Welcome to The Alumni Office – Focus Your Alumni Engagement Strategy
The first step is always the hardest. I’m still not 100% sure where the focus of this blog will land, but that’s not really important until someone finds it anyway, right? I guess I’ll start with a quick overview about how I feel about the state of Alumni Engagement.
Alumni Engagement, to me, is an art of getting alumni to give back to the organization in any form. Personally, I prefer facilitating alumni networking with each other and students, but internships, money, mentoring, and all other forms of engagement count as well.
To me a few main issues that must be addressed to move the practice forward are:
- We must treat our audience as if they are customers. It seems as if we assume our Alumni already have a strong brand loyalty and are as passionate about our organization as ourselves. In fact, many of them are not and it is our job to instill that loyalty back into them. I can’t count the number of people I’ve heard say “The only time they contact me is when they want money”. You don’t hear people say that about their favorite food chain though, do you?
- We must adapt to our strategy to our Alumni. We are competing for their time with every email and letter we send and we must realize that a text filled email will not hold our audiences attention as long as the funny gif that was just sent to them.
- We must adapt current technology to engage our audience. Increase internal efficiency using Google Drive or Dropbox, make our websites and emails mobile ready, simplify everything we can to make engaging with us something our audience will enjoy.
These are just a few of the areas for improvement that I see. I’m sure these will evolve as I gain more experience and as I posts more often. Overall, there are many ways to improve your alumni engagement strategy. Lets work together to implement them.