On February 8, the Office of Communications & PR e-mailed The Sage Colleges Alumni Publications Survey to 11,639 alumni (all alumni for whom we have e-mail addresses on file). When the survey closed on March 1, the Office of Communications had received 896 responses to survey (That is a response rate of approximately 7.7 percent. According to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, response rates to alumni surveys typically average about five percent.)
Eighty-four percent of the responses were from RSC alumnae! Thanks to all of you who completed the survey. We are using your responses to plan print publications and electronic communication options that better meet your interests.
We asked if alumnae read the publications…
- Connections is read “always or often” by 578 responders
– 474 read “all or most,” another 165 read “some”
– The majority of each Connections readers ranked the magazine as “excellent” or “good” in terms of informative news, interesting features, length of articles, quality of writing, and layout and design.
We asked if alumnae prefer to read publications in print, or online…
- 64% prefer print publications
- 20% prefer online communications
- 16% prefer receiving pubs both in print and online
We asked if alumnae would be interested in a publication with news of graduates from all of The Sage Colleges…
- 55% of Russell Sage alumnae do not want one combined publication
Please continue to share your story ideas and feedback! Comment on specific stories anytime her on the Connections blog or write to email@example.com. Connections loves hearing from you!
Before one issue of Connections is even in alumnae hands, I am already confirming stories for the next one or two issues. I mention this in case you submit a story idea that you don’t see right away. It might be earmarked for an issue down the road a bit.
Connections is published three times a year: spring (mailed in April), summer (mailed in June) and fall (mailed in October). I have been at work on the spring issue since December, interviewing alumnae, writing my own articles and requesting contributions from other writers in the Sage community. I’ve already started work on both the summer and fall issues.
Connections spends between two and three weeks with the graphic designer, who transforms text-only Word documents into magazine pages with colors, photos, etc. Then it spends time at the printer, before it is mailed to you. Throughout, all of us in the communications office see “proofs” or drafts, which we check and recheck: Are the pages in the right order? Did we catch every misspelling? Are the colors appearing as they are supposed to?
When the finished product arrives at Sage, I am almost afraid to look at it, worried that the first thing I see will be something I wish I’d changed, or even worse, should have changed! But luckily, at that point I am usually immersed in the next issue…
I’m Elizabeth Gallagher, editor of Connections magazine for Russell Sage College alumnae, and I am a magazine addict.
It is rare that I have a chunk of hours with no obligations, but when I do, I hit the bookstore and grab a stack of magazines—cooking, news, fashion, popular culture, it doesn’t matter—and then lose myself in them. I read alumni magazines regularly, too – The University of Pennsylvania Gazette’s “Food Issue” is a recent favorite. Check it out by clicking here.
I draw on what I’ve found interesting in my own reading when I am putting together an issue of Connections. And as a Troy native and current Albany resident, I appreciate that I work in an institution that is contributing to the educational, cultural and economic vitality of the Capital District. When I write about something exciting for Russell Sage—even if it is about an alumna in a far-flung location—it also says something good about things that grew here.
That’s what I enjoy about working on Connections. I started this blog to learn what readers want from it. What stories have you enjoyed recently? What do you regularly skip? Do you know an alumna whose achievements would make a good profile? Do you have expertise that you would like to write about?
I’ll also write a little bit about the process of putting together the magazine: the debates (what to include, what to leave out), deadlines (constant), decisions (ensure or insure?) that make up each issue.
Please use the comment function on this blog or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your ideas. I look forward to interacting with you!