Last semester, The Rambler’s fantastic business intern Mr. Edward Wang conducted and compiled the results of a campus-wide marketing research survey among readers of our publication. The survey’s goal was “to explore opportunities for more viewers and unique content” in light of reader feedback about our content and platform. We would like to take the opportunity to discuss how we plan to integrate your feedback into our creative and ideological direction for the coming semester.
First of all, we learned that the students of Transylvania are primarily interested in sports content and entertaining content. Most students are reading The Rambler either on social media or the website – a mere 5.35 percent of over 400 student respondents preferred to read the print version. We also learned that student readers would like to see less opinion content and in-depth articles, preferring articles with a greater relevance to campus and community life. Students also reported that they “would improve The Rambler” by including “more photographs and graphics” and “shorter stories.”
In light of this research, our focus will shift from hard news to feature content, particularly on our online platforms. We will do our best to deliver stories about people you know and local places you love, told in visually appealing and vivacious ways. Additionally, since most students reported that they read The Rambler primarily on social media, we will strengthen our efforts to make Facebook and Twitter posts concise, colorful and engaging.
From our faculty readers, polled from diverse academic programs, we learned that politics and opinion are the preferred topics. Additionally, faculty would like to see more campus-related content in The Rambler, with local content coming in a close second. Respondents preferred the website medium or the print medium, as opposed to students, who prefer social media.
In light of this feedback from faculty, we will work to calibrate our opinion and hard news content toward campus and local concerns, setting Transylvania in the context of world affairs. Our print version will be geared toward faculty readers, keeping interests in politics and campus concerns at the forefront of coverage.
Other ideas we gained from your feedback include a consistently updating listing of internship and job opportunities in the Lexington area. Mr. Wang also compiled a list of recommendations including the creation of an app, a deduction in the amount of print copies distributed every other week, and more clearly defined distinctions among our print, website, and social media platforms. Mr. Wang plans to continue his internship work this semester under The Rambler’s adviser, Tom Martin, to conduct additional surveys that will clarify and dig even further into these results. We look forward to those results, and the insight which they will provide us in our continuing effort to improve our relationship with you, our readers.
We would like to send our gratitude to Mr. Wang for his fantastic report, and to the entire campus community for helping us make your student newspaper the best it can be.