Reflecting on the Record, and the alumni website

The Alumni Engagement office seeks your thoughts on our online publications

Rob Hiscock, director of marketing and communications

By Rob Hiscock, director of marketing and communications

Over the past five years, both the Record and our Mount Allison website have undergone a series of changes, some large, some small. Since these are two important vehicles we use to keep in touch with alumni near and far, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on how each has evolved, and how they will continue to evolve, in the next year or so.

The Record 

Our first online exclusive edition was introduced in Winter 2017 as we celebrated 100 years of the Record publication and introduced a new magazine website. Some readers may recall that we first reached out to alumni to get a sense of how alumni would react to an online version. In a survey undertaken in 2015, close to 60 per cent of alumni said they would definitely or probably access an online version.

We have been very encouraged by the readership of the website edition. In the past two years, we have recorded more than 80,000 page views. Half of all readers access the online magazine via desktop and half via mobile devices, either phone or tablet. We’re also encouraged to report that readership is spread fairly evenly among graduates from all years.

Mount Allison Alumni website

Approximately three years ago, the alumni section of the website underwent a major redesign. In the intervening years it is has become a key resource for the promotion of major events like Reunion and Homecoming and chapter information. We note that in the three years since the new site was launched we have had nearly 170,000 unique page views. Not surprisingly, pages related to Reunion are the most visited, but the Connect section receives significant traffic as well. The alumni relations team will continue to use the site as a means of connecting alumni to each other.

Mount Allison has recently begun a new program to help recent grads better keep in touch as they embark on their next venture. MtA Next Step: The Young Alumni Network is a international network of young alumni who have graduated within the past 15 years. Through the new program, Mount Allison will host events, provide networking and career development opportunities, and provide ways to get involved for new alumni.

The Young Alumni Connector Program is part of this network for new grads. The program was created to help recent graduates establish meaningful connections and expand their professional networks. Using an interactive map on the alumni website, recent grads can find young alumni “connectors” and can reach out to them to set up a meeting. Young Alumni Connectors are young alumni under the age of 35, or alumni who have graduated within the past 15 years, and who are active in their community and knowledgeable of resources in their city, town, or community. By pairing events and activities that focus on bring young alumni together with our Connector program, MtA Next Step aims to support recent grads as they transition from student to alumni.

What’s next?

We are about to undertake a project to redesign the entire Mount Allison website (www.mta.ca), which will include alumni website content as well as the Record. This exciting undertaking will evolve over the next year, so it will be some time before you see any changes. We’ll provide updates as we move through the project.


Online survey

In order to gain current insights from alumni, we created a short questionnaire that was open from February to May 2019 with a few brief questions about the magazine and website.

The survey is now closed, but here is a snapshot of the feedback we received:

  • We received a total of 90 responses
    • 54 per cent from alumni from the 1950s-1970s
    • 29 per cent from those from the 1980s-2000s
    • 12 per cent from alumni who graduated in 2010 or later
    • the remainder came from friends or were unspecified
     
  • Nearly 70 per cent of respondents said they had viewed the Record Online and 36 per cent said they read every issue.
  • Approximately 89 per cent of respondents said they found the current design of the Record Online mostly or completely favourable, and 96 per cent said the same of the content.
  • Many respondents said they still want to receive a print copy and some noted they found the online version difficult to navigate.
  • Others gave valuable feedback on content they would like to see and several noted they would love to have more Class Notes (as would we — we always love to hear from you! Class notes can be submitted online at: mta.ca/alumni/classnote/)

Thank you to all who participated in the survey!

If you have any further comments about the Record, please feel free to send them to us at alumni@mta.ca


With thanks from the Alumni Engagement Office and the Marketing and Communications team.

Rob Hiscock
Director of Marketing and Communications