Reader Survey 2012
Our last reader survey was conducted in 2005. It was carried out at a more searching level than our previous questionnaires and its findings were extremely pertinent and useful. Although there were individual criticisms and suggestions, the general impression of satisfaction was heartening. Some of those suggestions from 2005 have been taken up and implemented. Our website, then the cause of some dissatisfaction, is now infinitely better designed and more informative, especially when supplemented with our monthly Newsletter. The Magazine’s publication date has been brought back and the distribution improved. We also decided to subtly change the layout of the editorial contents and refigure the design of the cover. On the contents themselves, there was much appreciation of the book and exhibition reviews as well as a number of requests: some readers, for example, wanted more articles and reviews on art from the Far East and Asia; others, an increased coverage of photography and of contemporary art. The highly specialised nature of some of the articles was deemed generally acceptable because there were always more immediately accessible contributions elsewhere in the issue.
Of equal interest was the picture we gained of our readers. Their range in age was wide, as was their geographical location across the world, although Britain and North America, as is to be expected for an English-language publication, accounted for the bulk of the readership. From the results of the new Reader Survey, launched this month, we hope to fine-tune our knowledge of the Burlington’s audience; we know full well that we have considerably more readers than subscribers and we urge as many people as possible – from our monthly stalwarts to our occasional, interested browser – to complete our Survey. We need to know more, for example, from contributors, museum curators, academics, students, advertisers and collectors about their reactions as well as their expectations. We need to make informed decisions on the balance between print and online publication – a more pressing consideration than it was even seven years ago – and assess the multifarious opportunities of reaching new readers online and the configuration of our content there. Above all, we want to know what impression we are making.
The present staff of the Burlington are its temporary custodians. Our family silver is the Magazine’s title and reputation and we have to ensure it becomes neither depleted nor tarnished, particularly in a world that teems with tempting alternatives and choices. Our readers are vital to this custodianship, and we warmly solicit your views on our current performance to help gain a measure of future expectations.
To participate in the the survey, please click here