Seattle Northwest Securities, Inc.*: Assessing Information Sources for Public Education

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*Seattle Northwest Securities, Inc. is now PiperJaffary.

Overview

Since 1992, CFM has tracked opinions about public education in Washington. A client wanted new information to help school districts communicate better with communities.

Challenge

Determine changes in communication sources about education and identify if Washington voters are using new social media tools to get information.

Approach

New questions were added to a statewide survey to assess how voters are getting information about education.

Result

The survey found information sources have fractured. Voters continue to use traditional media – newspapers, TV, radio – to get information about schools, but other sources have entered the mix. Word of mouth, Web sites and social media are sources people are using to learn about activities in schools and form opinions about education. CFM recommended that school district communication campaigns need a more complex strategy to be effective, using both traditional and new media.