From the Nominator
In response to the transition to an all-digital alumni engagement strategy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boston University Alumni Association launched StreamBU—a brand-new communications vehicle and virtual content library. The pandemic prompted a monumental shift in our alumni engagement approach as our geography-based “Backyard” monthly newsletters were made obsolete, as regional barriers eroded and every online alumni event could now reach the entire global Terrier population. In order to replace our “Backyard” emails and avoid sending a dedicated message regarding each individual event to all alumni, we developed a weekly digest that distilled all of the upcoming and on-demand engagement opportunities hosted across the university.
While the pandemic was breaking down regional barriers in our event strategy, StreamBU also prompted an unprecedented level of collaboration that transcended cross-departmental barriers within the university. StreamBU became a clearinghouse for all virtual engagement opportunities, highlighting events and resources provided by dozens of schools, colleges, and centers within BU. Alongside the email, we created a web presence that housed a categorized library of on-demand content providing easy access for alumni who were looking for a webinar, panel discussion, cooking demonstration, exercise class, or podcast episode they may have missed. The secret to StreamBU's success is that we found a way to showcase the depth and breadth of resources and opportunities available to alumni without cluttering their inboxes or cannibalizing other communications.
From the Judges
We've never seen a better pivot from a regional newsletter strategy. This is the service for busy alumni: mobile first, engagement opportunities front and center, and sensitivity to scheduling make this content hub distinct. We were impressed with the readership, increase in event registration, attention to accessibility, and audience sensitivity—particularly the ability for alumni to self-curate. Congratulations on “flipping” your newsletter at a time where rethinking alumni engagement should be at the top of our agendas.