Tribal Government & News
Survey finds Tribal members are turning more often to social media for information
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
The results of a 2022 communications survey of Grand Ronde Tribal members has found that the membership is mirroring information consumption trends in mainstream society – they are getting it via electronic sources such as social media platforms and websites.
The results, posted appropriately on the Tribal government website at www.grandronde.org, found that the most used sources for obtaining information about the Tribe were the Tribe’s official website and official social media page on Facebook.
Also high on the list of places to obtain information about the Tribe were the Smoke Signals website at www.smokesignals.org, the hard copy of the Tribal newspaper and “unofficial sources,” such as unofficial Facebook groups about the Tribe, family members and friends. The least popular way to obtain information was the Tribal Listserv.
The survey overview cited research from the Pew Research Center that recently found that 82 percent of people are getting their news through electronic means more than the next popular mediums – TV, radio and print.
When asked how they would like to receive Tribal news and information, the most popular sources were the Tribe’s official website, official social media and Tribal Council meetings. The Smoke Signals website and hard copies of the newspaper were the fourth and fifth most preferred sources, respectively.
The least favorite ways to receive Grand Ronde news were the Tribal listserv, the Tribal Council publication Tilixam Wawa and “unofficial sources.”
The survey received approximately 136 responses, which is about 3 percent of the approximately 4,400 adult Tribal members who were eligible to vote in the September 2022 Tribal Council election.
The survey also found that the Grand Ronde Tribe is effective in communicating with its membership. More than 73 percent of the respondents said that the Tribe is effective or somewhat effective in communicating and 67.6 percent of respondents said they can find the information they need through the myriad sources available to them.
Seventy-two percent of respondents said they follow the Tribe’s official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and 94 percent of respondents said they use Facebook most often as their social media source.
Almost half of Tribal member respondents said they check their social media more than once a day and almost half said they are most active on social media after 5 p.m. Photos, videos and short stories are the most popular content on social media, the survey also found.
“The Tribe took the information from this survey and developed an advisory vote question for consideration by the members,” the survey overview states. “That advisory vote asked members whether or not the Tribe should create a webpage portal or app for Tribal member-only access for communications. The idea was supported and 66.4 percent of Tribal members who voted in last year’s election.”
The survey overview says the Tribe will explore creation of a mobile app to communicate with the membership in 2023.