Colorado College conducted focus groups and a web-based survey on the editorial content of the Bulletin alumni magazine in December 2012 and January 2013. The research was conducted by an alumna, Kyndra Wilson ’94, founder of KW Brand Translation, a marketing consulting company.
Focus group results
The focus groups in early December 2012 consisted of: Advancement staff, recent alumni (i.e., 20 years from graduation or fewer), older alumni, current students, and faculty. The focus groups said they look to the Bulletin to keep them connected to people they knew; expand their sense of the larger CC community (i.e., people they didn’t know); recapture the excitement of their CC experience; and “make our brains hurt” –i.e., challenge them with intellectually compelling content. Participants also said:
- They want bigger, better visuals — a good photo “draws me in.”
- They want CC to solicit more content for alumni updates.
- They hang onto their copies of the magazine for a long time and aren’t convinced it “carries the burden” of adequately representing CC’s prestige when people see it on their coffee tables.
- They want content that represents the diversity of the typical (not superstar) alumni experience. They are intrigued by the winding path alumni took to achieve happiness and success.
- They want the CC voice on topical issues.
A web-based survey to “stakeholders” launched in early January 2013. The web survey consisted of:
- 919 respondents
- 71 percent alumni, 23 percent parents, 3 percent faculty, 3 percent staff
- 58 percent female, 42 percent male
- Most respondents in their 40s and 50s
- Great distribution of alumni across generations
Survey respondents said they look to the Bulletin to:
- Keep them updated and connected with people they knew.
- Keep them updated on the student and academic life of the college.
- Give them an expanded sense of the whole CC alumni network, not just the people they knew.
- Challenge them intellectually with interesting and complex content.
- Let them know how they can stay involved with donations of time, talent, and money.
Respondents’ #1 goal for the Bulletin is being connected with people they knew. “Class Notes” is the currently first place that most of them go when they get their copy of the Bulletin. When asked whether the Colorado College Bulletin should change its name, respondents said, “No.”
We thank those who participated in our research. Watch for a new look and feel of the Bulletin in the months ahead.