For several generations, the Crescent School has published Past & Present Magazine for its primary stakeholders: parents, faculty and alumni. When the school decided to target the magazine specifically to its alumni, we were brought onboard. Their intention wasn’t simply a redesign. Crescent School hoped to reinvigorate the connection between the School and its alumni base.
Understanding human context first
Our anthropology team began with a cultural investigation into the current relationship between school and alumni. The research revealed most alumni felt the values instilled during their Crescent years continued to have a bearing on their everyday lives. However, some disconnection was also uncovered within the base. This was not surprising, as many alumni felt their adolescent years were now somewhat distant.
Understanding how Crescent figured in the current lives of alumni and how the readers defined relevance helped shape our strategy for the magazine. There was a clear opportunity to connect with readers by anchoring their magazine in stories of alumni life, work and community—but also to demonstrate the relevance and impact of Crescent values beyond school.
Building a foundation ensuring success
To ensure the magazine would serve its primary audience, we worked with Crescent to establish an editorial board, half of which would be alumni. The other half would represent the School’s leadership in alumni relations, development and marketing. Moving forward, all decisions would now be informed by a mandate putting alumni first. With this vision, a collaborative mix of Crescent and Aegis talent went to work creating compelling content. Our first redesigned edition of Past & Present, the Winter 2018 issue, has subsequently been tested through a readership survey with encouraging results.
The key performance indicator measures how the magazine impacts the alumni’s connection with the School. The first readership survey reveals that 90% either agreed or strongly agreed that the magazine strengthens their connection.
90% of respondents felt the writing, design and photography was either high or very high quality.