|17 Aug 2020|
The Old Berkhamstedian Society and the School have a clear mission to stay at the leading edge of schools and alumni organisations by providing partnership with students past and present. Together, they have worked to create a community where Old Berkhamstedians can share interesting news, keep in contact with others in their school community, and use their networks for work or elsewhere. They recently launched their community site and achieved an impressive 700 sign ups within the first month.
Berkhamsted has a database of nearly 20,000 and decided to launch their new community site via an email, where they included plenty of buttons to direct readers to the registration page. This was extremely effective and resulted in 700 sign ups within the first month, and they now include a button to register or log in on every mass email they send out to alumni, prompting regular engagement and a growing community.
Despite tough circumstances that meant their planned events to demonstrate the benefits of joining the online community to their leaving class were unavailable, Berkhamsted still achieved 130 students signing up out of their 2020 year group of 184. They used tactics such as inviting students to the end-of-year ball through their site, as well as a virtual prize giving, to encourage students to log-in and give them something to look forward to once normality resumes.
Berkhamsted have a well-developed careers portal, allowing members to share and receive career expertise, find jobs through the jobs board or search for mentors in their industry. They follow up with mentors regularly, producing a weekly mentor review which focuses on a day in the life of one of their excellent mentors, along with their career story and tips for getting into their industry or job role. It’s an excellent way to promote the opportunities that Berkhamsted has given to their students both while they attended the school and during their career.
Another feature that helps to connect alumni in the same field is their clubs function: Berkhamsted have launched over 30 clubs to include people working in the same industry or sector so that they can share industry news, find job opportunities and learn more about what their peers are doing.
Along with highlighting the benefits of joining their online community, one element of their community site is to include user guides, covering everything from completing your profile to finding connections. These guides help users to get a feel for the platform, as well as assisting those with less tech knowledge, which results in a more engaging and inclusive experience.
Berkhamsted have populated their alumni site with lots of insightful and useful content, and made it easy for users to make the most of their alumni membership through plenty of opportunities to network and find support. Their community is growing fast because they offer so much value to their members, and consistently find new ways to make their site vibrant and welcoming.
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