This spring the annual Nordic Alumni Relations Conference was organized by University of Oslo. One very interesting presentation was held by Richard Taylor. He’s the director of marketing at University of Leicester and he talked about Alumni Relations from a Marketing Perspective.
They did a survey to find out how new students had found out about the University of Leicester. It turned out that 50% answered “somebody told me about it” compared to 2% that had seen an advertisment. When they followed these 50% word of mouth up, it turned out that around half of the sources were alumni. That is: about 25% of their new students heard about the university thanks to word-of mouth from alumni. A very clear indication of the importance of a good alumni program.
There were many other interesting presentations on that conference. For instance one presentation that Asle Haukaas from NHH held one about the strategic importance of alumni relations. I had prepared a workshop together with Jonas Åblad from Stockholm University, about how to measure the effects of alumni relations.