To our Readers:

You might recall reading an invitation in the pages of our newspapers recently to participate in a survey. We commissioned this independent research to gather information from our readers on a number of subjects.

Thank you to the hundreds of you who took the time to share with us your thoughts and observations on several topics. We asked about your views on our newspapers, the community in which we live, shopping habits, the use of digital devices (smartphones, tablets, computers, in-home connectivity devices, etc.), and basic demographic information.

We promised two things:

1. We would share results of the survey.

2. We would respond and react to readers suggestions on how we can improve The Bluffton Sun and the Hilton Head Sun newspapers.

Now that the results have been compiled and summarized, we want to share a portion of the data that was gathered:

• 40% of respondents have lived in the Bluffton/Hilton Head market for a decade or more

• 76% of our respondents visited a local retailer or used a business service as a result of advertising seen in the last month

• 65% visited a local website, ordered online, or took another action as a result of advertising seen in the last month

• 94% of The Bluffton Sun/Hilton Head Sun readers respondents own a smartphone. 77% own either an iPad, tablet, or Smart TV

• 71% of the respondents use Facebook on a regular basis

The readers responding to the survey have expressed a desire to see us provide more local news, more local events, more restaurant and food related items, and a good number of the responses suggested we offer more coupons in the pages of our publications.

One of the affirming outcomes from the survey was the fact that 92% of those responding reported they would prefer to read news and information themselves rather than having it presented to them (by sources such as radio, TV, etc.) Of those, 83% prefer to read the news and information on paper, and 17% prefer the digital form.

We will continue to share other outcomes from the survey in future issues, but we leave you with this one final response:

When asked “What medium do you find has the most impact on you in responding to local advertising?” the results were: print advertising 63%; social media 15%; word of mouth 8%; local websites 6%; broadcast media 3%.

For that, our advertisers thank you, the reader, for your continued response to their investments in our publications.

Kevin Aylmer