Thanks For The Great Report Card From Toplevel Graders
Written by Michael Lewis on February 15, 2007
By Michael Lewis
We just got the report card you sent us — results from Miami Today’s readership survey. You gave us a batch of A’s, for which we’re thankful, and some important lessons that we plan to go to school on.
You also told us a lot about yourselves, proving that our readers — and graders — are at the peak of our community.
Let me share highlights, starting with facts about you and how they’ve changed from the previous survey, 18 months ago.
You’re smart: 96% of you are college-educated and 50% have post-graduate education. The 96% has been constant for years, but the post-grad figure keeps rising.
You’re powerful: 84% are at the managerial level or above and 28% of you own businesses. Both figures match earlier surveys.
You’re an economic whiz: Your mean household income is $235,425, up 17% from our last survey, and 50% of you are millionaires, up from 46% 18 months ago.
You’re more acquisitive: You own more art objects (82% of you), more fine jewelry (68%), more powerboats (14%). And of those of you who plan to acquire this year, 55% plan to buy fine jewelry, 61% art objects, 21% antiques, 56% a house or condo, 28% a residential rental property, 26% commercial real estate, 15% a secondary or vacation home, 12% a powerboat and 5% a sailboat. Most of those numbers have jumped since 2005.
You’re loyal: Our average reader has been with us for five years, another number that remains constant survey after survey. And you average 25 minutes, 37 seconds reading each copy, up a precious 22 seconds of your valuable time from 2005.
You’re small business and big business: 26% of your companies have annual sales of $1 million or less, and 29% work in companies with volume above $100 million. The other 45% span a broad range between.
You’re trendy: Paralleling the rise in real estate values, 85% of you now live in residences worth more than $300,000, up from 55% just 18 months ago. In 2005, 5% lived in homes worth more than $1 million. Today, it’s 16%.
You haven’t aged a day: Eighteen months ago, our average reader was 51 years old. Today, our average reader remains 51. Must be vitamins and healthy living.
You’re globally savvy: 91% of you traveled by plane last year (68% four times or more), 89% hold active passports, 51% took vacations abroad last year, 43% are involved in international business, 41% traveled abroad last year on business, 18% of you or your companies invest in properties abroad and 11% hold foreign passports.
You shop ’til you drop: 82% of you shop at Macy’s, 60% at Nordstrom’s, 50% Bloomingdale’s, 37% Neiman Marcus and 30% Saks. As for where, 66% shop Dadeland, 60% Coral Gables, 59% the Village of Merrick Park, 46% Aventura Mall, 44% the Falls and 32% Bal Harbour Shops — with 13% going as far as Las Olas and 8% to Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue.
How you got there: 38% of you went in luxury cars, up from 32% just 18 months ago.
You’re more environmentally concerned: 3% say you drive hybrids, up from 1% in 2005. And of the 47% of you who plan to buy a car this year, 11% say it will be a hydrid, up from 7% vowing to go that way in 2005.
You’re active, and how: In the past 6 months, 62% of you went to concerts, up from 55% in the previous survey, and 62% to museums, up from 52%. Plus, 60% went to art galleries (up from 57%), 60% to charitable events (up from 58%), 52% to live theater (up from 45% despite the loss of the Coconut Grove Playhouse) and 32% to opera or ballet (up from 30%).
Movies flickering: On the other hand, fewer of you saw domestic films, down to 61% from 65%, or foreign films, down to 32% from 39%. Maybe that has something to do with what’s showing.
You commute a lot: 44% of you work in Southeast Miami-Dade, but only 34% of you live there, and 18% of you work in Southwest Miami-Dade, but 26% of you live there. On the north end of the county, 22% of you work in the northeast but 25% of you live there, and 10% of you work in the northwest but just 7% of you live there. Another 4% of you work in Broward (up from 2% 18 months ago), but 8% of you live in Broward (up from 6%).
More about you: 38% of you are Hispanic, 6% black, 1% Asian. 70% are men, 30% women.
Now, about those glittering A grades that you gave to Miami Today: 81% of you told us Miami Today has a high or very high quality of business and civic news, up slightly from 2005, and 85% said the credibility of that news is high or very high, again up. Both figures are far above the rankings you give to any other publication.
In head-to-head competition, you ranked us far and away the best publication in the market for news of banking and finance, for news of business, for our Calendar, for news of civic activities, for government news, for real estate news, for meeting small-business needs and for helping you do your job better. Most of those ratings are even better than in past years. Thank you.
As for the lessons: While 68% of you rated us best for local business trends, with the Miami Herald second at 13%, our top rating has slipped: 77% said we were best in 2005. That’s a clear warning to beef up coverage and shore up the top ranking. In the days after we read your survey reports, we have done exactly that, taking to heart the lesson you gave us. Expect more from us in the future because we plan to give it to you.
In the same realm is our 59% top ranking for news of companies. While we still lead the field (the South Florida Business Journal is second at 16%), we’ve slipped from 62% ranking us best. Again, we’ve planned to rectify that soon.
We thank you for the time you took to fill out our densely packed four-page survey form — an average investment of 15-20 minutes. As should be apparent, we study closely what you tell us, and we act on it.
Thanks for the feedback — and for the good grades. We’ll try to do even better on our next report card.