Our first-ever reader survey provides valuable insights

On The Bay is giving readers what they want – and they want more of it, according to our recent readership survey.

Stories about local issues such as wind turbines, gravel pits, water levels and public health are most popular among our readers, followed closely by people profiles and restaurants, food and drink.

Readers also rated the following types of stories as “very interesting” in almost equal measure:

  • home improvement, design and décor
  • arts and culture
  • local business
  • recreation

Close behind, readers ranked the following types of stories “interesting”:

  • personal opinion
  • featured homes
  • real estate and development

None of the categories ranked as “not interesting,” according to the survey averages.

When it comes to the style and length of articles, readers reported that they most like informational stories, followed closely by:

  • personal stories and viewpoints
  • photo essays
  • shorter articles and sidebars

Longer features were slightly behind, but readers still like them, according to the survey averages. None of the article styles fell into to the “don’t like” category, according to the survey.

What does all of this mean?
It means we’re doing a lot of things right, and could be doing more of some things. And we listened. In this issue, you will see more brief, informational-style articles, particularly on the topics of real estate and development. We plan to continue to introduce more of these types of stories in every issue of On The Bay, along with more photo essays, more on arts and culture and more on recreational activities.

The survey, conducted through Facebook and On The Bay’s email newsletter, garnered a total of 164 respondents from across the region. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey, and we look forward to using this valuable feedback to continuously improve “your magazine.”

In Your Own Words

Following are some of the comments we received from readers who responded to the survey:

“I love, love, love On The Bay! It really showcases everything in our local area like no other magazine. It’s very informative!!”

“I really look forward to receiving the magazine. I read it from cover to cover. It is a very impressive publication.”

“Good variety in issues discussed.”

“You have a wonderful magazine, thanks so much for all of your ideas and presentation. I love this area in which I live and I think that you have captured its essence beautifully. I would like to see more articles on local people. The faces that take the time to make me smile day to day.”

“Absolutely love On The Bay! Keep up the excellent work.”

“You are doing a great job of presenting information about our community and area. Love the variety of formats of the articles.”

“A magazine should focus on features and please don’t just turn it into thinly disguised advertising.”

“Love the large format … look forward to seeing it in my mailbox.”

“Appreciate the interesting content and beautifully laid out pictorials that I’ve come to anticipate in each unique issue of On The Bay. Thank you for your vision and efforts!”

“I always start with Dan Needles’ page; love it!”

“Great to have a magazine that covers the issues of the area, rather than just pure advertising.”

“The photography is the best; the stories are always a great read.”

“I usually read the entire magazine. I find it a great way to learn about my community – the issues, the interesting people, new businesses, what is going on, etc. I even read all of the ads to see what businesses are available and what they offer.”

“Love all of the content of your magazine! It touches on so many topics relevant to Georgian Bay living. Keep up the great work!”

“I think you do a great job now blending styles and interests but your real strength is in being a local issues magazine.”

On The Bay is the only local magazine I read! Your tagline is “Celebrating Life in Southern Georgian Bay,” and you deliver.”

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