Few alumni magazines produced by schools and universities seem to use a theme – are they missing a trick?
We think so.
It’s common for retail titles to make use of themes – whether that be sustainability, AI, or entrepreneurialism – digging deep on a topic helps shift magazines. But alumni magazines have a captive audience who usually receive a copy free, whether they want it or not. So why bother theming?
There are many benefits (see below) that together build a compelling argument to consider theming your magazine. The bottom line is that theming is a great tactic to help elevate your publication, taking it beyond a simple school magazine, giving it a purpose and delivering your audience something of greater sophistication and depth.
Yes, the class updates may well still be the most thumbed pages, but a bunch of well written articles around a single, intriguing theme will help fuel you readers’ interest and raise the profile of your alumni engagement activities.
Benefits of theming your school alumni magazine:
- It elevates your magazine, helping to make it more sophisticated and editorial in focus.
- It gives each issue its own identity and purpose.
- Focussing on a theme and streamlining everything else can help shift a glorified newsletter into a proper magazine (surely it’s time most alumni updates went digital only?)
- Rather than a bunch of disjointed articles, the magazine will flow.
- Different voices talking about a singular theme provides diverse viewpoints and perspectives, giving a well-rounded and in-depth commentary on the subject that you could never gain from a single article.
- It’s a great opportunity to reach out to alumni who are not normally that engaged. Those with sector knowledge or an interesting viewpoint on the subject will feel valued when you ask them to contribute.
- It’s a great opportunity to incorporate school development in the magazine. If you’re fundraising for a new science centre, a science themed magazine will help build a buzz around sciences and create a case for support in a subtle way.
- It differentiates each issue, making them more memorable and leaving your audience anticipating what the next theme will be…
Interested in theming your alumni magazine? Read our article for some helpful planning tips…