What do PPM readers think about our magazine? The results of our 2018 readers’ survey are in.
With a number of changes to Professional Pest Manager magazine over the last 12 months, we felt it important to get some feedback from you, our readers, about what you like and what we can improve. So how did we go?
Well the good news is that we received an overall rating of 4.23 out of 5, which meant the vast majority of readers rated the magazine as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. There were a couple of readers who rated the magazine as ‘needing improvement’. These readers gave some useful feedback, and hopefully the content in this article will address some of their questions and concerns.
Readers were asked to indicate which magazine segments they liked (and they could name more than one segment). The most liked segment was the product news, closely followed by the termites segment, general news and the feature segments (Figure 1). Readers clearly like to know what new products are coming and how best to use products (new and old).
How long do you spend reading the magazine?
On average readers spend over two hours reading the magazine, which is very pleasing and indicates that we are providing a range of material that interests. The fact that over 90% of readers keep the magazine and over 85% will go back to re-read articles sometimes, often or all the time, shows the magazine is appreciated as a valued reference material (Figure 2).
Printed magazine or online?
With the decline of newspapers due to freely available content online, some assume magazines are on the decline as well. Actually, for specialist magazines, it is quite the opposite. Specialist magazine readers love the convenience of having all the latest specialist information, relevant to their area of interest, landing on their doorstep. For Professional Pest Manager magazine readers, they are no different, with 65% of readers preferring a printed magazine to an online version.
Specialist magazines, whether printed or online are a convenient way to get the latest information. If you had to search for the same information on the internet, you wouldn’t necessarily know what to look for (you don’t know what you don’t know). Even if you found it, could the information be considered trustworthy? Specialist magazines are considered both convenient and trustworthy.
Nevertheless, although only 10% of our readers would prefer to have an online version, a further 25% would prefer to have both. With our new website, we are in the process of uploading previous editions of the magazine, which can be accessed by subscribers as online flipbooks. One of the reasons readers indicated that they would like access to an online version of the magazine was that they saw it as an easy way to find old articles. The good news is that the new website also has a library with detailed search function, which will allow subscribers to find what they want quickly, using Professional Pest Manager magazine as a pest control knowledge centre. Over 100 of the most recent articles are already in the library and by the end of the year we hope to have a library of over 1000 articles.
We received some great feedback and a number of ideas for new content. These included wanting more stories about pest managers, tips from the field, more information on pests other than termites, education on building construction, more information on some of the smaller suppliers and a classifieds section. We’ve added these and more to our ideas list, but we’ve actioned some of these already.
Readers will have noticed that a few issues ago we reintroduced the Supplier Spotlight segment, giving readers a chance to get to know some of the smaller suppliers as well as the major multi-nationals. This magazine sees the launch of Pest Insider, a new segment where we will highlight the stories of various pest managers. We’ve also kicked off the Pest Knowledge series from Globe, which will give readers information on identification and control options for the key pests. Keep an eye out for the classifieds section, which will be coming in the near future.
Who owns the magazine?
Professional Pest Manager magazine is independently owned and always has been. Although 40% of our readers knew this, some 35% didn’t know who owned the magazine and over 20% of readers thought AEPMA owned the magazine. Being independent means that we are entirely reliant on subscriptions and advertising money to survive.
Although 20% of readers positively like adverts in the magazine, a couple of comments suggested that there were too many adverts. Hopefully the knowledge that adverts are required for the magazine to survive will provide some understanding. The magazine accepts adverts from all industry suppliers; the fact that one company may have a higher profile than another in the magazine is simply a consequence of them deciding to invest more in the magazine to promote their products.
However, as we are independently owned, the magazine strives to include at least 50% non-commercial content, to educate our readers on all aspects of pest control. Your subscription fees help us to meet this goal. This content is generated by the magazine and some of our kind contributors and aims to be truly independent.
Professional Pest Manager will continue expand its offerings with the vision of being ‘Your Pest Control Knowledge Centre’. The upgrading of the website and online library is the significant first step in moving beyond being simply a printed magazine, and there are some exciting new tools and activities in the pipeline. Of course, your continued feedback is important to us, at it allows us to use your subscriptions to develop the tools you want and provide the information you need to make your jobs easier. Thank you for your continued support.