Relaxed vibes and valuable development suggestions – the results of the communications development survey published!

The survey on developing TREY’s communications was carried out from 22 April to 19 May 2024 as part of the Action Plan project Making the Student Union more familiar to students. The survey surveyed students’ opinions on TREY’s social media communications, website, campus visibility and corporate cooperation. In addition, there was a short section on association communications at the end of the survey, which was hoped to receive answers from the operators of the associations with the student union’s association status. The aim of the survey was to get ideas from the students to develop TREY’s communications and to obtain data on the communication channels used by the students so that the available communication channels and formats could be assessed critically and taking into account the needs and wishes of the students.

A total of 183 responses were received, a summary of which we present in this news article. TREY’s communications sector is describing their thoughts on the results in a blog post published at the same time, which you can read here! A second blog post will be published in early autumn, where the communications sector will discuss the measures that will be taken based on the survey results! Stay tuned!

Background questions on respondents

The communications development survey collected background information on the respondents in order to ensure that the conclusions drawn from the survey would be broad and representative of our diverse group of students. In particular, different fields of study and the opinions of students at different stages of studies are widely represented in the responses, while the age group of 18-24 -year-olds and those studying in Hervanta and the city centre campus are more pronounced in the responses compared to other groups.

The largest age groups among respondents were those aged 18 to 24 (72% of respondents) and those aged 25 to 29 (20% of respondents). The survey received really diverse responses from students from different fields. Most responses were received from the study fields of information technology, communications and foreign languages. Many answers were also received from students of administrative sciences and computer sciences. The survey also received relatively diverse responses from different campuses: 95 responses from the city centre campus, 79 from Hervanta and 10 from Kauppi. There were 3 responses from Pori, while there were none from Seinäjoki.

The answers to the ongoing year of study -question were most evenly divided in the background questions section, so the results describe very well the opinions of students at different stages of their studies. Most respondents were third-year students (about 24% of respondents), second most second-year students (about 20% of respondents) and third most first-year students (about 17% of respondents). There were also a good amount of responses from 4-7+ years of study.

Social media and instant messaging

This section of the survey mapped the respondents’ own social media behaviour and the channels they use, as well as how actively they follow TREY’s communications in different channels. In accordance with the Action Plan, the survey results will be used especially to review the communications channels used by TREY, and we received good data on the channels preferred by students and what kind of communication students would like in which channels.

TREY’s most followed communications channels by far are Instagram, which is followed by over 66% of respondents, and the information Telegram-channel, known as TREY bulletin, which was introduced as a new communications channel based on the results of the 2020 communications development survey. We have shifted the focus of our communications from Facebook to Instagram a few years ago, as analytics are in line with students’ responses to the fact that fewer people use Facebook in their daily lives and especially regarding following TREY’s communications there; nearly 55% of students who responded to the survey do not use Facebook at all, and only a good 17% of those who use Facebook say they follow TREY’s communications on there.

We also surveyed wishes related to social media content. In terms of our main communications channel, Instagram, the most desired content was to share current topics related to students, as well as events and statements. In addition to the current content, communications about association’s events and more communication about the Student Union’s advocacy work were requested for the information Telegram-channel. We also received valuable feedback on how to formulate our messages to be more student-oriented.

Newsletter and website

TREY publishes a weekly newsletter to subscribers through the Mailchimp service. 83% of respondents said that they do not subscribe to this newsletter, which means that we clearly have work to do in terms of both the content and format of the newsletter and how to communicate about it better! However, we received valuable and concrete development feedback from the respondents who do subscribe to the newsletter, so a new better newsletter is in the works after the summer vacation!

More than 60% of respondents say they use TREY’s website to search for information or have otherwise visited the site. Over 29% of these respondents feel that it is easy to find information on the website, and over 62% feel that it is easy to find information most of the time. In recent years, we have received feedback especially on the structure of the website and the discoverability of information, and similar valuable development ideas were also received from survey respondents. Hopefully, the website and especially its structure will be redesigned more extensively in the coming years based on feedback.

TREY’s visibility on campuses

75% of respondents feel that TREY is sufficiently visible to them on the campus on which they are studying. TREY should be more visible in Kauppi and Pori, as the majority of respondents studying on these campuses said that TREY is not visible enough to them. Based on this, we will consider measures! Based on the survey results, posters, table triangles, events and stands are the best way for TREY to be visible on campuses.

Corporate collaboration

In corporate cooperation, the most suitable cooperation partners were those offering student benefits and those promoting students’ interests, such as mental health services, student restaurants and student housing. Corporate cooperation was particularly desired to be communicated via Instagram, table triangles and toilet advertisements. The amount of current corporate cooperation was felt to be appropriate, and many responses encouraged TREY to take a positive view of corporate cooperation and possibly increase it.

For association actives

Almost exactly one third of the respondents were association actives who were asked for feedback on targeted communications to associations. The email lists for the associations’ boards and the communications actives turned out to be the most popular email lists, which association actives also found useful and supportive. A few respondents raised the issue of overlapping communications to email lists directed to associations.

70% of the association actives who responded to the survey say that they follow the Telegram information channel directed to association actives. 40% of respondents would prefer targeted communications to both e-mail and the association Telegram information channel, while just over 28% would prefer Telegram and just over 26% would prefer e-mail. In terms of content, association actives want communications especially on association services, campus development and association facility topics, as well as on the city association news.