3 Rules For an Engaging Alumni Magazine

We see a lot of alumni magazines come across our desks. And we can’t help but notice how many feel like a rinse and repeat of issues past. It may be time to hit the refresh button on your publication, so that you can better engage one of your most critical audiences: your graduates.

But where to start? Here are three easy practices that every alumni magazine can abide by.

Get visual.

The most visually engaging magazines aren’t afraid to be bold. And we don’t just mean publications in the higher education industry: you can find great inspiration right on the newsstand. Some ideas:

  • Use different photography and design styles for feature articles and spreads like Denison University.
  • Liven up your copy-heavy class notes with reader-submitted photography for new weddings, reunions, and career moves.

Denison Alumni

Denison Alumni

Think about what’s next for your readers.

User experience isn’t only for navigating your website. It applies to print materials as well, including, yes, your alumni magazine. The key is to keep your alumni engaged over time with your institution. How? Try these strategies:

  • Incorporate calls to action throughout your publication. Use your feature stories to drive the reader to learn more — about other notable alumni or about helping to recruit new students.
  • Get interactive. Bentley University printed scannable icons throughout its publication to give readers access to online photo galleries and videos on related topics.

Know your audience.

Alumni audiences range from octogenarians to Gen Z-ers, so naturally there’s some variation in how they consume content. By understanding each segment’s mindset and needs, you can make better decisions about maximizing your alumni magazine. For example:

  • Consider creating your magazine in both print and digital formats, so that your alumni can choose how they want to interact with your latest issue.
  • Always share the magazine’s latest issue on social media. (LinkedIn and Facebook alumni groups are a great place to start.) Doing so will enable your alumni to easily share content to their personal and professional networks, and you’ll also earn some free shared media.

Bentley University

Bottom line? You don’t need to overhaul your alumni magazine to re-energize it. By trying just a few new things, you can keep your graduates engaged and full of pride for their alma mater.