Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category


Companies such as Virgin Radio continually demonstrate what digital success looks like to their staff. They have a plasma screen in their office devoted to a number of key statistics about their community.

Should Alumni professionals be doing something similar too?

If you have a spare minute I would strongly recommend that you give the Virgin Radio Website a visit.

You can see a scrolling activity wall with information about what the station’s listeners have been doing on their website. The Virgin team uses this information to assess their performance and improve what they do.

A lot of University alumni communication is now conducted in digital form. Perhaps it’s time Alumni teams started tracking everything all their communications like Virgin do, and only then make decisions on the resulting analysis.

Key statistics for an alumni department:

  • The number of graduates using your website right now, over the last 24 hours, and during the last 7 days
  • The number of alumni registered on your website
  • The number of alumni you are in touch through other communication channels
  • The total number in your alumni community
  • The most popular news stories and events, emails, and blog posts

What other statistics would be useful to you and your team?

Would it be useful to review these statistics every week as a team?

What goals could you set to improve on them?


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Over the past few months I have started using Facebook more and more as my primary method of keeping in touch with people. I used to email friends and colleagues when I wanted to get in touch. Now all of my contacts are on Facebook, I just send them a message on there. They often respond quicker than they would have by email.

I think that Facebook will slowly become the place where I do ALL of my communication with my friends.

If this type of usage grows, young alumni may soon only use email to communicate with old people and business contacts.

What implications would this will this have for your alumni communications strategy?

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When my ears turn bright red and feel hot to the touch, my friends often remark that someone must be talking about me behind my back. If I wanted to find out what they were saying, you may be surprised to find out that it’s certainly a lot easier these days.

Websites such as Blogpulse, Technorati, and Google Alerts can deliver you blog and website postings featuring your Institution name or other key words.

If you’d like to listen to what your alumni are saying about you, or for that matter what they are getting up to, these websites are definitely worth using. Finding stories for all your publications has got a whole lot easier!



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There seems to be a lot of Internet jargon flying around Alumni offices these days. If you’re still a little confused by it all, have no fear, over the coming weeks, the Alumni 2.0 team will be decoding this geeky gobbledygook for you into simple definitions.

Where better to start than the basics…

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is a phrase created in reference to a perceived second generation of web-based communities and services such as social-networking websites like Facebook which facilitate collaboration and sharing between users.

Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to Web technical specifications. So there’s no need to hassle your web editor about compliance issues:-)

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The summer graduation season is all but at an end. Watched by their parents, thousands of students have received their degrees, had their photos taken, and said their final fairwells to their University friends and tutors.

But as the last of the graduation ceremonies closes, you may ponder just how many of these students and parents your University will see or interact with again. In the absence of an up to date contact list, I would guess not very many.

For this reason, the Graduation Ceremonies are perhaps the most important days of the year for any alumni team.

It is a golden opportunity to grow and cleanse your alumni database.

With a stall placed next to the gown pick up point, and a number of laptops borrowed from colleagues, it’s well within your team’s grasp to record every graduate’s contact details directly into your online alumni database.

Would a complete set of final year contact details be useful to your alumni & development team?

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