HAWKEYE – What did you think?
Published: 14 November 2023
Sharing the results of our recent survey of HAWKEYE readers, and feeding back on possible action points arising out of your responses and suggested improvements...
From time to time we ask you to tell us what you think of the SHW newsletter, HAWKEYE – how often you read it, how useful you find it, and how it could be improved.
We last checked in with you in 2020. Since then, we have tweaked the look and feel of HAWKEYE, largely in response to your comments and suggestions:
- To make our content feel more balanced and relatable, we introduced an "SHW voices" feature. This is where we invite members of our community to write more reflectively about their experience of working and studying here, including the challenges.
- For accessibility, all acronyms or abbreviations are spelled out in full when used for the first time. We also ask contributors to use plain language.
- Longer items now sit alongside "bite size" pieces of information and news, for when time is short for readers.
- All stories now include an accompanying image and we changed from an email newsletter (which some felt was dated) to producing HAWKEYE in MS Sway.
So in August 2023, we invited you once again to tell us what you think...
57 people completed the survey. (This was less than in previous years: 2017=130 responses; 2020=84 responses). Of these:
- 88% told us that they "always" or "often" read HAWKEYE
- 94% regard it as a "very effective" or "fairly effective" means of communicating information across SHW, and
- 89% felt that a monthly publication was "about right"
These results were very similar to those from our 2020 survey, when:
- 88% "always" or "often" read HAWKEYE
- 95% regarded it as a "very effective" or "fairly effective" means of communicating information, and
- 92% considered a monthly edition "about right".
Aspects of HAWKEYE that are appreciated include:
- The parcelling up of content into short snippets of news and longer articles which, for some, helps to make HAWKEYE a more manageable read.
- The more reflective items that some colleagues have kindly contributed (i.e. "5 minutes with", "An ECR reflects", and occasional one-off pieces providing a personal perspective on aspects of working or studying in SHW).
- The sense of community and belonging that HAWKEYE engenders, and the positive impact on communication across the school.
Less welcome for some are:
- The interactive elements of Sway, particularly the "cards" on which shorter news items are displayed, which some find cumbersome and fiddly.
- Content not being representative of SHW as a whole, with a lack of balance between units, research groups and areas of activity, and some items feeling irrelevant.
There are evidently mixed feelings about the new MS Sway layout. Concerns about accessibility were expressed by a few (although there are options within Sway that enable users to decide how to view content, whether interactive or accessible). We take these seriously and will work to address them. Others have welcomed the new look and format however. So, for now, we plan to continue building and distributing HAWKEYE in its current form, but mindful of the elements that some colleagues have told us are problematic for them.
Some sample comments
- I don't like Sway as a format; it's difficult to scan through for news headlines that catch your eye.
- I like the short postcards with key information and links to more reading.
- Not keen on the stack of notes you have to click through – I would rather see headlines and glance through and choose to click.
- The flip book notes are great, but only if the message is short.
- The new (since 2022?) Sway interactive format is great. Also really enjoying the packaging of items as “in brief” and “longer reads” etc. Makes reading Hawkeye more appealing and manageable.
- I find it tricky sometimes to navigate round the articles, meaning I am not sure I have read everything.
- I struggled with Sway initially but I got the hang of it, and it's great that there's an accessible version.
Style and content
- There isn't a good spread of stories from across SHW but that's down to research groups not supplying news, not the editor.
- Make content that is relevant and interesting to people in low grades.
- Although I agree we should celebrate our achievements, I prefer the other items especially getting to know staff and sharing tips and advice.
- I like the meet the researcher (not sure what it's called) section.
- I think it is great – a nice mix of research updates, good news stories, important info – keep up the good work!
- I like reading the Q&A most!
- The welcoming of new staff members is a nice addition.
Relevance, usefulness and enjoyability
- It helps me to feel connected to the other units within SHW – thank you!
- I love HAWKEYE. I genuinely look forward to it popping into my inbox. I stop what I'm doing to read it and I'm never sorry that I did.
- Don't bother with it and do updates in person/online at townhall meets and manager team meetings.
- Very useful tool to cascade important information on staff, training and events. It’s a good read especially "5 mins with". It’s great for keeping me up to date with new staff and generally what is going on around me!
- Rarely has anything that's relevant to me.
- It contributes to some sense of unity, which can be hard across a large number of people.
- I generally don't bother reading newsletters but find this engaging and easy to read. Sometimes I read the whole thing and other times I just flick through the interactive notes, but it's always interesting.
Conclusions and possible action points
- Overall, respondents indicated they like the layout, content and style of HAWKEYE, and consider it a useful vehicle for communicating information across our school and for fostering a sense of belonging. No major changes are therefore indicated.
- However, the move to building and distributing HAWKEYE in MS Sway is fairly recent and we are still exploring its capabilities. We will certainly take on board comments about the elements that, for some, impede comfortable reading and possibly impact on accessibility and inclusiveness.
- We will also continue to explore how we could achieve a better balance of content across units and areas of activity.
- We will continue to publish personal, reflective pieces from staff and students, and hope that others may volunteer to be "SHW voices" and help to make our newsletter feel relevant and relatable.
We thank you, as always, for your ideas, your support and your encouragement.
Jane, Asha and Aud
The HAWKEYE Team
We welcome contributions to our newsletter from all areas of the School of Health and Wellbeing, from all job families and from students. The deadline for content is usually the penultimate Monday in the month, but will always be displayed at the foot of the most recent edition. The email address to send your content to is email@example.com
First published: 14 November 2023