An initial profile of desktop publishing use in Indiana corporations with 250 or more employees based on a random telephone survey

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Costello, Larry A.
Popovich, Mark N.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Journalism
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This initial, descriptive study addressed the primary research question "What is a profile of desktop publishing use in Indiana Corporations with 250 or more employees?" The problem that led to the study was the lack of information on the topic, and as an aid to business people in evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of desktop publishing. The information compiled from the random telephone survey was intended to help put into perspective what systems and software were appropriate for certain public relations projects.A random telephone survey of 240 Indiana corporations was conducted in March 1988.The data gathered showed that only 31 of the 240 corporations contacted (13 percent) were using desktop publishing. Several conclusions could be drawn. There was a lack of understanding of the capabilities of desktop publishing among many of those contacted as well as a lack of money to purchase a system and time to train a user. The quality of output capability in desktop publishing at the time of the study was lower than most respondents wanted.A profile of the 31 corporations (13 percent) using desktop publishing would typify them as manufacturing companies who have used desktop publishing one year or less and have an average publications budget of $120,949. They are using desktop publishing to produce newsletters primarily. They did not have a knowledge of desktop publishing before purchasing the system, but would recommend its use to others. They cite increased control and time savings as the biggest benefits of owning and using desktop publishing, with an average time savings of 30%. They typically use the Macintosh computer with Pagemaker and Microsoft Word software. The manager using the system has been in his position five years or less (83.9%) and has an average age of 34. The maximum age among these managers was 47 years old.A profile of the non-users would read as follows: Of the 240 Indiana corporations with 250 or more employees surveyed, 152 (63.3 percent) did not use desktop publishing. The average publications budget at these companies was $103,058. Most of the non-users were manufacturing corporations. Their managers in charge of publications had been in their position five years or less (66.4%). The average age for those managers was 40, with the maximum being 64 years old. While the publication they produced most was the newsletter, they cited the following reasons for not using desktop publishing: saw no cost benefits for their publications and did not think the output quality was high enough.