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Trustworthy and expert content stand out in reader survey of Aalto University Magazine

Over 600 people responded to a survey on readers’ opinions of Aalto University Magazine, the university’s publication for stakeholders and alumni that comes out twice a year.
Neljä Aalto University Magazinea syksyisellä nurmikolla keltaisten lehtien päällä. Julkaisujen vieressä on mustat neulehansikkaat.
The survey focused on the October issue which examines the built environment and other living spaces, especially from the perspective of the urban environment. Photo: Mikko Raskinen.

Nearly all respondents had read or browsed the print version of the magazine. The survey also revealed that overall the university magazine has greater readership than trade or interest group magazines. The share of so-called net reading was 90 percent. The magazine is also memorable: 71 percent of respondents remembered receiving the magazine.

The magazine's content was considered reliable (77 percent of respondents), and 78 percent considered article quality to be professional.

An average of 24 minutes was spent reading the magazine. Print was preferred by 42 percent of respondents, while 10 percent favoured a digital-only version.

Respondents expressed that the magazine's primary tasks are to keep the reader up-to-date on Aalto University's affairs (40 percent) and provide new information and report on recent research results (37 percent).

Half of the respondents who had read or browsed the magazine found it very or fairly useful. For future content and topics, 49 percent of respondents voted for creative experiments and new ways of thinking.

This survey, the third one so far, was carried out by Taloustutkimus during October-December 2022. The previous surveys took place in 2012 and 2015. Now the focus was on the October issue #31, the theme of which was living spaces.

The data collection for the survey was carried out through an online questionnaire in Finnish and English.

Respondents were invited through random sampling of magazine subscribers, but it was also possible to participate in the survey via a link published on aalto.fi.

The survey received 669 responses: 568 in Finnish and 101 in English. 58 percent of the respondents were male.

The primary target group was alumni, the largest readership group of the magazine, and the age distribution of respondents reflected this, with 42 percent of the respondents over the age of 60. Only six percent of respondents were under the age of 30, while the remaining 52 percent were between 30 and 60 years old.

A prize draw was organised for those participating in the survey, and the prizes have been delivered to the winners.

Aalto University Communications Services thanks all the survey participants for their valuable feedback. The results of the readership survey will be applied in the magazine's development.

Excerpts from the open answers of the reader survey

“It highlights what's going on allowing me to understand the university a little better.”

“As a management consultant, it is important to keep myself updated with what's happening around me, especially new & exciting ideas. Aalto magazine is a good source for that.”

“Stories from all around the world are missing in the magazine. Aalto is known to have students from around the world, yet most of the article is based out of Finland, or the maximum extend is to the EU.”

“Sometimes it seems chaotic, many topics written with few words. However, that is the intention of the magazine, to give us a push so that we can continue investigating later. But that weakness could also be your strength.”

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