Swindon Town Media Arrangements Survey: The Results
It’s time to publish the results of our recent survey of supporters’ views on Swindon Town’s ‘new media arrangements’…
A total of 490 respondents completed our recent survey. This sought your views on the effectiveness of the club’s ‘new media arrangements’ and whether the change in approach has impacted on supporters.
The above answers highlight that a higher percentage (12.1%) are supportive of the actions taken by the club to restrict the Swindon Advertiser, than are in agreement with the recent extension of media interaction with the club.
A significant three-quarters of those surveyed consider the restricted media access doesn’t do the club any favours. The unwillingness to open and unrestricted media access, and the perception of a lack of transparency, may contribute towards reduced levels of trust in the club.
91% of respondents would prefer to see a wider engagement with supporters through a variety of media channels, rather than a focus on a specific app. It is important to note that the club also maintains active Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram accounts through which they publicise club news to supporters.
Despite the Fanzai app and the arrangement with the club being new, a significant 40% respondents had used it (as of end of July). This shows the importance of app developers to have their product linked to a popular brand, such as Swindon Town, as a means to launch and quickly then grow their online platforms.
As the answer was mandatory, I recognise that those answering ‘no’ to Question 5 would most likely have rated Fanzai as ‘1’. Even discounting the 197 respondents who stated they “had not used Fanzai”, those rating the app at the lowest scale remains the largest group (57%) – highlighting the quality of the app and its functionality was limited, therefore failing to deliver on the promises made.
It is important to note that functionality updates have been made to Fanzai since this survey that may affect the response to this question, if asked again today.
Only around 10% of respondents are supportive of the moderating approach on Fanzai – at the time of the survey.
At the time of the survey, the vast majority of respondents did not consider that the promises made by Lee Power – as part of the new media arrangements – had been delivered. Clearly, increased resources will be required at the club to effectively engage with supporters as there are so many official media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Fanzai, Official Website, Youtube, Player HD…).
It will be interesting to compare these results to a further survey later this season to understand if supporters consider the club have improved content.
I imagined a consequence of the new media would be an increase in traffic towards the official club website. However, only around 7% of those surveyed stated that their use of the website increased, with around 26% responding their use has decreased. This question did not seek to explore whether supporters have used other official club channels – for instance Question 5 shows a very significant number now use, or have used, Fanzai.
It appears to be approximately 50/50 between the club and other sources, by which supporters typically find out about STFC promotion or information. This highlights the value of any organisation engaging with as many wider media channels as the means to promote and grow their business.
The majority of respondents agree that the commitments within the club’s Customer Charter to consult supporters should’ve been enacted before implementing their new media policy. It is welcome to see this response highlighting the significant number of supporters who seek to engage with the club in some way and be part of how it is run.
Any football club wants to maximise its coverage in order that the fans are fully in the loop. Mr Power has made it clear that he does not rate communications with the fans as a high priority. If he did he would have sorted out his vendetta with the Adver far sooner.
In a democracy it is always worrying when the Chair of a club bans any media. The Adver is not perfect but the stories that they have run have proved to be true. So they have been doing what the press should do – hold the club to account. I have stopped buying a programme as my mini protest at Power’s desire to control all comment about the club.
If there is nothing to hide, why does he act like this? Publicity is vital for a footy club. The crowd for Bradford was a disappointing 7k leaving aside the Bradford fans. This is an ominous start to the season. Power will need to have the fans on side we struggle this year. Debate is part of the footy culture. To have a site that does not allow comments on player / manager performance is going away from the heart of our game.
Will Mr Power take any notice of this survey? No. That will be shame as it was an excellent survey of a significant percentage of fans.