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New survey aims to improve information delivery to Airmen

  • Published
  • By Maj. Robert Pope
  • Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Public Affairs
The Secretary of the Air Force Office of Communication at the Pentagon has launched a study to find out how Airmen want to get information about the Air Force. A randomly selected group of Airmen and Air Force civilian employees will receive an e-mail invitation from Brig . Gen. Erv Lessel, Air Force Director of Communication, asking them to complete an online questionnaire to share their views on several information sources, products, and technologies.

"This is a very important project for the Air Force, because we're working hard to improve our Air Force information delivery channels and products so Airmen get the information they want and need, when and how they want it," General Lessel said. "If we hear from Airmen that some of the information channels are working well while others are broken, we'll know where to focus our attention. If Airmen tell us they flat-out can't get some of the information they really want or need, we'll look hard at ways to fix that."

Researchers anticipate the results of this "Where Airmen Get Information" survey will be used to focus Air Force Public Affairs attention on the products Airmen use and value most, permitting the Air Force to cease publishing less desired products or stop operating less used channels.

"It's been almost three years since we last surveyed Airmen about their information wants and needs. If you think about how the information environment has changed during that time, with new media and new technologies coming on line, you see why this study is both essential and overdue," General Lessel added.

According to Steve Everett, principle researcher in the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs assessment division, the survey relies on hearing from all invited participants. Dr Everett explained, "If we hear back from only the Airmen who have computers on their desks, we won't have anywhere near an accurate, complete understanding of Airmen's information preferences. The Air Force is going to extra lengths to get the word out about this survey so invited Airmen will know it's the 'real deal' and their supervisors might give them fifteen minutes of computer time to complete the survey if Airmen don't have computer access of their own. Otherwise we risk getting input only from Airmen with easy computer access, to the exclusion of people in career fields who don't have easy access to the Internet at work."