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A Great Debate Takeaway: Empower Your Alumni

To capitalize on a big campus event, give your stakeholders the tools to showcase it. 

That’s what Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, did when it hosted the 2016 vice presidential debate on Oct. 4. In a recent #casesmc Twitter chat, Parks Smith, director of alumni relations at Longwood, discussed how the institution called on alumni to boost the event’s exposure.

“The great thing now with a good strategy/hashtag is that your constituents work for you to a degree,” noted Parks during the chat. 

To empower alumni to participate in debate festivities, the university sent watch party kits. Assembled by alumni volunteers, the packages offered political devotees some of the items they might need to host a debate watch party: cozies, napkins, cups, pom-poms. 

The university also created and distributed a social media roadmap outlining all the Longwood platforms covering the debate. 

“You’re making it easy for your constituents by telling them what to do and how to share the kit,” said Parks. 

Ultimately, the bigger the online buzz around an event like a debate, the greater the long-term payoff in admissions and attention.

“Your biggest hope,” added Parks, “is that it raises the profile of the university.” 

Read the #casesmc chat recap

Focused on social media, communications and advancement, CASE’s #casesmc chats are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. The next chat is Oct. 25. 

This article is from the October 2016 BriefCASE issue of BriefCASE.