The Catholic Courier has extended the deadline for its readership survey to June 30. The survey is being conducted this month in an effort to better serve the needs of the Courier readers. And in appreciation for their time, survey participants also will be offered an opportunity to enter a drawing for one of four iPad Mini tablets.
"The (Courier’s) editorial committee felt that in order to move forward and continue serving and producing the best content for our readers, it was important to take the pulse of everyone who is reading the Courier and those who aren’t," said Katie Redmond, marketing relations coordinator for Wegmans.
Catholics who are registered with diocesan parishes receive the Courier‘s print edition 10 months of the year; the newspaper’s website, monthly interactive digital edition and other platforms are available year round.
Yet Redmond, a member of the editorial committee of the Courier’s board of directors and of an ad hoc strategic planning committee, noted that receiving the newspaper doesn’t necessarily mean someone is reading all or most of its content. Learning which types of Courier content are or are not being read — whether in print, on the Courier’s website, in the digital edition, or through social media and the weekly Catholic Courier eNews — will help the committees and the Courier’s staff "continue to fine tune the stories and methods for delivery," she added.
Readers were last asked to respond to such a survey in 2011, according to Karen M. Franz, general manager and editor of the newspaper.
"The media environment has changed radically in the intervening years, and the Courier’s offerings have evolved as well," Franz said. "It really is time to find out whether people are aware of everything we currently offer and how well those offerings correspond to what people want and need today."
Mark Hare, chairman of the editorial committee and of the ad hoc strategic planning committee, said the survey is designed to gather information about:
* who is regularly reading Courier content;
* what types of content those readers most depend on; and
* what the Courier needs to do to serve the needs of the young Catholic adults who are the future of the church and parishes.
"We hope readers will spend a few minutes answering all the questions so that the Courier continues to play an essential role in the lives of Catholics in all corners of the Rochester Diocese," Hare said.
The evolution of journalism has been a longtime topic for the editorial committee, Redmond noted. But the idea of formal research took shape over the last six months, she added.
"We’re seeing a lot of outlets kind of refine and fine tune and figure out who their audience is, what digital content they most enjoy and resonates with them," Redmond said. "We’re really waiting to hear from our readers, find out what the feedback is …(to) make decisions and make a plan for the future of the organization."
"We felt a mailed survey would be the only effective way of sampling opinion throughout all segments of our readership," Franz said. "Ideally, we would send the survey to everyone, but we simply can’t afford the very high cost of mailing more than 100,000 surveys."
Instead, she said, the survey also is being made available online in an effort to more broadly gather perspectives on the Courier’s work. Anyone who wants to participate may complete the survey and enter the drawing at www.catholiccourier.com/2016Survey/.
Survey responses will be accepted through June 30.