Posted By Rachel Aiken,
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 13, 2012
The "Making the Most of Your Alumni” webinar July 25th addressed ways to strengthen your alumni network, including building a personal relationship with the alumni and involving them in the school. Andrew Crisp from CarringtonCrisp and Edith Kennedy, Alumni Relations at the University of Stellenbosch presented on these practices.
Crisp shared some research, which found that networking, staying in touch with friends and keeping up with new business practices are what the alumni value most in an alumni base. Conversely, the alumni want to provide support by promoting the school and offering their professional experience and knowledge. Both Crisp and Kennedy agreed that using a range of social media channels is most effective in reaching and involving alumni. They have both seen a rise in popularity in using LinkedIn, but also advise using Facebook, Twitter and national social media outlets in different regions.
Kennedy addressed the practicality of running an alumni office. She has found that continuous learning events, publications, networking events, and rewards and recognition have helped increase alumni cooperation. She has faced the challenge of fundraising while managing the alumni relations office and proposes speaking to the alumni personally and building their pride in the school as possible solutions. Kennedy’s goal is to establish lifelong involvement with Stellenbosch’s alumni.