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We Asked and You Responded: CWU Alumni Communications Survey Results

It is very common in the lines of communications to sometimes forget to ask ourselves what the greater desires and needs of our target audience actually are. There are times where we find that a “trial and error” approach is best, and there maybe moments where we over communicate with our constituents.

This past summer, we created a survey to ask you, our alumni, friends, and constituents, how we could better our communication efforts to best suit your needs. The results showed us that we are on the right track as it pertains to getting our messaging out to the public, but they also told us that there are opportunities. As a direct result, you can expect to see a few areas addressed in the coming months.
Considerations for future communications
Based on the results taken from our survey, we found that 74 percent of our respondents prefer to receive communications and updates as they come up and not all at once. Relationally, it was discovered that 95 percent of our respondents selected email as the preferred way to receive these communications. With this information, we will continue to distribute our communications and updates through our email invitations to events and programs, along with our monthly Alumni E-newsletter.


Timing
During the reconstruction of bettering our communications strategies, we discovered there was an interest in receiving monthly summaries of events and programs (47 percent), in addition to receiving email invitations for each event. With this data, we are developing a new summary email. This monthly summary will include upcoming events and programs, in addition to potential save-the-date messaging.
Email Communications
While 95 percent of our respondents selected email as the preferred form of receiving communications, almost 60 percent said they would prefer to receive emails four weeks prior to the event and/or program, and a lesser 36 percent selected receiving emails two weeks prior to an event and/or program. This being said, we will work on developing a new email invitation strategy that will allow for monthly summaries of events, and email invitations sent out four weeks and two weeks prior to the event. We believe this will allow for optimal impact with minimal emails from the CWU Alumni Association, depending on hoe many events and programs are scheduled.


Requests for Future Communications
We discovered the many requests for our future considerations in our communications with our alumni and constituents. There were requests for networking opportunities, career advancement trainings, and opportunities for alumni. We are currently working to develop and fine-tune our newest rollout, in partnership with Career Services, the Central Student Alumni Association Career Mentoring Program. For more information on how to become a mentor, contact Laura Sanchez at laura.sanchez@cwu.edu or call 509-963-2160. This program will allow for alumni to connect back with Central’s students who are seeking mentorship for career development.

We received a request to share more alumni in the news and we are happy to report the continuous work being done on the upkeep of our “Class Notes” section of our website. This section is where we can showcase our alumni in the news. If you know a CWU alum who has been recognized in the news, please send us a link to the article and the name of the alum, so we can add that accomplishment to our class notes section for everyone to see or follow up wit a feature.

There was also expressed interest in us sharing more historical photos of CWU students and campus with captions, current events, and alumni features. All of our current and past alumni features can be found on our CWU Alumni Association Facebook page as we feature an alumnus and an alumna each week on Mondays and Wednesdays with #MCM and #WCW respectively. If you have an interests in being featured, or if you would like to nominate someone, please email UAcommunications@cwu.edu and we can send you the questionnaire. We also do our best to share historical photos on the CWU Alumni Association Facebook page, in addition to our throwback Thursdays, categorized by the #TBT, on our CWU Foundation Facebook page.

Having received and reviewed this information, we know the next step will be to use it and move forward to meet your needs. We will begin moving towards implementing monthly summaries and email invitations two weeks and four weeks out from events in the upcoming months. We ask you to be patient as we work on this implementation and we welcome feedback on how we can better improve our efforts. If you have any helpful feedback you wish to share with us, please email UAcommunications@cwu.edu.

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