Print vs. online: Can Survey Monkey help you decide?

At Toyota Motor Sales, communications manager Charley Roberts uses the polling primate to spur debate about where communications is headed.

Suppose you supervised a monthly print newsletter, every issue of which was read by almost three employees out of five? A publication in which almost all the articles were read by nearly half of those workers who picked it up?

Wouldn’t you be ecstatic?

Would you be tempted to tinker with this kind of success?

Charley Roberts, communications planning manager for Toyota Motor Sales USA and the man ultimately responsible for Toyota’s glossy, four-color, 10-page tabloid Driver’s Seat, turned to Survey Monkey for those answers.

Roberts and his team (Editor Susan Pack and writers Brin Wall, Sacha Terrill and Dan Miller) wanted the answers to some vital questions: Were they reaching the younger generations at Toyota? What did workers think about making Driver’s Seat an online publication? Did employees desire to be spoken to through the social media?

Earlier this year, using Survey Monkey, Roberts and Pack put out a simple four-question survey on Toyota’s intranet, Toyota Vision. Readers were asked to choose from among print, online and a combination of print and online for Driver’s Seat. A fourth question was an open-ended inquiry about how readers might prefer to get news about Toyota in the future, through blogs, podcasts, e-mail, intranet publication, etc.

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