We appreciate your applause; we'll do even more to earn it
By Michael Lewis
Sincere thanks for poring over fine-print questions to tell us about yourselves, how you use Miami Today, how you rank us with other publications and what you want from us in the future.
We're still analyzing a readership survey just fine-tuned by Behavioral Science Research, the respected Coral Gables firm that crafted the study and turned over to us more than 2,500 data findings. It's now our job to use what Dr. Bob Ladner and his team found in order to serve you better.
Findings about our growing readership closely track those in other Miami Today surveys since 1985. Since the survey shows our average reader has been with us more than eight years, that's logical.
We like the stability, but when the survey does reveal significant changes we try hard to learn.
Let me give you highlights, starting with who our 77,596 readers are: influential, educated, well-to-do. Your mean household income is $219,025 and 43% of you are millionaires, with 77% at managerial levels or above, 24% business owners and 96% college educated.
You're heavily into a handful of key professions for our economy: 20% in real estate, development and construction; 12% in professional services; and 10% in finance, banking and insurance. Another 10% work in non-profits and 9% in the legal profession.
You're internationally oriented: 91% hold an active passport, including 7% foreign passports, and 46% vacationed abroad last year. Plus, 39% of you are involved in international business.
As you'd expect at your levels of income and clout, you're not fresh from school, though we're pleased to have more than 5,400 under-30 readers join us in recent years. Still, our average reader is 54 years old, with 65% men and 35% women.
One change you'd expect of high-level executives in Miami: 40% of you are Hispanic — up from 37% in our 2009 survey — yet only 8% say we need to offer news in Spanish.
Also to be expected in Miami: 62% of you are in small and mid-size businesses. This is, after all, a community of enterprise-building entrepreneurs.
We're gratified at one huge shift: you rate Miami Today even higher in many areas compared with other newspapers.
We asked you to rate five newspapers in quality of business and civic news and then in credibility. 82% of you rated Miami Today high or very high for quality, 83% high or very high for credibility. Thanks for your confidence.
The other publications: Daily Business Review, 50% quality, 63% credibility; South Florida Business Journal, 52% quality, 59% credibility; Miami Herald, 48% quality, 53% credibility; and Sun Sentinel, 33% quality, 49% credibility.
In key niches, we fare even better. Selections from a long list:
Some 46% of you rated us best for banking and finance news, up from 41% in the last survey and even farther ahead of runners-up Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal, each 18%.
The largest change from the past was in naming the best newspaper for all business news: 57% chose Miami Today, up from 46% in the past, with the South Florida Business Journal second at 17%.
Another huge gain was for quality of calendar sections: 63% named Miami Today best, up from 53% in the 2009 survey, while the Miami Herald fell to 27% from its prior 40%.
Also a huge gain is assessing which "paper helps me do my job better": 55% chose Miami Today, up from 45% in 2009, while the Miami Herald dropped from 34% last time to just 18%. Since most of you do read us at work, this reinforces our aim to be a tool for professionals and executives.
In that realm, 65% of you picked us best in local business trends, up from 62% last time, while the Miami Herald remained second at 16%.
We did fall in one category: 63% named us best for government news, down from 66% in 2009. The Miami Herald remained second at 25%.
Lest you think you rated us best in everything, you didn't: the Miami Herald topped us handily in both arts coverage and advertising. We'll try to rectify both, though we'll need customers' help in advertising.
You are, after all, incredibly loyal to Miami Today, to a level I've never experienced. You keep this paper a long time, 88% two days or more, 54% more than five days and 25% more than a week, proving that really valuable information has a very long life for rereading later.
We plan to build on that strong loyalty to a brand that you tell us is important, credible and a working tool. Other questions you answered will help us continue to expand our electronic Miami Today and to provide you vital information in formats we might not yet fully visualize.
Still other answers help us prepare to serve better in a world where daily newspapers are pulling back, publishing fewer days and reducing service in significant ways. We aim to fill information needs in an expanding media world where original, credible reporting is actually diminishing.
If you've been with Miami Today throughout our first 30 years, please stick with us. If you're an average eight-year reader, do the same. With your continued help — including your survey replies — we'll build you a better news future.
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