Private Beta Phase Feedback Survey Results

Some pie chart
Some pie chart

We ran a brief survey towards the end of our private beta phase to find out what our early adopters had to say about the offering. We received some very helpful input. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Here’s how we framed it:

Thank you very much for being part of the EngagePhase Weekly private beta phase.

Now that you’ve had a chance to enjoy a few of our early issues, we’d like to hear what you think.

The goal behind EngagePhase Weekly is to provide comprehensive ongoing coverage of the fast-emerging global community engagement and public participation industry. Once things are fully up and running, this premium newsletter will offer the following key features:

* provide timely, in-depth international industry news and analysis,
* monitor innovations, emerging trends, and market forces,
* track the key players (people and organizations).

Over the past 25 weeks, we’ve made significant progress setting up the technical infrastructure necessary to accomplish this task. Your survey input will guide our efforts over the coming few months (our public beta phase).

This survey contains six questions and should take less than five minutes to complete.


Below is a high-level summary of the responses.

1) Based on your experience so far, what do you like best about EngagePhase Weekly?

Some of the things we heard:

  • Professional
  • Brief
  • Quick and easy to read, incl. on mobile devices!
  • Aggregates information one may have missed elsewhere
  • Global lens with international updates, not just country-specific
  • Comprehensive event calendar
  • Excellent “people on the move” section (Quote: “Even if I don’t know them, it’s interesting to know who other people are in the field and where they are going.”)
  • International case studies
  • New ideas & thought leadership
  • Tools and resources
  • Feeling the pulse of the community

Needless to say, this is great to see! It confirms pretty much exactly the general idea behind EngagePhase Weekly and the content areas we believe need to be covered in order to provide a valuable industry tracker.

2) In your opinion, what is missing or could be improved?

Some of the feedback:

  • More summaries
  • More analysis
  • International coverage is still a bit lopsided (majority of news items from the United States and Canada)
  • The look of the issue could be improved upon. It’s very text heavy!
  • Pictures of project outcomes and the people who do it
  • More case studies and best practices
  • Sharper focus on just community engagement and public participation

Yes, yes, and yes! We have most of this on our to-do list already. As subscriptions pick up and more resources become available we will begin to tackle each of these areas.

And yes, we hope the focus will continue to improve as we are able to find more relevant news and improve our capabilities processing these materials in a timely manner. What we have in mind already works quite well for certain areas, but we’re aware of some of the gaps that have been pointed out.

3) In its current state, how much would you be willing to pay for a monthly subscription to EngagePhase Weekly?

This was very interesting.

While a couple respondents indicated they wouldn’t be willing to pay for a subscription at all, most suggested they’d be willing to pay rates of anywhere between $1 and $20 per month, with $4-5 per month seeing the most mentions.

4) Book club

We keep finding interesting books and have mentioned a number of them during our private beta phase. In the survey, we asked if anyone would be interested in seeing them covered in the form of a potential “book club” or “reading circle” event (a conference call or webinar to share notes, discuss key findings and maybe meet the authors).

Looks like there’s definitely enough interest to give it a try. We expect to have something on the calendar by the end of the year. This should also be a natural partnering opportunity with some of the leading organizations in the field.

5) Future 101

Another question asked which technology-driven disruptions people would be most interested in exploring, e.g. through a series of online events. The focus here would be on learning about important technology or other edge topics and discuss how they might impact the community engagement and public participation field over the coming few years.

The following three topics resonated most, so we’re starting to look into a potential pilot, maybe in early 2018:

  • Smart cities
  • E-voting
  • Augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR)

6) International coverage

Last but not least, we asked which countries, regions or language areas people would you like to see covered in more depth. Once again, the answers nicely confirmed our initial direction:

  • Australia
  • South East Asia
  • Indonesia
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Canada
  • United States
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Scandinavia
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom

Or, as one respondent put it: “All of them!”

Because the survey was anonymous and very brief we didn’t track this in in more detail, but we know from conversations we’ve had over the past few months that practitioners everywhere are highly interested in news and resources from places around the world into which they have little visibility, be it because they don’t speak the language or because they can’t easily connect with the local/regional communities of practice.

This kind of international exchange and knowledge transfer is exactly the kind of value-add we hope to deliver with EngagePhase Weekly going forward.

* * *

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to provide their input.

As we mentioned around the time we announced the survey, we have big plans going forward and are maybe 8% of the way there. During our beta phase, we were able to make a ton of progress and gain a lot of insights, and we are very confident we can quickly grow and mature the offering over the course of the public beta phase.

Based on our progress to date and based on all the feedback we have received, we have set our initial price at $29 per year (that’s less than $3 per month). And if you sign up before October 31st, you can get an additional $10 off.

We’ve also added a 15-day free trial period in order to give everyone a chance to “try before you buy”.

The first few early adopters have already started to convert to the paid model.

We publish on Tuesdays. Check it out!

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