Recently, The Cove invited all readers to provide feedback on how we're doing via Cove Survey 2022. We were pleased to received a wide variety of feedback from a diverse audience, spanning from PTE to COL.
The Cove Team want to be transparent with you, which is why you can find your responses, our reaction and forecasted actions addressing your feedback, right here. We’re here to shape The Cove to meet your needs.
The Cove's response to your feedback
We asked: How frequently do you use The Cove?
Our response: On average, you are using The Cove 1-2 time per week. We are fortunately spoilt for content, generally publishing 1-2 times daily (less weekends). To make it easier to keep up with Cove content, our ‘Fresh Ideas’ have been expanded so you can quickly find all The Cove’s latest articles. The 'More Fresh Ideas' button will take you to the most recent articles of the last two weeks. Now, when you check in for your bi-weekly Cove visit, you can catch up on all the recent content in one convenient location.
We asked: Why do you engage with The Cove?
Our response: The responses here were very encouraging as the core mission of The Cove remains enabling informal and semi-formal PME. What we take away from this is that we need to maintain a wide array of content that is engaging for all readers to ensure your desire to continue your self-development remains high.
We asked: Which platform do you primarily use to engage with The Cove’s content?
Our response: All of our new items are posted on Facebook (and Twitter) so don’t forget to follow us on Facebook (cove-army) and Twitter (@covetweet) to see our new content in your social media feed. But most importantly, the majority of responses did not use the Cove App. Our Cove App is the most effective way of staying up to date with The Cove, and allows you to tailor notifications so you never miss content relevant to you. Download the Cove App on Google Play or Apple app store.
We asked: Are there any other platforms or mediums that you prefer to engage with The Cove’s content via? Which ones?
- "YouTube would be good as that is when I get most of my content. "
- "Instagram. Platform engagement similar to Task&Purpose (US based) would be useful.
- "Short form videos/reels with vignettes could be engaging."
- "There’s a new learning platform about to be piloted through Defence Learning Branch. Having my PD captured for me and my CoC to see would be great. At the moment, self-study through the Cove isn’t captured anywhere. "
Our response: There was no clear trend from these responses we could see. Individual feedback included votes for platforms like Reddit, Instagram and YouTube. We are currently not considering publishing on platforms like Reddit or Instagram. However, there are many ways you can follow The Cove, not just Facebook and Twitter, but also ForceNet, LinkedIn, and even Spotify and Apple Podcasts for The Cove Podcast. We are also in the process of requesting a Cove YouTube channel – watch this space!
We asked: Have you downloaded the Cove App?
Our response: We can see a slight majority have downloaded the Cove App. We would like to encourage all users to download the app, our Cove App is the most effective way of staying up to date with The Cove, and allows you to tailor notifications so you never miss content. The Cove App had all the same content and functionality of the website with the added convenience of app notifications. You can download the Cove App on Google Play or Apple app store.
We asked: Currently, The Cove app releases 1-2 notifications per weekday and one on Saturday morning. If you use the app, do you think this is appropriate? Would you like more or less Cove app notifications?
Our response: Our statistics tell us that when notification is released around 11 am and 5pm each week day, our interactions with you are maximised. Overwhelmingly, those who use the app are happy with the notifications as they currently are. This is good to know, so we can maintain our current publishing schedule.
We asked: How can we improve our means of getting The Cove’s content to you?
- "I find the current system quite effective, no changes suggested other than fewer notifications (life is busy enough as it is)."
- "Happy as is"
- "More multimedia based content "
- "It’d be great if push notices could be dictated by the user so they determine how many notifications they want to receive. Allowing the user more autonomy over their own learning how/when it’s received. "
- "I don't have the notifications enabled anymore. I liked the convenience but the timing never suited me. Notifications around lunchtime (apologies if they already are, I can't recall) would be more engaging to me as I have the time and the headspace to engage with the content. I also wouldn't mind an email in the form of a Foreign Policy style weekly wrap up for top articles."
- "Defence email. Sending out an email once a week with a ‘summary’ of the weeks’ articles"
- "More newspaper/journalistic style, using ledes to summarise content and then full article below or in a link. Allows you to quickly scan through content."
Our response: Again, some interesting and varied responses across the board with no one clear trend. Some comments we took particular note of was relevant Cove content being promoted by chains of command, and alerts on the DPN via email. If you aren’t already aware, you can subscribe to our weekly email wrap-up ‘Cove Communique’, which summarises the Cove content of the previous week. To subscribe to Cove Communique, scroll to the very bottom of The Cove homepage and enter your email, and hit 'Subscribe'. We are also considering the use of the ‘three-point’ summary at the beginning of each article.
