Month: March 2016

Communications Survey Results

Even the tardiest respondent only took 19 days! I am confident that this level of response gives us a true representation of feelings about our communications at this time and allows us to draw some meaningful conclusions, and in turn implement some useful actions.

Below I’ve listed the questions with their responses and some brief comments from me. At the end I’ve put in what we intend to do to make things better.

How often do you visit the Scottish Orienteering website (or one of its sub-sites, e.g. Scottish Orienteering League sub-site)?

Daily20 (6.64%)
Weekly94 (31.23%)
Monthly107 (35.55%)
Yearly34 (11.30%)
Never14 (4.65%)
Other (please specify)32 (10.63%)

It seems that over 95% of us visit the Scottish Orienteering website at least some of the time, with the majority of us visiting it weekly or monthly. Surprisingly, though, no one visits it hourly!

SCORE is our quarterly magazine. Do you read SCORE?

From cover to cover131 (44.71%)
Only interesting articles83 (28.33%)
Only particular sections28 (9.56%)
No51 (17.41%)

Over 80% of us read at least some of SCORE, which clearly demonstrates that it still has a very valuable part to play in our communications. However, I was really more interested in the next question:

Since SCORE is now distributed digitally are you:

More likely to read it than before34 (11.41%)
Less likely to read it than before105 (35.23%)
Just as likely to read it as before108 (36.24%)
Just as likely to read it as before – I still get a paper copy51 (17.11%)

Over 35% of us are less likely to read SCORE than previously because it is now distributed electronically. Personally, I’m surprised that this number was not higher…

We have a monthly email newsletter that is distributed via club secretaries. Do you read the monthly email newsletter?

Always89 (30.17%)
Sometimes142 (48.14%)
Never64 (21.69%)

Nearly 80% of us read the monthly email newsletter at least sometimes and many of the people who never read it don’t get it! This was, I feel, the most significant finding from the whole survey.

Which social media platforms do you use?

Facebook25 (8.65%)112 (38.75%)36 (12.46%)15 (5.19%)6 (2.08%)95 (32.87%)289
Twitter4 (1.49%)36 (13.38%)19 (7.06%)25 (9.29%)8 (2.97%)177 (65.80%)269
YouTube2 (0.74%)20 (7.41%)60 (22.22%)81 (30.00%)23 (8.52%)84 (31.11%)270
Instagram3 (1.15%)9 (3.44%)5 (1.91%)6 (2.29%)8 (3.05%)231 (88.17%)262
Pinterest03 (1.13%)7 (2.64%)10 (3.77%)12 (4.53%)233 (87.92%)265
Snapchat4 (1.52%)5 (1.90%)4 (1.52%)5 (1.90%)1 (0.38%)244 (92.78%)263
Other012 (8.82%)10 (7.35%)5 (3.68%)1 (0.74%)108 (79.41%)136

A lot of numbers, so perhaps the “Never” column is most interesting here: YouTube is the most popular social media platform, with Facebook a close second, although Facebook is generally used much more frequently. Social media doesn’t seem to be incredibly widely adopted by orienteers in Scotland…

Which social media platforms do you use to follow Scottish Orienteering?

Facebook3 (1.11%)19 (7.04%)46 (17.04%)34 (12.59%)3 (1.11%)165 (61.11%)270
Twitter2 (0.78%)15 (5.86%)12 (4.69%)14 (5.47%)1 (0.39%)212 (82.81%)256
YouTube002 (0.80%)2 (0.80%)11 (4.40%)235 (94.00%)250
Instagram01 (0.40%)001 (0.40%)248 (99.20%)250
Pinterest00001 (0.40%)249 (99.60%)250
Snapchat00001 (0.40%)249 (99.60%)250
Other03 (1.72%)3 (1.72%)2 (1.15%)1 (0.57%)165 (94.83%)174

Facebook is the most popular platform to follow Scottish Orienteering on, followed by Twitter. This is unsurprising as we currently have virtually no presence on the others (partly because they are not so widely used).

Considering Scottish Orienteering communications as a whole, please rate your satisfaction with them currently:


Very satisfiedSatisfiedQuite satisfiedNot satisfiedNot at all satisfiedTotal
30 (10.20%)117 (39.80%)124 (42.18%)22 (7.48%)1 (0.34%)294

This says to me that we are doing fine, but that we could do better.

