PreK-12 Market Headlines
Administrators Indicate Print Media Still Their Most Trusted Information Source
Haselton Group — Saturday, July 30, 2011
Educational Leadership, Education Week and District Administration Among the Most Trusted Sources for Administrators According to Haselton Group Survey
BOSTON - July 28, 2011 - Despite increased attention on social media and online news sources, traditional print media remains the most trusted source of information for school administrators. According to a recent survey conducted by The Haselton Group, administrators prefer print editions of top trade magazines rather than the online editions or e-newsletter sources from the same publications. Furthermore, social media, which continues to gain momentum in corporate marketing plans, remains a relatively small part of the information mix for administrators.
The Haselton Group, one of the education industry's top marketing and public relations firms, surveyed 10,000 superintendents, principals and district-level administrators across the country to identify their most trusted news sources as well as their use of digital content and social media.
According to the survey, on average, administrators rely fairly equally on colleagues (48%) and third-party sources of information (52%) to stay up-to-date on best practices, industry news and new product information. However, their sources of third-party information skew heavily towards traditional media.
Industry trade magazines are still the greatest source of administrators' third-party information. On average, administrators get nearly half (45%) of their industry-related information from such sources; far outweighing the combined total of next three greatest sources: blogs, national newspapers and local newspapers.
ASCD's Educational Leadership is the most widely read industry trade publication, with three-quarters (77%) of respondents citing the publication (print or online) as an important source of information, followed by Education Week (66%) and District Administration (44%). When asked to rank the publications they rely on most, 60% of respondents identified Educational Leadership as one their top two choices, followed by Education Week (43%) and District Administration (32%).
Despite increased availability of online content, administrators indicated they were, on average, twice as likely to pick up the print version of their top-ranked magazines rather than read the online edition. Among the most widely read print publications were Educational Leadership (55%), Education Week (39%) and District Administration (33%). Leading all online publications, Education Week is read by one-quarter (25%) of administrators, followed by Educational Leadership online (22%), with the online versions of eSchool News and T.H.E. Journal each read by 16% of administrators. Edutopia is the industry's top e-newsletter, read by 16% of administrators, with Education Week (15%) and District Administration (12%) close behind.
"Administrators are clearly indicating that they haven't yet made the leap to online content," said Collin Earnst, principal of the Haselton Group. "Companies should carefully consider administrators' current preferences before shifting their advertising dollars from the traditional print publications to the online medium."
The study also found that social media continues to lag behind more traditional sources of information. Although one out of four administrators follow education-related blogs, they indicated that these sources only account for, on average, 12% of their third-party information. Less than 10% of administrators surveyed use Twitter to follow education-related resources, and less than 2% use such information to drive instructional or purchasing decisions.
"This is a case of the hype of social media outpacing customer utility," said Earnst. "However, social media is gaining traction and is here to stay. Our philosophy is to encourage our clients to make a modest investment in a foundational social media program that can expand over time."
To obtain an executive summary of the 2011 Haselton Group Administrator Survey, please contact email@example.com or call 888-256-2887.