In fall 2015, with some nail biting and butterflies in our bellies, we unveiled a new, redesigned Baylor Business Review (BBR) magazine. We had asked for our readers’ suggestions in earnest, and we took it to heart—publishing a more streamlined alumni magazine. A year later, with our second annual readership survey results in, we can revel in its success. Nearly 97 percent of respondents read the print version—22 percent more than last year. It is worth noting, though, that we still produce and manage an award-winning, online version of the magazine at bbr.baylor.edu. (Only 5.6 percent of respondents reported reading the magazine online.)
In the survey, many of you voiced concerns about our environmental footprint. The Baylor Business Review magazine, and the other publications produced by the Communications & Marketing Department in the Hankamer School of Business, are printed on FSC-certified 100 percent postconsumer waste paper, which is made entirely with non-polluting, wind-generated energy and contains 100 percent postconsumer recycled fiber. We have done so since 2007. This paper stock choice allows us to be environmentally friendly without an increase in cost.
You, our reader, spoke, and we listened. In fact, this issue’s theme was pulled from the reader theme suggestions, which as the editor and a millennial, I found insightful and timely. Last year, we removed articles with less than 30 percent readership, taking the magazine from a dense 60 pages to 32. This year, every article’s readership well exceeded that limit, and 90.5 percent of respondents said the magazine length was “great.” The top three most read, recurring sections are the cover story, Alumni News and the alumni profiles, respectively. The page reduction not only improved readability of the publication, but as a result, it produced a nearly 48 percent decrease in costs.
Here are some additional takeaways from the survey results:
- 20.6 percent of readers believe the magazine should be produced more often than its current biannual production schedule
- 80.8 percent of all audience segments report feeling proud when reading the magazine
- 75.9 percent of all audience segments report feeling connected
- 85.1 percent of all audience segments report feeling informed
Although, we feel encouraged by the overall results of the survey, there are also opportunities for improvement:
- Only 59.4 percent of readers rated the writing style very good to excellent
- 64 percent rated layout and design very good to excellent
- 49 percent feel represented when reading the BBR
With your direction, we will continue to strive to create the best business school magazine for you. We appreciate your honest feedback and your investment in the future of this publication. For those who did not receive our readership surveys (and would like to), or for those who would just like to share feedback, send us an email at BaylorBusiness@baylor.edu or post your comments at http://bbr.baylor.edu. We will continue to conduct online readership surveys annually to stay abreast of our readers’ habits and preferences, so please monitor your inbox for an email from me in the coming months.
Editor, Baylor Business Review
Baylor Business Review, Spring 2017