Considering how you would like Scottish Orienteering to communicate with you in the future, please rate the importance of each area:

 Very importantImportantFairly importantNot importantNot at all importantTotal
Website193 (67.72%)61 (21.40%)26 (9.12%)2 (0.70%)3 (1.05%)285
Paper SCORE43 (16.35%)69 (26.24%)45 (17.11%)63 (23.95%)43 (16.35%)263
Digital SCORE37 (13.26%)91 (32.62%)81 (29.03%)52 (18.64%)18 (6.45%)279
Email94 (33.22%)117 (41.34%)62 (21.91%)7 (2.47%)3 (1.06%)283
Facebook25 (9.09%)61 (22.18%)42 (15.27%)52 (18.91%)95 (34.55%)275
Twitter11 (4.15%)17 (6.42%)38 (14.34%)52 (19.62%)147 (55.47%)265
YouTube1 (0.38%)12 (4.60%)31 (11.88%)64 (24.52%)153 (58.62%)261
Instagram06 (2.32%)15 (5.79%)52 (20.08%)186 (71.81%)259
Pinterest01 (0.39%)10 (3.86%)51 (19.69%)197 (76.06%)259
Snapchat02 (0.77%)11 (4.23%)50 (19.23%)197 (75.77%)260
Other2 (1.38%)06 (4.14%)28 (19.31%)109 (75.17%)145

The website is seen to be the most important part of Scottish Orienteering communications. Both formats of SCORE have a key part to play, but we clearly need to do much more with email, with 74% of respondents feeling that this was at least ‘important’.

What topics are you most interested in? (Please select your top 3.)

Results120 (41.52%)
Fixtures193 (66.78%)
Event Reports134 (46.37%)
General News189 (65.40%)
Elite News72 (24.91%)
Junior News78 (26.99%)
Veterans News44 (15.22%)
Scottish Orienteering League143 (49.48%)
Scottish Orienteering Urban League70 (24.22%)
Governance/Administration38 (13.15%)
Sports Science0
Coaching82 (28.37%)
National Centre36 (12.46%)
Other (please specify)20 (6.92%)

Fixtures and general news of most interest, no interest at all in rules or sport science!


So, this is all very interesting, but what does it mean? Here are my thoughts:

  • The website should be the hub of our communications and as much information as possible should be available here.
  • Members should be able to read SCORE how they prefer.
  • SCORE should be easier to find on the website so people can go back to it more often.
  • It should be easier to, and more obvious that you can, sign up for a paper copy of SCORE so people can get that if they wish.
  • We need to communicate better via email.
  • People should be able to sign up to email updates easily.
  • We should continue to engage via social media.
  • Twitter is particularly good for in the field updates.
  • We should utilise YouTube more, by creating and posting interesting videos.

We have done/will be doing a few key actions to take things forward. Virtually all content will be going onto the website. You will be able to get SCORE however you prefer, and we will make it obvious this is your choice. We will be greatly improving the email newsletter – look out for that soon. We will continue to update Facebook and Twitter, and we will be actively looking to produce more video content – so if you’re interested in that, let me know!

I feel we only need these relatively few, relatively small, changes to make our communications great; I hope you’ll agree, but I would of course be interested in any thoughts you have. Remember too, we all have the ability to take a cool photo or interesting video, so don’t be afraid to get your phone out and communicate!

Ross McLennan SOA Marketing & Communications Director

Clean sweep of trophies for EUOC at BUCS

The University of Bristol hosted this year's British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Orienteering Championships in the Forest of Dean over the weekend 20th/21st February, with over 200 athletes representing 29 Universities in the individual and relay competitions.  

Sasha Chepelin (EUOC) won the Mens’ A race in 58:52 for the 10.5km course with 415m climb, and Charlotte Watson (EUOC) won the Women’s A race in 54:05 for the 7.4km course with a climb of 265m.  EUOC Legends won the Men’s Relay (Stansfield/Barr/Chepelin) and EUOC Legendesses won the Women’s Relay (Reynolds/Zoe Harding/Watson).  This, of course, led to the club winning the overall trophy, with Sheffield 2nd and Oxford 3rd.  Other Scottish universities in the championships were Heriot-Watt (9th), Strathclyde (13th), Glasgow (17th) and Aberdeen (21st).  Full results are on the Bristol Orienteering Club website.

This is not the first time that EUOC has made a clean sweep of trophies at the BUCS Championships, but Head of Performance Orienteering at Edinburgh University, Mark Nixon, said, “It’s been a fantastic weekend with strong performances across the board. Our girls dealt with the pressure of being favourites excellently and dominated the results as expected. Our young guys excelled to get the golds ahead of a very strong Sheffield team. I wouldn’t have predicted us taking home all four golds. It’s an awesome set of results.”

With ScotJOS winning the 2015 Junior Home International, and SEDS winning the 2015 Senior Home International and very strong performances at the World Championships last August from alumni of ScotJOS, EUOC and SEDS, it is clear that at the Junior and Senior performance levels of the sport, orienteering is extremely strong in Scotland.

The individual races to complete the 2015 Scottish Universities Orienteering Championships will take place at SOL1 at Elibank on 6th March.

Support for EUOC athletes through the sportscotland Winning Students scheme is gratefully acknowledged.