselves isolated from one another. Making personal connections sometimes takes some old-fashioned reaching out.

Over the last year, the staff at the Tribal College Journal has begun a long-term effort to reach out to you — our readers, our community. We want to know who you are, what interests you, and how we can best serve you.

You have convened with TCJ in Albuquerque and Denver to provide feedback at focus groups. You have met with TCJ at various Native events across the country. And more recently, some subscribers participated in a mail-in reader survey.

TCJ sent surveys to 500 randomly selected individual subscribers. Experts told us we needed a 50% response rate to be statistically reliable. The standard response rate for direct mail, however, is just over 2%. We were delighted when over 54% responded! Here are the results:

You are thorough and loyal readers: 60% of you read at least ¾ or more of the magazine; 81% keep your copies for reference.

Many of you are long-time readers: 35% have been reading TCJ for 5 or more years; 39% have been reading TCJ for 2-4 years; and 26% have been reading TCJ for 1 year or less.

You are generous: 74% of you share your magazine with others; 80% have given to Native charities.

You are also active: 46% have attended 4 or more Native American events (conferences, powwows, etc.) in the past year; 80% of you have attended one or more of these events. In the past 6 months, 84% purchased music or books by or about Native Americans; 49% purchased four or more of these items. More than one-third (35%) directly responded to an ad placed in TCJ.

So, thank you for your enthusiastic response and your ongoing dedication and involvement in Indian higher education. This information is being used as part of our ongoing strategic planning to serve our readers and our advertisers better. In the future, TCJ plans to formally tap readers at the tribal colleges and universities for more input.

Please remember our door is always open. The Tribal College Journal staff welcomes your letters and phone calls with suggestions on how we can better meet your needs and continue to be an active member in your community.

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