We asked: When would you like to receive notifications from The Cove app?
Our response: Overall, the results here aren’t conclusive. In 2023, we will be sustaining our AM/PM publishing schedule during weekdays. Remember you can tailor your notifications to your tastes in the Cove App, ensuring you are only notified for content relevant to you.
We asked: What do you want to be notified about?
- "A reminder 24 hours out and one hour out from specific events to work email, and a way to evidence attending said events to work. "
- "Keynote speakers, major releases."
- "The best of the articles. The discoverability with searching for articles is pretty difficult - it would be great to see that improved."
- "Video based content. Anything history based"
- "New articles and events"
- "Upcoming special events "
Our response: What we can see is that largely, most of you want control over what notification you receive – don’t forget, you can tailor your notifications in the Cove App, under ‘Settings’. Our new website functionality also enables you to now add a calendar event and reminder about upcoming live CoveTalks to your Outlook or mobile calendar. Never miss a CoveTalk again!
We asked: Based on your role and/or unit led PME, what content topics would you like to see more of on The Cove to aid in your professional development?
- "Warfighting vignettes and applicability to likely upcoming operations. Short, JNCO / SNCO led tips and soldier’s 5s for kit, equipment, battle drills, across all corps skills. Similar to “Marines TV” shorts."
- "I have a strong desire to hear more about leadership challenges and experiences across all ranks, organisations and SERCATs. I wish articles were less faux academic and more honest and passionate about things closer to home. Too many people getting tied up in strategy. I also think the Cove could be doing more to encourage divergent thinking, with a greater spread of articles addressing what we’re not doing right at the tactical and operational level. It’s actually healthy to have controversial or hot topic issues given sunlight. One only needs to see the response to the recent ARES pay article by CO 12/16 to see there’s a lot of appetite for discussion about things that effect and influence service. The Cove could be an amazing mechanism to act as a gateway for elevating issues to senior command. This should include ’hometowner’ style videos and pieces written and delivered by actual junior commanders. They need to be identified and celebrated – it will bring a great deal of credibility and interest about The Cove to the majority of our workforce."
- "Understanding strategy, information effects, critical thinking and understanding wicked systems as they apply to military operations."
- "I think a balanced selection for all ranks and interests is better than what I would like. Keep up the superb work! "
- "Military History"
- "Military history, geopolitics (partic Indo- pacific)"
- "Lessons for JNCOs to deliver"
- "I'd like to hear more about past and present biographies, lessons from history, and human psychology."
- "Regional articles and history briefs"
Our response: There were many varied responses to this areas with a large amount of excellent suggestions. Some of the general trends we saw were:
- Military history
- ‘Tactical level’ topics for use at the soldier level
- More STEM content.
The key insight we realised from these responses is: we’ve got what you want! Quite a few of the replies we received suggested topics that we already have content on! For those wanting military history, have you checked out our Animated History Video series? For those interested in our Indo-Pacific operating environment, take a look at our Know Your Region (#KYR) feature. And for junior leaders seeking practical PME activities to conduct with peers or soldiers, don’t go past our QMEs and our Junior Officer PME sessions.
We are always seeking more and varied content on a wide array of topics, both crowd-sourced and Cove produced. We will take these focus areas onboard as we develop our PME strategy for 2023.
We asked: What PME content is most important to you? What content should The Cove team focus on creating for you?
- "Short sharp thought pieces, heap more future concepts and PLEASE post stuff about how we fix things… rodum process at the back end (what happens when we submit them) and how we can ask to trial stuff, access funding or support to enable the ideas we throw around. This a massive under taught area in sercat 5.”
- "Both individual soldier-level and unit-level topics."
- "Pretty happy with a lot of the content."
- "Any content that helps us understand how to fight and particularly how to fight on the future battlefield as we transform from a peacetime Army.”
- "All of it. I love the variety. The Gallipoli and Beersheba videos have been my favourites this year."
- "More engaging high quality content. More opportunities to connect with the community"
- "PTE-CPL engagement."
- "STEM and how it relates to military. Future operating environment"
- "Opinion pieces as these generate the discussion which will allow our military to grow."
