It seems like every other day, I receive something from my alma mater
asking for money
telling me about the new and exciting things happening at the school since my departure.
And I get it. Alumni support is essential for any university, but the “big” news it chooses to share with former pupils could use work.
To help the University of California Berkeley’s newest communications specialist
, I’m offering these three suggestions:
1. Give me the gossip
. In addition to wedding updates and birth announcements, how about a few salacious news items—even if it’s just hearsay. Tell me about the latest divorces and breakups or that sad frock Becca Peters, ’03, was caught wearing at the latest alumni networking event in Philadelphia. Now that
would catch people’s attentions.
2. Tell me what else you’re doing with my money.
I’m thrilled your expanding the library, but all of those dollars you collect must pay for some off-beat expenditures—like the ergonomically correct keyboard for the president’s secretary or the restraining order against the creepy philosophy T.A. Maybe you’re even adding an on-campus alumni relations spa (and if the college isn’t, that could be your first contribution). I’d certainly be more inclined to attend a homecoming or two if a good massage is on the agenda.
3. Stop pretending you’re not asking me for money.
You can’t fool me; I have a college education. You want some money. That’s cool. Just stop cloaking it in “news” and ask for it. I’ll certainly respect your request more.
Now, to be clear, you might want to avoid mentioning these suggestions during the interview. Bring it up when you land the job after applying here