Yelm businesses received a survey sent out by Mayor Ron Harding to determine how they view the City of Yelm’s “business-friendliness.”
While I applaud Mr. Harding finally connecting with local businesses well into his third term as mayor [after the city was described as being “non-business friendly” by one of area’s then-local business owners], anyone completing a Marketing 101 class would know a survey with a recipient’s name printed on the document is skewed at the outset, for responders with their name listed will mostly be favorable. As has been described by business owners previously in Yelm Business Assn. Town Hall Forums, many fear speaking-out because they are fearful of adverse city practices in reprisal and therefore, would not return a survey with their true observations without redacting their business’s name.
If Mr. Harding REALLY wants the truth from local business owners, then this survey should be re-sent and requested to be returned anonymously, rather than presenting to the newspaper and the public a skewed response that will incorporate the usual spin from the city that all is well here.
Anonymous surveys are the standard marketing practice for any organization that wants accurate feedback.
The Yelm Community Blog recommends businesses who complete the survey to remove their business name, returning their survey anonymously.