Last January, we conducted a survey among subscribers to our newsletter. 727 people responded, an unexpected success that reflects our readers’ fondness for their review... Even if their answers are not necessarily representative of our readership as a whole (counting all media platforms, the review has nearly 90,000 subscribers and followers), they are a valuable source of information.
The choice of a non-specialist review is confirmed
One question dealt with the diversity of subjects: 89% of surveyed readers think that the chief interest of the journal resides there. 8% of them even find that the magazine is too focused on certain themes (such as energy).
Professional interest behind intellectual curiosity
To the question “What is your perception of ParisTech Review?”, 39% of respondents answered: “a source of information that can be useful in your professional life” and 28% “a premier publication that helps you form an enlightened opinion on complex subjects that are treated objectively.”
Style and format: more graphs!
A series of questions concerned the manner in which subjects are covered. 86% of readers are satisfied. The length of articles is suitable according to 83% of surveyed readers. Lastly, almost four out of five readers find the style to be enjoyable.
The proposal to further illustrate articles is appealing to readers: 43% want graphs, 20% would like pictures, and 23% would like to see drawings. We have started introducing more graphical elements, and we will continue to do so.
Neutrality and controversy: a mixed message
The journal sets out to be neutral, and its objective is to shed light on controversial topics to enhance debates: does it achieve that goal? It pretty much does, according to 89% of our readers (yes, almost always: 24%; yes, in general: 65%).
But should it leave some room for controversy? For that matter, opinions are divided: 47% said yes, 53% no.
We draw the following conclusion: without abandoning a commitment towards objectivity which is our trademark, we can reckon controversy on some subjects that require a multifaceted approach. Either, within articles, by more systematically reporting the existence of controversies, or occasionally, by allowing two different views to express themselves on the same subject.
The question “What topics would you like to see addressed more often” displayed all the various themes covered by the review. There are only winners to show here, since each of the possible answers collected between 4 and 11% of wishes. Leading the pack are: Technological Innovation (11%), Energy and Natural Resources (9%), Crisis, finance (9%).
An article is read first in light of its title (62%), and less often owing to its lead (30%).
34% of respondents report they immediately read an article fully, 66% browse through it and slate to read it at a later time. A full 66% read it on their computer screen.
Comments on the website
91% of respondents find it enjoyable and easy to use. But some readers have expressed a desire for improvements: a more uncluttered and more readable layout, a more daring site design, easier article research and more extensive search options, more illustrations, and a little broader color chart. Several readers regret the lack of a search bar – yet it exists, and is situated on the right column. We are therefore going to drag it upwards to make it more visible.
Tablet and smartphones
Few answers here, which is not surprising as most newsletter subscribers read the review on their PC. The improvements requested concern stability and speed, bugs (especially on the iPad), the ability to save articles in PDF format, ergonomics, and design.
How did subscribers discover ParisTech Review?
29% of respondents discovered the magazine through a network of alumni, 17% through a friend, 36% found it by clicking on a link on another site: 36%, and 18% through Google or another search engine.
Who responded to the survey?
Their studies: 58% are graduates of a ParisTech School (15% from another School, 14% from a French university, and 9% from a foreign university.
Engineer and consultant: these are the two main occupations of our suscribers, among a wide variety of occupations.
Their professional field
This information confirms the previous one, with on half of the respondents working either in the industry or in consulting, and the other half evenly distributed across job sectors.
A survey… and so, what’s next?
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the subscribers who have taken the time to answer the questionnaire. Such feedback is very valuable to us, both for what it confirms and for the aspects where readers called for changes. We shall repeat the endeavor regularly, and we hope that many of you will lend us your support.