Design Thinking

It’s the Message in the Media

It’s the Message in the Media

Since the pandemic, there has been a lot of conversation on the CASE Editors List Serv (CUE) about the state of alumni print publications. Some have ceased printing and moved to a digital-only model. In most cases the budget is behind the decision, and rightfully so in a time when many schools are in financial crisis. Unfortunately, in many cases there is not a plan for a digital-first or digital-only model or a strategic plan for storytelling across communication channels. This could have a long-term negative impact on alumni communications.

The key is looking at the story and the media:
1. Most people start their day reading email. This tends to be an overlooked channel in the suite of communications in terms of content and design.
2. Sharing stories, videos, engaging photos, and updates on social media is crucial. One of these channels could lead a viewer to click-through to an article in the digital publication.
3. Print as a tactile object has a role as a lasting presence and should be rich with narrative and visual storytelling and not timely information.

At the center of all of these should be the institution’s brand. Social media, e-newsletter, digital edition, and print piece are all an opportunity to reinforce the school’s voice. A consistent editorial and visual style guide should be used across all of the channels. Have you stepped back and done an audit of your communications? Do they work as a suite? Is there a clear strategy on what stories you are sharing and where?

It may be time to reevaluate your communications plan to ensure that you are using the channels and budget effectively.