Alumni magazine editors have a unique job—to keep people connected with their alma mater. They must understand the voice of the institution, and consider many stakeholders all while producing content for multiple channels with a small team and budget. And once a year many come together to learn, share, and support each other at the CASE Editors Forum—this year’s conference was no different. Some key take-aways:
Consider a Guest Editor. Hamilton College’s all white editorial team needed address racial injustice in the magazine after the murder of George Floyd. Having previously worked with alum and global journalist Edvige Jean-Francois ’90, they reached out to her to guest edit the Winter-Spring 2021 Special Edition, “We Are Hamilton.”
Have an Editorial Plan. Guest Editor, Edvige Jean-Francois, began the special issue of Hamilton with the development of a thoughtful and thorough editorial structure that included many first person voices and experiences.
Institutional Stories Can Be Interesting. Erin Peterson, Capstone Communications, shared numerous examples of fun ways to tell those all-important institutional stories.
Podcasts Expand the Narrative. With the rising popularity of podcasts they are a great option to expand the suite of storytelling channels for schools. As Maureen Harmon, Dog Ear Consulting, shared: In a year of print there are 6-9 opportunities to feature an alum while a podcast can be three to four times that.
Editors and Art Directors Need to be a Team. Just as word and image need to come together, so do the editor and art director. More to come on this subject!