So you wanna add a power-packed punch to your Commencement Achievement? Well, you’ve come to the right blog. Thanks to the readMedia editorial team, this article showcases at least four ways to amp up your brand presence while creating meaningful connections with your students, parents, and the media. Let’s get right to it.
“Honor” your students! Add an “Honors Placeholder” to your readMedia templates and you will automatically showcase your student’s unique scholastic achievements. Take these steps to add your graduating students’ Latin honors:
- Include a column for “Honors” in your graduation spreadsheet. Some of the cells in this column will be blank – no problem – not everyone graduates cum laude, magna cum, or summa cum laude.
- When you create your template, just add a placeholder for the Latin honors after the word ‘graduated’ in your title and body. Your text could look something like this: “(First Name) (Last Name) of (City) graduated (Honors) from readMedia University.”
- Click “Send Hometowner” and begin mapping your placeholder values, a pop-up will alert you that some of the records in your spreadsheet do not have values in this column. This is normal because, as we mentioned earlier, not everyone will have graduated with honors.
- Depending upon whether or not John Smith earned academic honors, your final Achievements will look like this: “John Smith of Albany graduated from readMedia University” or “John Smith of Albany graduated magna cum laude from readMedia University.”
Tip: If your list of graduates comes without honors, reach out to the source of your list, perhaps the Registrar’s Office or Dean, for a spreadsheet with honors included.
For more information on adding “Honors” to your templates, visit our readMedia Guide. As always, if you ever have template probs, don’t hesitate to reach out to the readMedia team at email@example.com or call 1-800-552-2194.
Make Your Commencement Achievement Pop
A Commencement announcement can be an online experience, simply add hyperlinks to the body of your template. Adding hyperlinks dresses up your Achievement and presents a strategic opportunity to drive traffic to your institution’s website, YouTube channel, or a collection of images on Flickr.
Armstrong Atlantic State University provides a great example of how institutions are leveraging the readMedia platform for Graduation. They’ve added a link to the official 2011 Winter Commencement release from their readMedia Graduation Achievement, and they added a link to their institution’s website too.
It’s your job to make sure this easy opportunity doesn’t slip through the cracks. Here are some ideas to get you started: add a picture of the Processional, welcome by the Dean, President’s remarks, the Commencement Speaker, or a shot of the celebratory hat toss, which by-the-way, was a tradition that began with the United States Naval Academy’s Class of 1912.
You aren’t limited to linking to individual images, provide a link to your YouTube page, where a reader can view the Commencement Address or add a link to your institution’s official Flickr photostream, and chances are, if they look at one collection, they will take the time to look at more.
By taking advantage of this capability, you can transform the standard Commencement announcement into a dynamic story that people want to read and more importantly, want to share!
Quick Reminder: Don’t forget, the media you attach to your story will be added to every instance of your announcement, i.e., every student on your spreadsheet will get that image attached to their personalized story. So, try to stay away from individual pictures of students and keep the attachments broadly appealing.
Getting the most out of readMedia (before Summer) by distributing back-to-back stories. Utilize the power of proximity to make your job easy. Forecast academic events and announcements, such as Graduation and Dean List, and get your templates ready ahead of time so when your lists come in, you are one step away from distributing your announcement to thousands.
readMedia first timers, set-up your templates for Commencement and the Dean’s List; expert readMedia users, simply choose a saved template, but make sure you change any time-bound information.
For more ways to piggyback announcements and construct a communications strategy for the year, visit our Achievement Calendar. There, you will discover over 35 Achievements and Activities that you and your students can promote throughout the year. Better still, we have made the process of creating content even easier by including a sample Single and Multiple template for each Achievement in the readMedia Guide. Feel free to download, copy and paste, and customize each template along the way.
Don’t Forget Mom and Dad
Here’s a quick and easy tip for making Mom and Dad feel a part of the celebration. When collecting your Graduation list for the Commencement announcement, include another column in your spreadsheet with a list of parent emails.
Including parents benefits your school in three ways:
- Parents get an institution branded announcement with their child’s personalized Achievement that they can easily share with their family and friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, or any number of social media networks.
- Your institution provides evidence to parents that you go the extra mile to personally recognize their child, making the parent feel proud of their child and more importantly, proud of their investment in your institution.
- Finally, think about the brand opportunity. One institution’s Graduation Achievement generated 15,055 page views and 1,213 shares on social networks like Facebook.
Q: How do I obtain the parents email address?
A: Try contacting the Parent Communications Department at your school. If you don’t have a parent communications office, contact the person that oversees parent and family involvement.
For more information on adding multiple emails, visit our readMedia Guide.