Members Positive About AAPG

Survey Tallied Opinions

An all-member survey of attitudes concerning AAPG products and services showed an overwhelmingly positive result across the board.

A whopping 93.38 percent stated positive "overall satisfaction" with AAPG member services, with 72.53 percent giving "satisfied" or "extremely satisfied" marks.

David Anderson, of Anderson Marketing Services, the firm that conducted the survey, pointed out this extremely positive response was among the highest he's experienced.

The survey was distributed in the February EXPLORER and also was available to members on the AAPG Web site.

Of the 28,450 four-page, 95-question surveys distributed, 1,461, or 5.14 percent of the total distribution, were fully or partially completed and returned.

Of that total, 1,233 were tallied from the printed forms and 228 were collected and tabulated via the Internet.

Anderson noted the responses tracked very close to the age and geographic distribution of the membership at large.

Image Caption

The first number at the bar end represents the percentage of respondents, the second number represents the number of respondents who answered the question.

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An all-member survey of attitudes concerning AAPG products and services showed an overwhelmingly positive result across the board.

A whopping 93.38 percent stated positive "overall satisfaction" with AAPG member services, with 72.53 percent giving "satisfied" or "extremely satisfied" marks.

David Anderson, of Anderson Marketing Services, the firm that conducted the survey, pointed out this extremely positive response was among the highest he's experienced.

The survey was distributed in the February EXPLORER and also was available to members on the AAPG Web site.

Of the 28,450 four-page, 95-question surveys distributed, 1,461, or 5.14 percent of the total distribution, were fully or partially completed and returned.

Of that total, 1,233 were tallied from the printed forms and 228 were collected and tabulated via the Internet.

Anderson noted the responses tracked very close to the age and geographic distribution of the membership at large.

Findings included:

  • Overall Satisfaction — Overall, members are "very satisfied" or "extremely satisfied" with their AAPG membership. Less than seven percent of members reported low satisfaction rating.

  • Membership Importance — Members were asked to report the perceived level of importance to their membership in two areas: general factors and services.

    • In the area of general factors, professional responsibility and networking were deemed the most important factors.
    • The EXPLORER, BULLETIN and North American conventions were the most important factors in terms of services.
  • Three-Member Rule — When asked if the "three-member sponsorship rule" should be reduced, members overwhelmingly indicated "no," with a minority reporting they would like to see the ruling changed or are uncertain.

     Should the three-member sponsor requirement for active membership be reduced?
  • Fee Reduction — Member responses were mixed concerning the question of a reduced dues option, with 33 percent indicating dues should be reduced in relation to services (receipt of the BULLETIN) reduction, with about 24 percent being uncertain and the remaining 43 percent indicating there should be no fee reduction option.

    Should there be a reduced dues option for membership without access to the Bulletin, including online?

  • Headquarters Service — Of the 40 percent responding who had contacted headquarters in the past 12 months, most were satisfied with the services, especially from the bookstore, publications, membership and education.

    Section support, distinguished lecture and committee support received the lowest rankings — however, no rankings fell below 2.7 on a scale of 5.

  • BULLETIN — The BULLETIN received extremely high marks, including readership and content, with 89.24 percent responding the BULLETIN quality as good or excellent.

  • Special Publications — 86.7 percent have purchased special publications; cost is the primary reason reported for non-purchase. About half of the respondents indicated an interest in less-expensive publication formats.

  • EXPLORER — Ranking as the number one service to members, the majority (86.61 percent) felt the articles are either "good" or "excellent." Readers also felt the length of EXPLORER articles is "about right."

  • Continuing Education — Most respondents (77 percent) have not participated in a continuing education offering. Overall, two-three days and $100-$200 appear to be the desired length and cost of a course, with a large group indicating a preference for online course offerings. Location and cost are the primary factors for members, outside of topic and instructor, for attending a course and most preferred weekday courses.

  • Distinguished Lecture — The majority of respondents had not attended a Distinguished Lecture in the past year. Of those who have attended, most offered very positive ratings regarding their experiences. In terms of content, they preferred either half science and half industry, or more industry than science.

  • Web Site — About 70 percent of the respondents have visited the AAPG Web site and most felt it easy to navigate.

  • Government Affairs — While the majority of respondents are in favor of AAPG actively pursuing government affairs in the United States and, to a lesser extent internationally, Anderson said "AAPG should note that there is not a 'core message' or 'value statement' that is evident from the membership."

    Anderson suggested that "prior to undertaking any accelerated activities in this area, AAPG should expose its platform to the membership for comment and obtain a consensus of opinion."

  • Conventions — More than half of the respondents have attended a convention in the past three years and indicated that location, short courses, cost of registration and travel costs were the most important factors when considering attendance.

  • Age & Tenure — Anderson observed that "in 10 years, about 50 percent of the membership will be over 65 years of age. New member recruitment must be a major focus of AAPG as well as retention of older members if present member levels are to be maintained."

The survey was the result of a process that originated in 1997. The scope of the proposed survey grew through the process and evolved from a focus on the BULLETIN to include a broad spectrum of AAPG activities.

Don Lewis, AAPG vice president in 2001-02, was named chairman of the ad hoc Survey Committee in August 2001. The committee formulated the topic areas to be surveyed and gave guidance to the wording and question structure.

Ad hoc Survey Committee members, who represented the major constituencies in AAPG, were:

  • Katharine Lee Avery, Division of Professional Affairs.
  • George Bole, Committee on Committees.
  • Ron Grubbs, Energy Minerals Division.
  • William Harrison, Division of Environmental Geosciences.
  • Don Lewis, chairman, Executive Committee.
  • John Lorenz, Advisory Council, AAPG Editor.
  • Dwight "Clint" Moore, Advisory Council.

Lewis said the committee recognized that a statistical sampling would suffice mathematically, but felt strongly that giving every member an opportunity to respond would maximize interest and usefulness of the result.

The responses to this survey were very much in-line with the responses from a Member Satisfaction Survey by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives in 1999, in which AAPG products and services were ranked in the top 25 percentile in every category as compared to other professional organizations.

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