Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Be True to Your School…

Every college and university out there has an alumni organization.  Alumni are the cornerstones in educational fundraising at both private and public schools.  One way to reach those alumni is with a full-color, glossy magazine.

What does an alumni magazine cover?

Alumni magazines are like city magazines.  You have personality profiles of alumni, faculty members, staff and students.  Features cover research on campus, special programs within the school or its departments.  There are news items like awards or special recognitions, class notes and a calendar of events.  Some magazines also have first-person articles and back page essays.  The school, its people and its programs are the focus.

Do you have to be an alumnus to write for the magazine?

Often yes, especially if your subject's connection to the school is not solid or if the school isn’t large.  Money is a factor, and if the magazine has staff writers, they are going to get the first assignments because they're already getting paid. Writers who are alumni are second on the ladder, then maybe anyone else.

You'll improve the chances of getting your story accepted by first having an interesting and unique subject that's tied directly to the school, and second, by having the contacts and the credentials to get the story. Of course, always query first with a strong, tight description of your story idea.

Where do you find alumni magazines online?  

The easiest way is to type the name of the school and "alumni" into a search engine. You get the schools main page up first and you can look for a link that way or sometimes the alumni association/office page will come up and you can find the magazine's page or a publications page.  I also searched both "university alumni associations" and "college alumni associations" when collecting information for this article.

Some alumni magazine websites: click magazine names for staff and contact information

Alabama Alumni Magazine - University of Alabama - Janice Fink, Editor
Emory Magazine - Emory University - Paige Parvin, Editor
Georgia Magazine - University of Georgia - Kelly Simmons, Editor
Mississippi State Alumnus - Mississippi State University - Allen Snow, Editor
Carolina Alumni Review - University of North Carolina - David Brown, Senior Associate Editor
Virginia Tech Magazine - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Jesse Tuel, Editor

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