Recently we have sent out thousands of emails asking people to update their data. Since it is 2008 some of you have pointed out that that it looks “fishy,” and that someone might be “phishing.”
Actually it is all legit. We have contracted with Harris Connect to publish a new SDSU Alumni Directory. Harris has a fine reputation, is the leader in this field nationally, and also published our Alumni Directories in 1994 and 1999.
When the dust clears on this effort we expect to have better, upgraded data and many more valid email addresses to work with.
This leads me to muse about the alumni business in the current day and age. Consider these two anecdotes:
A couple of years back I was trying to get one of our most illustrious donors to sign his pledge form. He had agreed to a dollar amount for our alumni center but had ignored my emails with attachments that required his signature. These, were follow-ups to my phone calls which were follow-ups to our meetings. Finally he suggested I fax him the paperwork. Within minutes he had faxed back a legal $500,000 commitment.
A colleague told me that he was frustrated that his own college aged son was ignoring his calls, text messages and emails. But he discovered he could get an immediate response by posting a message on his Facebook page.
It seems like that until recently we just had the big three: Face-to-face, phone calls and emails on the computer. Depending on the gravity of the circumstances you’d pick one or more of the above. But now the landscape has changed.
FaceBook. MySpace. Linked In.
All we really know is that within a couple of years or less these terms might be history and we’ll have new ones. Oh yeah, we also know that there is plenty we don’t know.
But we do know this: Content rules. Whether we are pushing or others are pulling we need good stuff.
Glad we have some.