Campus News

February 8, 2010

Report From: Emory Alumni Association

Postcards show how we stack up

Eric Rangus is director of communications for the Emory Alumni Association.

There wasn’t a speck of free table space to be seen in the copy room on the first floor of the Miller-Ward Alumni House. Every inch of flat surface was taken by leftover publications from the Association of Private College and University Alumni Directors (PCUAD) Winter Conference, hosted by the Emory Alumni Association (EAA), Jan. 14–17.

Emory is one of 39 schools from around the country represented in PCUAD. One of the neat things about PCUAD is that while we all do the same job — alumni relations — we’re really not competitors because there is very little overlap in our audiences. If you are an Emory alumnus, you’re ours, so to speak. If you don’t like the EAA, you can’t just go to the Tufts Alumni Association and join them.

Therefore, since we’re not trying to poach someone else’s audience, member schools are very open about sharing successes — and struggles. We have a lot to learn from each other. From a professional perspective, that’s great, and the plethora of sample materials is simply fun to explore. As soon as I could, I took one piece from each pile and bagged them up for future research and perusal.

The future is now.

For the uses of this column, I’m going to reach into my swag bag o’goodies (the bag, courtesy of Wake Forest) and pull out two random samples to compare to EAA pieces. It’s benchmarking in front of God and everybody. Here goes …

Sample No. 1
Johns Hopkins, Alumni Week-end mailed postcard invitation. “Studies have shown that the fun starts here” reads the cover. Above that tagline are four pictures of alumni looking like they are having fun. One is dressed in the JHU’s blue jay mascot uniform.

Us: The EAA sends out Homecoming Weekend mailers, too. They have smiley, happy people, but also include an image of campus in the fall. We like to give alumni something to come home to. And we have pictures of two mascots — Swoop and Dooley (I know that Dooley is technically a spirit, so please, no e-mails.)

Sample No. 2
Loyola University Chicago, “Loyola’s Rambler Clubs Are Going Green.”

Yes, it’s a sustainability message printed on a postcard. But the point of it, though, is to invite Rambler Club members (supporters of Loyola’s sports teams) to register online, because all future event invitations will be coming via e-mail. So that’s good. Bonus points for the logo appearing in green (school colors are maroon and gold) and for the message being printed on 100 percent post-consumer fiber paper.

Us: The vast majority of the EAA’s event invitations already come by e-mail, so we wouldn’t necessarily send something out like this. Although the message is a relevant one. By the way, if any of you would like to update your own information and receive e-mail communications from the EAA, please visit the EAA Web site.

File Options

  • Print Icon Print