Vol. 41, No. 7
In and Around the Bar
CBA Communications Department Survey
by Heather Clark
In February 2012, the Colorado Bar Association (CBA) surveyed its members regarding the CBA’s communications to them. The survey sought answers to the following questions:
How do members prefer to receive their information?
What methods of communication are effective and ineffective?
What topics are of most and least interest?
What mobile devices currently are being used?
What social media platforms currently are being used?
What improvements can be made?
This executive summary consolidates the survey responses. The CBA takes this opportunity to apprise members what actions it has taken or will be taking in response to the survey results. For a full report, contact Heather Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A survey comprising thirty-one questions was e-mailed on February 10, 2012 to all CBA members with known e-mail addresses and who have not opted out of receiving e-mails from the CBA. The survey also was available via a link on the home page of the CBA website (www.cobar.org).
The summary data obtained from 1,299 partially or fully completed questionnaires were tabulated and analyzed by the staff of the CBA’s Communications and Marketing Department. These returns represent a response rate of 7.6%, based on 17,000 questionnaires e-mailed.
How Members Prefer to Receive Their Information
The C-Brief eNewsletter is the overall preferred method of receiving information and announcements from the CBA. The accompanying graph shows the average ranking for each communication medium.
Seventy-nine percent of respondents occasionally read the CBA’s weekly eNewsletter; 37% always read it. Topics of most interest are court news and CLE events. Twenty-three percent of respondents indicated they do read the C-Brief with a mobile device, even though it currently is not optimized.
To facilitate reading the C-Brief on mobile devices, the CBA Internet and?Technology (IT) Department has reformatted the
C-Brief to one column. Also, to increase news from the courts in the C-Brief, CBA’s Communications and Marketing Department is working with the Supreme Court to include a monthly item from the courts. The Department also will begin including notices of judicial vacancies occurring throughout the state.
The Colorado Lawyer
The survey revealed that out of 1,340 survey responses, 87% of respondents look through The Colorado Lawyer each month. The survey also revealed a "pass-along" rate of 1.3, which is the number of people who see each issue, including the subscriber. The circulation of The Colorado Lawyer is 18,000, which means monthly readership is approximately 23,400. The survey revealed that members most prefer to read substantive law articles, court news, and ethics opinions. The majority of suggestions for future content concerned substantive law topics, followed by a desire for law practice management information.
The majority of respondents prefer to receive the printed hard copy of The Colorado Lawyer; however, 29% of respondents indicated they would like to receive an e-mail notification each month that links to the current issue. This option currently is not available, but the CBA has begun working to make this a viable option.
Very few respondents view The Colorado Lawyer online. Two possible reasons for this are that (1) the webpage currently is not optimized, which makes it difficult for members to view it through a mobile device; and (2) not all members receive a notification that the latest edition has been posted online.
Again, the CBA will be offering an option to receive an e-mail notification each month when The Colorado Lawyer goes online. The e-mail will contain a list of content, with links to the substantive and department articles (including an abstract or summary), columns, court matter, and other material in the current issue. The CBA may link to PDFs of the articles; downloaded PDFs then could be read on a mobile device, even when Internet access is unavailable.
The CBA’s IT Department currently is working on mobile optimization for cobar.org. The Colorado Lawyer will be one of the first sections of the website to be optimized.
Ninety-eight percent of respondents have visited the CBA’s website. Respondents indicated they are most interested in ethics opinions, court business, registering for CLE events, and updating their membership records. Twenty-five percent of respondents access the CBA website with a mobile device.
The majority of suggestions for future content concerned law practice management and CLE information. Specific comments indicated desire to access free practice management forms and to track individual CLE requirements online.
In response, the CBA’s Law Practice Management Department recently began posting forms online. To see what is currently available, visit www.cobar.org/lpm, and click the "Forms2Share" link in the left-hand menu.
Most respondents indicated that they use their computers to access the CBA website and eNewsletters. However, approximately half of the respondents use mostly tablets and iPhones to access the CBA’s electronic communications.
Respondents access the CBA’s website with a mobile device primarily to register for an event and to read The Colorado Lawyer articles. This information reflects where the initial development of mobile-optimized pages should be concentrated. The CBA’s IT Department is working to optimize the website for mobile devices.
Forty-five percent of survey respondents use social media for professional networking. Of those respondents, 93% use LinkedIn and 69% use Facebook. However, respondents who use social networking spend the majority of their time connecting with family and friends.
The Communications and Marketing Department created a LinkedIn group for the CBA in March 2012. As of May 18, the group has 216 members. To join the CBA LinkedIn Group, visit linkedin.com/groups/Colorado-Bar-Association-4318515?
trk=myg_ugrp_ovr. The Communications and Marketing Department also posts content every weekday to its Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts.
Survey response to questions about CBA blogs provided the following statistics: 20% have read the CBA-CLE Legal Connection blog; 19% have read the Solo in Colo blog; 7% have read the Ethics Committee’s blog, and 6% have read the Intellectual Property Section’s blog. However, 66% had not heard of or read any of the CBA’s blogs. Respondents who read blogs indicated they are looking for practice-specific information. The Communications and Marketing Department will actively promote the CBA’s blogs to increase readership and participation from guest authors.
Forty-nine percent of respondents receive section eNewsletters. CBA members who are not members of a section will not receive this type of communication.
The Business Law, Real Estate, and Solo and Small Firm Section eNewsletters received the highest ratings for content value of all of the section newsletters distributed. Of these three newsletters, the Business Law Section’s eNewsletter was rated as having the highest value. However, respondents noted improvements were needed in all of the newsletters.
The Business Law newsletter is the only section eNewsletter that is published monthly. Other newsletters are published either quarterly or on an as-needed basis. The CBA Sections and Committees Department and the CBA IT Department are working with respective members to revamp the newsletter templates and make them more reader-friendly. Among the changes that are being considered are summarizing content on a newsletter’s front page and linking to a webpage for complete articles, and establishing a consistent schedule for releasing the section eNewsletters (for example, monthly or quarterly).
© 2012 The Colorado Lawyer
and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer
provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/disclaimer.cfm?year=2012