Your Guide to Working with the Office of Alumni Relations and Marketing

The Office of Alumni Relations and Marketing is a resource that is available for all departments and units within the Haworth College of Business in planning for marketing, public relations and event promotion needs as well as for strategies for engaging volunteers and alumni and for stewarding relationships. In addition, the office is responsible for several projects for the college, including the e-newsletter, the annual college magazine, college website, e-blasts and other e-communication, marketing support for recruitment, alumni recognition, speaker series events, alumni events and engagement opportunities, social media and acting as a liaison to other Western Michigan University departments (marketing and strategic communication, development and alumni relations, extended university programs and other units as appropriate).

Office hours

The Office of Alumni Relations and Marketing is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Frequently asked questions

Below you will find frequently asked questions about the office’s resources and timelines for typical projects. We look forward to assisting you with your needs and appreciate your early planning to ensure that we can adequately promote multiple events and projects within the college with successful results.

  • How do I submit a story idea for one of the College’s story platforms? You may contact any member of the office staff to suggest stories. The ideas will be taken to a storyboarding and editorial meeting to be discussed. Once the best format has been determined (press release, e-newsletter or magazine feature, social media story, MyWMU submission, etc.) the lead author of the story (either a staff member or intern) will follow up with you.
  • Are there resources online regarding communication guidelines for the college of business and for WMU? There are guidelines for the college of business and for the University
  • What timelines are needed for projects coordinated through the office? Below are typical projects and the required timelines to allow enough lead time for successful results, possible coordination with other offices, an outside designer or media and balancing of multiple college projects with overlapping deadlines. If you have a project that does not fit within these timelines, please let us know, and we are happy to strategize and work on an alternate plan of action or refer you to resources to expedite a project. Timelines reflect the minimum time frame. We will always accept projects with more lead time.

Timelines

News Items

  • Events, press and media releases: Information should be submitted three and a half weeks prior to desired release date. Press releases involving a donation or gift require additional time for full review by development, the college of business and marketing and strategic communications office.
  • Good news/breaking news: Student competition awards, program rankings, etc.: Please submit immediately so that we can expedite the release. Include photo.
  • Radio release: Information should be submitted four to six weeks prior to an event, and coverage is based on availability and editorial considerations of marketing and strategic communications staff.
  • WMU Today: Information should be submitted two to three weeks prior to the event and inclusion is based on timeline and editorial staff considerations in marketing and strategic communications.
  • MyWMU story: Information should be submitted three weeks in advance of desired release date and inclusion is based on time line and editorial staff considerations in alumni and development.
  • College-only announcements: Information should be submitted one and a half weeks in advance. This would include events for students, faculty and staff that are to be posted for the college community only (social media, announcements of visitors, faculty and staff accolades, etc.).

Websites

  • New content for an existing site: New content should be submitted two weeks in advance.
  • A minor change to an existing site (sentence, change or word change): Up to two weeks depending on number of changes required.
  • Urgent correction including a cancelled event or erroneous curricular information: 24 hours, contact Stacey Markin at (269) 387-6936.
  • New website (content provided): One month.
  • New website (No content provided–content to be developed): Two months.
  • Conference website: Two to three months for artwork creation, content gathering, registration page creation and testing.

Registration Sites and Forms

  • Registration for events (multiple fields required): Two to three weeks before launch.
  • Simple RSVP form; either without secure content or with secure content (such as WIN): Two weeks.
  • Form gathering extensive information (such as scholarship applications): Two to three weeks.

Integrated Marketing Plan

A comprehensive plan for an event or marketing initiative, including several of the following items as applicable:

  • Printed materials, i.e., invitations
  • Poster
  • Brochure or program
  • Website
  • Media release
  • E-blast series
  • Radio interview
  • Social media
  • Advertising
  • Announcements
  • Community calendar posting

Two to four months lead time is required. A point person will be assigned to work with you from the office who will create the integrated campaign with you. Pieces such as design and printing will be outsourced and charges will apply back to the department.

A more limited plan for an event can be created with less lead time. If you are hosting a speaker and wish to have some support (i.e., a press release, social media announcements), we can tailor a plan for you: Typical time line is one to two months depending on the event and scope.

Print

In many cases outside design services and printing services are needed and department charges will apply.

  • Program design for a conference, seminar or like project: Three months. Program production will be coordinated through the office but outside design and printing services will be used and charges will apply back to the department. Consult the point person on your project for cost estimates.
  • Postcard, invitation: Six to eight weeks (includes design, proofing, printing and mailing)
  • Brochure, text and photos compiled: Produced through duplicating, four weeks. Produced through print house, six weeks
  • Brochure, text and images need to be compiled: Produced through duplicating, six weeks. Produced through print house, eight weeks.
  • Poster or flier: Three to four weeks prior to date needed, depending on amount being produced and whether artwork is already available.
  • Ad: If you are placing an ad as a sponsor for an event etc., please allow three weeks of lead time prior to submission date. We have resources both here in the college and through marketing and strategic communications to assist in advertising. With ample lead time, a targeted ad can be placed and rates negotiated. College ads need to be reviewed via marketing and strategic communications for approval. More than four weeks lead time is needed for negotiated rates and original design.

E-blasts and Social Media

  • Art available: Two to three weeks.
  • Art needs to developed: Four weeks.
  • E-blast series: Initial artwork requires four weeks; a blast series will be scheduled all at once if artwork is available; Firm blast release dates can only be scheduled when artwork or design is available.
  • Many times items of interest for outside audiences can be incorporated into our e-newsletter.
  • Series of social media posts: Three weeks.

Video and Photography

  • Produced video projects: Features can be coordinated via WMU media/video services or our office but require lead time for scripting and scheduling. Please consult us several months in advance. Arranging a video at an event: Contact media/video services directly at (269) 387-5020.
  • Photography: Schedule two weeks prior to event, coverage provided based on availability. The office also keeps a list of professional photographers that you may contact for higher end photography and may be able to lend you an office camera for photo ops that arise with under two weeks of notice.
  • Compiling photos from Haworth College of Business photo files or University photo files: One to four weeks depending on the number of photos and scope of project.

Gifts for guests and materials for events

(Charge backs to departments will apply.)

  • Traditional gift bag: One week 

Review and Proofreading

We are happy to review materials that are going to external audiences or being distributed widely among the campus community. Please provide 72 hours notice to one week depending upon length.

Calendar Posting and Digital Signs

All departments have access to post digital signs to the lobby monitors and should follow the posting template. Please let us know if someone in your office needs to be trained on digital sign posting. We are happy to help train those individuals. If you have an event you would like posted on the college calendar, please submit your event via the news and events form.

Willing to be a contact for the media on business topics?

Let us know, and we will make sure you are added to our experts guide. Media calls often require a quick turn around but are greatly beneficial in establishing the college as a go-to resource for business expertise. Several faculty and staff are already experts on call, and we can connect you with them if you wish to learn more.

Strategizing and Consulting

Looking to add more dimension to your events with social media tie-ins or developing a new program or service that needs to be communicated to students or external audiences? We look forward to strategizing with you on the best ways to craft your message and reach your audience. 

Vendors

Interested in using an outside vendor for ordering logo merchandise, plaques, printing, design services or photography? We have a number of vendors we recommend.