Our response: Again, a wide array of varied responses. We can see that there is a desire for more practical PME, such as soldier’s fives and guides for use by soldiers and JNCOs. To that end, we have been working with Smart Soldier to cross-promote and publish relevant content that is suited to consumption by junior ranks, but we are always seeking more crowd-sourced content to fill this space. Also, we have our QME series for delivery by JNCOs to soldiers. We understand there is a desire for pieces that challenge the status quo. The Cove encourages individuals who have a differing viewpoint to submit their opinion pieces for publication – only you can start the conversation!
We asked: Did you see the historical video on Australia’s Gallipoli Campaign? How would you rate the video, and would you like more historical PME content produced?
- "Excellent, I circulated it to friends and colleagues,"
- "Historical PME is fantastic."
- "This was my favourite PME"
- "The more accounts of history the better. "
- "10/10. More please. I shared these with family and friends on fb."
- "Yes. Highly rated."
- "Yes and I like this content. Gallipoli is an obvious place to start, but I'd be really interested to see content on lesser-known campaigns and battles."
- "Yes more historical PME in this format would be great. The only complaint I have about that video was that it covered Gallipoli (a well document and taught campaign). I would love to see similar content for lesser known battles (maybe some more modern)."
Our response: Our Animated Historical Video series, consisting of Australia’s Gallipoli Campaign video and Australia’s Battle of Beersheba video have received excellent feedback and have been watched over 26,000 times. We intend to continue this feature series in 2023!
We asked: Cove Clips is a Feature where the highlights of our CoveTalks and other long-form content is edited to create short, easily consumable video clips for time poor individuals. Do you find this resource useful? Would you like to see more of our long-form content turned into CoveClips?
- "Sure, when the content is appropriate to something I’m trying to learn about. "
- "Yes, this is handy as I already have a large number of podcasts that I struggle to listen to, and shorter is better. "
- "The Cove Talks are a good product."
- "Yes, it makes interesting seminars and conferences easily consumable."
- "Yes. But I found it hard to link to the original long form item. "
- "Yes. This is a great, bite-sized way to go to the 'hero' moment of lengthy lectures. I love Clove Clips and are more likely to watch the full version after seeing the 'taster'."
- "Yes and but diversify. Generals giving cool sound bites is great, but RAINF JNCOs showing how to set up SCE19 for non-combat corps, or RACT showing “this is how you help change a tyre on a 40M” or Medics showing a good layout of a IFAK and explaining how to use each part would be much better for the whole ADF. "
Our response: We were very pleased to see largely positive feedback about our Cove Clips. Currently, our Cove Clips series is generated from the highlights of Cove Talks and other long-form interviews we conduct. Based on some of your comments, we see there is some appetite for the Cove Clips format to be expanded to cover other content types. This is something we will explore in the future.
We asked: The Frank Marchetti Global Leadership Podcast is a limited podcast series focussing on leadership development at the junior level. Have you accessed this series, and did you find it a useful medium for facilitating junior PME? Why or why not?
- "No haven't accessed it. Will do, but consider content of current serving members discussing popular content (ie Joe Rogan, Chris Pyne interviews, AUKUS/5VEYE or other popular podders, what can we learn from current and relevant industries external to defence). "
- "Unfortunately I was not aware of this. "
- "I wasn't really sure what this was about. "
- "Not accessed. "
- "I haven’t, didn’t know it was a thing. Good share "
- "Yeah, some episodes were good."
Our response: The Frank Marchetti podcast was one of the first limited series podcasts on The Cove Podcast and we are very interested in understanding the appetite for more audio content of this type. What we are hearing from your comments is many of you were not aware of this series. We have more work to do in promoting the Cove Podcast and ensuring content such as this is promoted effectively.
We asked: Do you know that The Cove app allows you to tailor notifications to your rank group and content preference?
Our response: The results are clear – we have a lot more work to do in promoting our Cove App. The Cove App is the best way to stay engaged with The Cove and our content – it’s PME in your pocket, anywhere, anytime. Go to ‘Settings’ and then tailor your notifications by rank group and/or content type to ensure you get your preferred PME content straight to your smartphone.
We asked: Have you listened to any episodes of The Cove Podcast?
Our response: We have more work to do to promote this appropriately. The Cove Podcast provides a selection of content including limited series podcasts, cross-published selected content from partners, and audio articles of written content found on The Cove – so there’s something for everyone. Check out The Cove Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts
Thanks to those who completed the survey and keep an eye out in 2023 as we continue to build on success with your suggestions.
Please don’t hesitate to leave feedback in the comments section below or email us at email@example.com. We’re always open to your thoughts.