Alumni Leadership Series: The Importance Of An Alumni Strategy

by Community Admin in Video   |    Last Edited: 03rd April 2019

The importance of an Alumni Strategy as a competitive differentiator between a good and great Corporate Alumni program. Our panelists, discuss the key to driving Alumni Engagement and how other companies approach and engage their stakeholders to drive a successful program.

James Sinclair, CEO of EnterpriseAlumni is joined by Duncan Roberts, the Alumni Relations Manager for Pearson PLC and Emma Kennedy the Business Development Manager for RSM UK who looks after the strategic business development for the firm’s risk assurance and fraud practice and is also responsible for relaunching RSM UK’s alumni programme.

Please Join Our Next Webinar:
Growth-Hacking Alumni Scale & Engagement: Leveraging Employees which includes panelists, Andrea Legnani, Global Head of Alumni Relations at Citi and Becki Cedrone, Director of Alumni & Community Marketing at Coca-Cola. Register Here

Four Themes For Great Alumni Engagement

  1. Executive Support in addition to executive sponsorship, actual support and involvement is critical: Great Alumni programs have senior leadership from across the business keen to engage, support and provide assistance to the program, the difference between good and great is when senior leadership are an active part of the conversation. (On the train vs on the sidelines)
  2. Island Of One – have a side gig inside your organization doing something else unrelated to Alumni. This will expose you to other areas of the business, people, initiatives and opportunities you may otherwise not have known existed. The ability to find value for your Alumni often comes from finding surprises already at play in your organization.
  3. Drown out the irrelevant and be laser focused highlights a common theme or recognizing you can serve all the people all the time, nor can you please all the people all the time. Instead focus on the community, sector, group or generation that can best serve your organizational objectives and be laser-focused on serving this community first. This is an emerging trend in Alumni networks, the concept of value vs volume.
  4. Try something, test something and do it now recognizes the importance of being agile and being able to A/B test your communications and content, deep dive into analytics to find the outliers and identify ideas that might resonate with your community.

Questions From Webinar Participants:

  • How do you analyze if your Alumni are happy with the offerings.

Its starts by looking at your objectives and whether you are achieving them, if you are, then it means your approach to a specific segment, to meet a specific outcome worked. More broadly the concept of the offerings is tough, because so many of the older Alumni networks are rather vanilla and often Alumni cannot articulate what they have not seen. Similar to the famous quote the Henry Ford never said…”if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse”

  • How do you restart an Alumni program that has been dormant for a number of years.

Our opinion, is to be honest, many organizations would try and cover up the “dormancy” or not mention / address it but an Alumni program requires empathy, and much of that comes from being honest, transparent and willing to have a conversation. It’s a great chance to talk about why it went dormant and what’s different this time and also perhaps engage with your existing base and find out where there is an opportunity to deliver value.

  • You said 9 emails is harassment not engagement, what other tools do you use.

We believe in using the tools your Alumni use – we have companies you use WhatsApp for their micro communities in certain countries, others that cross utilize a Facebook group and another who makes all content public so users don’t have to login to read news. We believe in using retargeting to capture people who thought about registering and didn’t, and we certainly think the greatest tool for user growth, is to ask employees to invite their colleagues who have left..and gamify it.

  • How do you approach strategy within an International environment.

This is unique per company, some organizations do like to segment based on region, others ignore region and instead focus on practice area or line of business recognizing that mobility is rarely a blocker anymore. This applies across engagement, content and comms plans. The technology handles the language, the custom experiences, the access permissions, and the data but the strategy dictates what you want the user to “do”.

Transcript Of The Webinar:

Available shortly.