Thank you everyone for contributing to our panel session on Community engagement. As promised, here are some of the takeaway points from the discussion.
Community Engagement Panel Takeaway Points:
Question 1: Future of Community Engagement in the Digital World
– Candace: Traditional approaches like phone calls and face-to-face events remain effective. Digital mediums expand reach.
– Karin: Combining online and personal approaches is key.
– Vanessa: Emphasises the importance of a mix of online and face-to-face for strong connections.
– Merryn: Digital channels are growing, but personal interaction and engagement are essential. Replies to social posts matter.
Question 2: Connecting Old Scholars with Limited Contact Information
– Candace: Suggestions include updating competitions, social media ads, and uploading “alumni lost lists” on the website.
– Karin: Recommends using mobile numbers, looking for family members, and leveraging LinkedIn and networks.
– Vanessa: Suggests using LinkedIn, year-level ambassadors, networks, and staff.
– Merryn: Advises leveraging networks, person-to-person contact, and using one alum to reconnect with others.
Question 3: Tracking Engagement Beyond Events
– Candace: Tracks involvement in the database, saves emails, and monitors email open rates and click-throughs.
– Karin: Tracks responses to digital communications and emphasizes that people engage with stories about others.
– Vanessa: Tracks through digital communications.
– Merryn: Uses various methods but notes the challenge of manual data collection for aggregate reporting.
Question 4: Encouraging Alumni Engagement, Especially from School Leaders
– Candace: Stresses the importance of showing staff the value of alumni for their programs and curriculum, filtering support from the top.
– Karin: Encourages leadership participation in reunions and meaningful connections with specific years.
– Vanessa: Recommends involving staff at reunions and engaging old scholars in school programs.
– Merryn: Advocates for asking leaders if they want to be involved and running with their suggestions.
Question 5: Tips for a Sustainable Alumni Engagement Program with Limited Staff
– All: Leverage volunteers to extend efforts.
– Karin: Use ambassadors and convenors for reunions. Convenors can seek out “lost” old scholars.
– Vanessa: Make the Alumni Committee accessible through Zoom.
– Merryn: Be selective in tasks, retire non-value-adding activities, and communicate the reasons to superiors.