Finding a new channel for alumni engagement
For many marketers, the shut-down in the spring forced us to be more creative, strategic and agile than we ever had before. How do you create and engage an online-only community? How do you cut through the noise of and endless social media stream?
The Michigan State University Advancement and Alumni Association marketing teams faced these questions. When the pandemic put a halt to their usual lineup of in-person events, they decided to pivot to livestream videos, delivered across an accessible platform like Facebook. They wanted to enliven their digital audience, engage with younger alums and tell the stories of engaging Spartans who were stepping up to help during the pandemic. While there’s no shortage of kick-a** MSU alums to shine a spotlight on, the university teams partnered with BCP to help get the show up and running.
Our BCPers helped MSU Advancement devise a strategy to produce, launch and promote the shows, which were aired about two times a month on Facebook Live. Our team got to work brainstorming a list of show names that would resonate with an alumni audience and convey the purpose of the show. Since most of us are Spartans ourselves, this was a creative delight (I can’t speak for those Wolverine delinquents who walk among us).
MSU Advancement used their internal designer, Iain Bogle (Hello, old friend!), to create a rad show logo and cohesive branding elements.
Throughout the summer, Catherine, our copywriter and digital specialist, got to add “producer” to her job title. She worked alongside the MSU Advancement team and an outside livestream video partner (shout out to Scott at Flow Video!) to help the shows come together. This included writing the show descriptions, scripts, and promotional copy, as well as coordinating with the guests, host and livestream coordinator to make sure everything was smooth sailing for all parties involved.
The inspiring Spartans featured on the show never disappointed. We had the opportunity to talk with Spartans about working on the frontlines of the pandemic relief, depression and anxiety, food security, rising grocery prices, racial equity, and the work MSU alums are doing to empower black students.
All good things must come to an end. As the show became more successful, it was clear that it was time to hand over operations to the internal teams who know their alumni audience best! Just before ending, Catherine had a chance to get a sneak peek of the next season of the show. You won’t want to miss it! You can check it out here.