Thanks, readers, for taking part in survey

Oak Bay News readers part of Black Press research project

The numbers are in from the Oak Bay News reader survey held last fall.

In a comprehensive survey conducted in print and online, Black Press papers in more than 70 B.C. communities took a closer look at what readers want from their community newspaper.

The goal was to better understand our readers and allow advertisers a peek into who is leafing through our pages.

“We really value our readers’ input,” said News publisher Penny Sakamoto. “We want them to know that they matter. Our readers deserve our best and we work hard to give them the detailed, lively, informative and timely coverage that they are looking for.”

The survey asked questions about reader demographics and favourite sections of the paper, and keyed into some of their preferences and purchase intentions.

Here in Oak Bay the bulk of our readership falls into the 50-to-65 age category, with most readers following the News regularly, at least once a week.

More than 98 per cent said breaking news was most important for the Oak Bay News to feature, followed by stories on local events, local people, local government and schools.

Grocery flyers were a big winner with readers across the province with 92 per cent saying they use grocery flyers. Oak Bay followed suit, with 76 per cent also interested in information about health and personal care.

Oak Bay respondents – 96 per cent – reported that they love to dine out, following the trend across the province. Following closely behind was shopping for clothing, shoes and accessories, then movies and entertainment.

“This survey helped us see that our advertisers are getting great returns for their investment with Black Press,” Sakamoto said. “Our readers are taking advantage of local deals and high-end items.” Most said they have plans to travel in the next six months and 18 per cent plan to purchase a car.

Across the province the trend for shopping locally is 89 per cent. In Oak Bay the trend is higher, at 98 per cent.

“This survey will help us serve our community better,” said Black Press’ Greater Victoria editorial director, Kevin Laird. “Print media is relevant only as much as it reflects its audience. Our goal is to cover the stories and issues readers want to know about.”

A total of 12,361 reader surveys were completed between September and November of 2011. The study data was submitted both online and in paper format and compiled to provide one of the largest data sets in British Columbia.

The survey gauged reader habits and preferences, as well as purchase intentions in more than 70 communities in B.C.

llavin@vicnews.com