The print edition of UTMB’s employee newsletter, Impact, has been back on newsstands for two years after becoming online-only following Hurricane Ike.
UTMB’s Marketing and Communications office re-launched the print edition in 2015 in response to employee survey and focus group input and as part of a larger effort to strengthen internal communications.
A recent employee survey aimed to find out whether employees prefer the print or online edition of Impact, how they access it, what types of articles they like most and what suggestions they may have for improving the newsletter. After combing through more than 1,000 responses and taking notes on what you love—and don’t love—about Impact, it’s time to reveal the results:
- The overall impression of Impact is positive. Overall, 97 percent of survey respondents who had heard of Impact were either “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with the newsletter, and nearly half of respondents read Impact every month. Readers like that Impact is about people, and they enjoy seeing friends and colleagues featured in it. The “Day in the Life” series is a reader favorite, along with employee features, health tips and articles about UTMB news.
- Employees read Impact because it keeps them better informed about other areas of UTMB. More than 80 percent of survey respondents said they feel more informed, and many employees mentioned that they like the diversity of articles and mission areas included.
- The print version is preferred. Across all entities—Academic Enterprise, Health System, Institutional Support and Correctional Managed Care—the print edition of Impact is the No. 1 choice among those expressing a preference. Overall, 48 percent of respondents preferred the print edition, 27 percent preferred online and 25 percent had no preference. We received several comments favoring the print edition, such as “There is something special about reading articles that aren’t electronic, but are still on paper you can hold and read,” and “I like having a printed copy because I can take it home. My husband reads it, too!”
We also received many great story ideas and suggestions for improvement. Based on your feedback, the Impact team will be making additional modifications this fiscal year to make the newsletter even better. Among them:
- Improve access to print edition. Some employees said they preferred the print edition but indicated they were only getting Impact online. To improve access to the print edition, the Impact team will adjust news rack locations to high-traffic areas and will add a few racks to the Galveston and Angleton Danbury campuses. The number of printed issues will stay the same (about one issue for every three employees); however, the number of issues per rack will be adjusted based on usage patterns over the past couple of years. Impact will continue to be produced in an economical fashion by utilizing UTMB’s in-house digital printing and distribution capabilities through Printing Services.
- Revamp Impact website. The internal communications team is in the planning stages of making improvements to the Impact website. To better organize stories and make the site easier to navigate, the current blog roll-style format will be transformed into a landing page similar to UTMB’s Newsroom website www.utmb.edu/newsroom, with stories separated under various subject headings. The goal is to make it easier to read and find information relevant to you.
- Continue adding diversity. Many employees said they appreciated how Impact includes features on employees from all areas and job titles around the institution, but a greater focus on front-line staff was desired. The Impact team will work to bring greater balance to our coverage, in terms of mission areas and roles throughout the institution.
- Spice up the “Leader Spotlight.” This series gives a candid look at leaders’ personal and professional priorities in a question-and-answer format. Future segments will switch up questions regularly and will be less text-heavy, focusing more on photos and short-answer responses.
- Include more interactive elements. Backed by popular demand, the “Did You Know?” section of Weekly Relays will soon be regularly featured in Impact. In addition, the “Parting Shot” will evolve and the space will also be used to share other news, as well as trivia questions. Impact readers will be invited to submit their responses for the chance to win a small prize, and winners will be listed in the following month’s issue. The Impact team is also looking into including a “Hidden Talents” segment, where UTMB employees can submit photos and information on their talents for possible inclusion.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. With your help, we are improving our system of communication and staying connected to one another and to our university’s mission.Your feedback helps guide the newsletter forward and ensures the inclusion of useful news and engaging stories about UTMB faculty, staff and students, and the great work going on at UTMB locations throughout the state.
There is a lot to be proud of at UTMB, and we want the pages of Impact to tell those stories.