Boeing Frontiers' survey helps magazine's 'evolution'
Boeing Frontiers readers have spoken—and the magazine's editors are listening.
The publication conducted its first survey electronically from Jan. 13 to Feb. 10 and designed the survey to capture reader feedback eight months after the magazine's first issue. More than 4,800 employee readers responded to questions about Frontiers' content, design, and distribution processes.
Don Schmidt, the Corporate News and Web Services manager who conducted the survey, said most reader comments addressed the desire for more site-specific coverage, employee-centered news, more-frequent publication, and improved distribution methods.
"Frontiers is an employee magazine," Schmidt said. "So we've got to meet their information needs. And, as we become more global, we must pay closer attention to meeting the needs of our international employees.
"There's also been an increasing desire by business units to use the magazine to reach out to customers, media and opinion leaders worldwide. But, ultimately, the reason we publish the magazine is for employees. So it's their feedback and suggestions that will help us tailor the magazine distribution and content to best serve them."
Some survey suggestions are being implemented already, said Managing Editor John Roper. An example: Many readers wanted more news about smaller sites and locations where Boeing does business. So this issue of Frontiers features a site profile on Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., home base of the C-17 Globemaster III, a Boeing-built transport playing a key military role in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In response to reader feedback, Roper said, the Frontiers team also is looking at publishing shorter articles with more focused topical content. "Some people said they wanted to see things to make the magazine fun," he said. Pop quizzes and "other things that make it more enjoyable to read" will become regular additions. And to meet reader requests for more news about regular employees and their jobs, a new "First Person" feature will debut in May.
Ultimately, Roper said, it's about offering a thought-provoking magazine that offers strategic and business context and that complements the company's other employee publications, such as the twice-daily e-publication Boeing News Now.
"This is going to evolve," he said, "until we find the right mixture to communicate to employees what they need to know."
Boeing Frontiers magazine is more
useful than its predecessor, the Boeing News newspaper.
Boeing Frontiers magazine helps me
learn about where the company is going strategically.
Boeing Frontiers magazine helps me
learn about the company's people, products and business operations.
Boeing Frontiers magazine is a credible
source of information.
Some comments from Boeing Frontiers readers:
"Profiles of ALL employees, not just executives. Employees who also make this company work from the Security departments on up."
"Although I understand the importance of keeping an eye on the future advances of the company, I really do enjoy the articles that take a historical perspective."
"I would like to see a poster, pullout center page or a printable page of some of the stories."
"Add more industry and competition articles to provide a perspective on what Boeing is up against and what we're doing about it."
"Assure the wide distribution of this publication. My father has become a fan of Frontiers and in the process has become a fan of Boeing. This has led him to invest in Boeing stock."
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