4 Creative Ways to Gather Corporate Alumni Updates
Alumni stories are some of the most popular content in a corporate alumni program because they connect people. This creates engagement and opportunity to get to know each other inside of the community.
Creating unique, thoughtful, and interesting content on a consistent basis is one of the most fruitful corporate alumni programs best practices we encourage alumni programs to embrace. The type of content that gets the most amount of engagement tends to be human interest stories about what alumni have been up to since they left the company. In fact, our 2021 Corporate Alumni Benchmarking Report revealed that 78% of corporate alumni networks offer stories about their alumni.
While it may seem daunting to reach out to people you might not know to ask for an interview or an update, time and again we see their stories become some of the most popular content pieces across all PeoplePath clients. Here four creative and easy ways to get this information.
1. Review Event Attendee Lists for Notable People
A cornerstone of successful corporate alumni programs includes engaging events throughout the year both online and in-person (when and where possible). When the event is over, look at the list of those who attended and see if anyone is at a notable company, in a prominent position, or appears to be someone with an interesting story. Reach out to them and ask if they’d like to be interviewed for an Alumni Spotlight. You can make this easy by creating a list of 10 standard questions and asking them to answer 3 to 5 of them, which they can then email back to you with their bio and headshot. All it will need is some light editing and you’ve got a great piece to showcase in a newsletter.
2. Use Support Requests as Conversation Starters
When members of your corporate alumni network reach out for tech support, you can turn this into a golden opportunity to gain insight as to what they have been involved in lately. For example, after helping a member reset their password or locate your company’s benefits page, ask them to give you a brief update on their personal or professional lives to be included in your monthly roundup. The more personalized you can make this request, the better. Take a quick glance at their alumni profile to see when they last updated their information and ask how their role at their new company is going. Have they recently been promoted? Ask if you can share that broadly with the alumni community. Have they changed roles or companies? Congratulations – other alumni should be able to celebrate their accomplishments.
3. Ask for Updates on Your Alumni Registration Form
Consider adding a single question to your registration form that asks alumni to share a recent update or fun fact. By adding an opt-in acknowledgement such as "Submit an alumni update," you can later conduct a simple search to find users who have flagged their interest in providing updates about themselves. This allows you to focus your time and energy contacting alumni you know for sure are willing to contribute content.
4. Review LinkedIn for Alumni Posts
LinkedIn can be a gold mine for alumni updates. Within a few minutes of scrolling, you will inevitably find posts from former employees about career changes and transitions, along with announcements about new personal endeavors. This creates a natural conversation starter when you reach out to introduce yourself, as you can mention you saw the news. Contact the person directly to get additional details – they may provide enough information to complete a full spotlight story, or just enough to be highlighted in an article featuring a handful of alumni and their updates. Either way, not only does this allow you to gather material for interesting content, but it also creates the opportunity to reinforce the importance and value of the corporate alumni network by increasing awareness with existing and potential members.
Remember: You have crafted a community for corporate alumni (and potential rehires) to stay connected. Year after year, alumni stories have proven to be a core pillar within most alumni programs because they drive engagement. In a time where work from home is still very much the norm, people miss the water cooler chit chat. Pass the pitcher and fill alumni's cups with content they are thirsty for!