The Essentials of Alumni Magazines


I started drafting a post about what an effective alumni magazine “looks” like.  Having seen a ton of magazines over the years, I have a lot of opinions about what makes a magazine successful–from images used, alumni profiles and cover stories.  However, after finding this great blog about alumni magazines, I didn’t feel as compelled to complete my post, so instead, I offer a selected smattering of what makes a magazine a must-read:
– A cover that urges the reader to open it.  With so much mail reaching readers on a daily basis, your magazine needs to be unique, thought-provoking and interesting (perhaps all three).
-Diverse stories and features.  A good magazine can be picked up and enjoyed by alumni, donors, future alumni, employees and prospective students.  Although it needs to maintain a consistent overall tone, it needs to have multiple voices.
– Crisp, professional photos/graphics.  Clip art and stock images have no business being used on a cover or feature article.  They are accent images, and should be treated as such.
– Readable stories.  No need to have stories that rival War and Peace in length–keep it direct and simple.
There are plenty more suggestions on what makes magazines successful, and I’m glad to see that Umagazinology is out there monitoring this topic.