Long Live the Alumni Blog! "Slice of MIT"

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There are 400,000,000 tweets a day and, as advancement leaders know, on Twitter you sometimes feel like you’re talking to yourself, and your content capabilities are limited. However, one of the “original” social internet tools can provide a way for alumni offices to create meaningful and consistent engagement with their constituents. We’re talking blogs.

While there are many excellent examples of alumni office blogs, one of our favorites is MIT’s “Slice of MIT” blog. In a simple, attractive WordPress layout (see how to build one here), the MIT Alumni Association generates the perfect mix of content, including:

  • Full-length articles on themes that are relevant to alumni, including events and “alumni-in-the-news” updates

  • A diverse range of multimedia content, including photos and videos

  • Appropriate promotion of advancement office material

 

For example, this past week the blog had a very sharply-written (but not too long) piece, shown above on the recent commencement speech of MIT graduate and Dropbox co-founder Drew Houston. The article used extensive quotes from the subject (an alumnus of interest) as well as links throughout to promote relevant alumni office material.

But importantly, the blog also contains many different types of posts, which is essential to developing a consistent blog readership. In particular, the “Photo of the Week” feature by alum Owen Franken gives the blog fantastic visual content while again spotlighting a notable graduate. The blog also allows readers to sort articles with a clear and easy menu and tagging system, which allows alumni to find content of any time that is relevant to them.

That’s what makes “Slice of MIT” successful – it does not blatantly push the alumni office, but instead produces unique, frequent, and interesting content that alumni want to read, which in turn naturally promotes alumni office material. To that end, at the top of the page, there are prominent links to all the alumni office’s accounts to the top social media networks.

In other words, “Slice of MIT” is helping to establish what every advancement office wants – meaningful, consistent contact with alumni who are interested in the school. And even though writing a blog can sometimes be time-consuming, the rewards are also numerous in terms of boosting interaction with your office.

Know of any other excellent alumni office blogs? Share them in the comments below and give us a shout!

I’m David McIntyre, a soon-to-be senior at Tufts University and the summer marketing intern at EverTrue. I’m a political science major and most of my experience comes from working with the government, but I’m now making the jump into the private sector and the world of marketing. I’ll be writing blog posts and generally helping Harvey Simmons with all things EverTrue — you can find me on Twitter @dmcintyre718.

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