Spam? You’ve won a $100

When I opened my inbox earlier and saw a message announcing I’d won a $100 dollars I reached straight for the delete button. Bloody spam I grunted.

Luckily I stopped just in time to see it was a genuine email. A few weeks ago The Listener was enticing readers to join a regular online panel to respond to questions about all manner of things. I signed up, partly out of professional interest to see how other online polls are being run.

Anyone signing up the Reader Panel, and divulging some demographic information and agreeing to participate on a voluntary basis, goes into various prize draws. The big prizes of holidays in the Pacific Islands have yet to be given away, but some smaller prizes are up for grabs. Randomly drawn from the hat, I am one of five to win a $100 voucher.

I asked what information collected is being used for and received this response from Tristan at APN:

Firstly it is a marketing tool to a certain extent, we use it to see what people have to say about our products and if we receive positive feedback/results we can use that in a marketing sense. We sometimes run ad hoc surveys to gauge readers opinions and feedback and we sometimes use this in marketing material.

However the most important use of the panel is an editorial tool. We use it to shape and develop our newspapers. Feedback from our readers is the most important use of panel information and we use feedback to try and get an idea of what people like or don’t like. Obviously we get many mixed opinions which is expected but reader feedback is crucial for us to know that we are providing a quality product and to help improve it.

Unfortunately you will not get to see any results from reader panel surveys, this data is used internally only. The NZ Herald does run public opinion polls looking at current events, politics etc but the reader panel data is used mainly for product development so you the reader can receive a quality product.

The lengths the NZ Herald (and associated rags) are going to improve quality goes a long way to explaining why the newspaper’s online version was awarded Qantas Media Awards best news website. Although grateful for a voucher, it won’t stop me giving honest feedback. So, here goes. I’d really like to see a column covering dilemmas being an ethical/ green consumer, and …….