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Survey shows residents favor informational quality of City’s quarterly newsletter

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Residents gave a positive response to The Citizen for providing news about the City of Joplin’s programs and services in a recent survey about the quarterly newsletter. Results from the October 2016 survey showed that 99% of respondents read the newsletter regularly and just under half of them read it immediately after it hits their mailboxes.

Citizens’ sources for local news are widespread among the area media with 37% indicating getting this information via TV news and 34% refer to The Joplin Globe for news items. Radio was a resource for 17% and 11% use social media. The City’s newsletter was listed by 17% for their source of local news.

Other categories noted for local news included Joplin Regional Business Journal, City’s website; and the internet. All received less than one percent of the vote as most use traditional media for their news source.

The purpose of the survey was to learn about residents’ perspective on the City’s quarterly newsletter and their news gathering behaviors regarding local issues. With various news sources in both traditional format and electronic editions, as well as social media sites, the public has numerous venues it can choose to get its local news. Survey questions asked residents about their news choices, as well as their reaction and reading habits of The Citizen, the City’s quarterly newsletter mailed to every residential household in Joplin.

Survey Results - Stats

The survey was distributed through the October 2016 newsletter with 100 people returning the survey by mail or dropping it off at City Hall. A similar survey was posted on SurveyMonkey, a web-based surveying site, and 83 people completed it for a total of 183 responses. Due to the different format of print versus electronic, questions could not be identical in context.

Public Information Officer Lynn Onstot commented on the results. “It was great to hear from our residents that The Citizen provides helpful information about our programs and services. Although we did not see a large response, the results were overwhelming positive about the usefulness of this publication.”

Many residents offered comments including suggestions for newsletter articles or adding City services, while others noted their appreciation of the publication.

Survey Results - Comments

“I like all of the useful info that this provides,” and “I look at the citizen paper always. I look back if there are new rules, so I can keep informed about changes,” were two noting favor of The Citizen. Feature suggestions ranged from a “Did You Know?” column with general facts about the City and its ordinances to outlining the process for residents if they have a concern about unkept lawns or homes in their neighborhoods.

“In reviewing the comments, there are several areas that we can include in upcoming issues,” said Onstot. “And all reflected the interest our citizens have for our community, which is great to know we have a lot of pride here.”

The Citizen is a product of the Public Information Office and is mailed to all residential households four times a year. An electronic version can be found at www.joplinmo.org/newsletter

For more information about the survey or The Citizen, contact Onstot in the Public Information Office at 624-0820, ext. 204.

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