Being Accessible, Hospitable and Responsive
The first job of every WAA chapter is to be welcoming to all UW-Madison alumni. For the Badger alumni in your area, your chapter is the face of the university. Through special events such as Welcome to the City, chapters introduce alumni to a group that they can call their own local Badger “home.” That welcoming spirit also applies to the chapter’s relationship with current and future Badger students: events such as Badger Student Send-Off Celebrations welcome new students to the university and introduce them to the concept of WAA chapters. In short, chapters welcome Badgers.
Here are some ways to be welcoming:
- Embrace your role as the face of UW-Madison and WAA.
- Be accessible by having a website and other points of contact such as an email address and social media accounts.
- Include local “hangout” information on your website and in your communications.
- Keep all event information current on your website.
- Be responsive by answering inquiries — calls, emails, social media interest, in person at events — in a timely fashion.
- Be helpful and hospitable.
- Have fun. Being a Badger can be a blast!
Welcome to the City
Welcome to the City events will be new grads’ entry point into the local Badger-alumni community and your chapter. They provide a critical opportunity to gather data on new alumni so that WAA can reach them in the future. The goal is to educate and nurture a new alumna or alumnus to become fully aware of and engaged in the activities of your chapter.
Your chapter website will keep the Badgers in your area informed about chapter activities and events. It should include information about scholarships, fundraising, chapter leadership, networking opportunities, community-service events, and social gatherings such as game watches. To maintain a chapter website that’s useful to the alumni in your area:
- Post event notices well in advance of their date.
- Keep it simple: don’t clutter the pages with extraneous material.
- Update the website frequently so that it stays fresh.
- Display your game-watch location prominently under “Badger Hangouts.”
Chapters can use social media to promote their chapter’s activities and events. Social media is also a great place to start a discussion: if your board is looking for opinions, don’t be afraid to ask your audience through social media. Alumni can use social media to pose questions to find out more about what’s going on. And, social media gives alumni who are new to the area a way to ask for tips and advice.
Keep these general ideas in mind:
- Social media can be effective for promoting events, contests, and other time-sensitive topics.
- The chapter member who is posting to your social media account should be skilled in that particular tool (Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram).
- Understand your chapter’s “bandwidth” and ability to maintain a social media presence. It’s better not to use social media than to use it badly.
- Consider your audience: what social media networks are your alumni already using? Find out and meet them there.
- Keep your posts light, fun, and relevant to chapter activities or university-related topics. Follow @wisalumni and @uwmadison on Facebook and Twitter for content ideas.
- Avoid political and controversial topics.
Badger Student Send-Off Celebrations
Chapters host Badger Student Send-Off Celebrations to welcome incoming freshmen, transfer students, and parents from your chapter’s area to the university community.