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Keys to the Vault: 
7 steps to building an outstanding alumni program in professional services
 

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Key Features

Overview

Vuture’s LexisNexis Alumni product is an online portal to help manage the relationships between a firm, its staff and its Alumnus. The site provides a central directory to find former and current members of staff, promote Alumni events, share information, access news and provide a re-recruitment resource.

The platform is fully integrated with InterAction to allow for the integration of profiles, security, emails and to decide which content should be shared with Alumnus.

Logins / Approvals / Registrations

Domain name
To access the site, the Alumnus will visit a URL (web address). You can purchase a new website address or create a sub domain, e.g. alumni.youraddress.com.

Secure Login
User access to the site is secured through a login screen. Before logging into the site the Alumnus will see an unsecured content page, which will include the login area. You control what content will appear on the secure login page.

The Alumnus will enter their email address and password to access the site.

Forgotten Password
If the Alumnus has forgotten their password they can click the forgotten password button that will prompt them to enter their email address.  The Alumnus will be sent an email with a link allowing them to reset their password.

Login with the LinkedIn credentials
The user may connect their account to their LinkedIn account. This will allow them at any future visit to use their LinkedIn login credentials to access the Alumni website.

Pre-registration of current staff/professionals from InterAction
You can select folders from InterAction that contain Staff / Fee Earners. Users from these folders will be “pre-approved” to access the site. 

You can use the system to send a pre-approved email to these staff, with a personalized link allowing them to setup their password (if you are allowing them to login using their LinkedIn profile they can also connect their account at this stage).

The staff member will then be prompted to update their profile for the directory. Content will be pulled from InterAction to prepopulate the profile which they may then edit.

Pre-registration of Alumnus from InterAction
As per the previous section you select the folder(s) from InterAction which contains the Alumnus.

You can use the system to send a pre-approved email to those Alumni, with a personalized link allowing them to setup their password (if you are allowing them to login using their LinkedIn profile they can also connect their account at this stage).

The Alumnus will then be prompted to update their profile for the directory. Content will be pulled from InterAction to prepopulate the profile which they may then edit.

Registration through the website
If the Alumni/Staff member that is pre-approved for the Alumni site, chooses to register from the login screen (rather than following the link in the pre-approved email) they will be automatically sent a new mail with a link to setup their account.

If the registrant is unknown (they haven’t been pre-approved) the system will email the Alumni Site Administration team asking them if the registrant should be approved. 

Approval of registrants from the Alumni site
If the Alumni Site Administrator approves the unknown registrant, they will automatically be sent an email with a link to setup a password and a profile.

Only when the registrant has been approved and they have filled in their directory details will they be added to InterAction.

Rejecting registrants from the Alumni site
If the Alumni Site Administrator clicks the reject button the registrant will not be able to access the site and will not be added to InterAction. If the site administrator wishes to, a rejection email can automatically be sent to the registrant.

Bulk upload of photographs

Directory profiles will be pre-populated from InterAction. Because InterAction does not allow for storage of images, the profile images will be stored in the Alumni site.

You may bulk upload images to the system and automatically set them against user profiles. Images will need to be named as per the email address of the Alumnus.

Suspending users

At any point you may stop a users access to the system by clicking on the suspend user button. You may re-approve a suspended user.

Search

The site will contain a number of search types.

  1. Site search – allowing a key word search of all site content
  2. Person search filtered on Alumni / Current Staff / All
  3. Alphabetical search on last name
  4. Advanced person search on profile details (e.g. year at firm / specialism)

Directory / Profile

Directory

The directory will contain all of the approved Alumni users, unless they have opted to not appear in the directory. Content will appear as per the details held in InterAction (or the updated profile information as updated by the Alumnus).

Profile

The fields available in the Alumni Profile page will be decided by your firm. Some of the fields will relate directly to the contact fields (name/job title etc.) other fields will be held as additional fields in a list (year at firm / law school etc.). Note that for each folder we are connected to (Alumni/Alumni Staff/Current Staff/ Current) will need the same fields created.

The profile image will be held in the Vuture database not in InterAction.

Editing a profile 

When an Alumni user edits their profile, it will automatically update InterAction, and will follow any DCM (Data Change Management) rules you have in place in InterAction.

As well as editing their profile, the Alumnus will have the ability to vary what can appear on the directory. Options are:

  1. Appear on the directory with all information displayed
  2. Appear on the directory but hide contact information
  3. Do not appear in directory

Profile updates from InterAction

A nightly sync is performed from InterAction which will reflect any updates made on a users profile back into the Alumni website.

Events and Forms 

Creating forms

Form building on the Alumni site works in the same manner as the Vuture Email forms. Fields can be connected to an InterAction list so that preferences and RSVP’s can write back to InterAction. This can be the same list which is used for mailing purposes, meaning one single repository of RSVP’s for an event in InterAction.

Linking to forms

If you create the form externally you may link from the site to the form.

Content Creation and Management

Creating Pages

Creating new pages can be achieved through either copying an existing page or clicking on the new page button and selecting the layout. The page can be linked to by placing the page in a menu folder or by linking from text/images on another page.

Menus

Menus can be created dynamically by placing them in the appropriate folder, which will automatically take the page name and create the menu item. Renaming a page will automatically update the menu item.

If the menu is not driven dynamically then the menu can be edited by clicking on the menu from within Vuture, and editing the text and links.

Editing Text

Standard text can be edited by clicking on the text in the edit screen. Edit and style functions are driven by the template, with the amount of styling control given over to your editors defined by your firm as part of the setup process. Available styling options include fonts, font sizes and colours.

Editing Images

Profile images are managed by the user and can be managed in the user administration section. All other images are managed through a point and click function which connects to a library of images. Users can upload images to the library and manipulate the image to work in the edit screen.

Cross Linked Content

Some content can be tagged to automatically appear on other screens of the site (e.g. the first paragraph of the top item of news automatically pushing to the home page).  This cross linked content will be defined by your firm during the roll out process.

RSS feeds to populate content

You may choose to dynamically create content on the site based on RSS feed from another site (e.g. news from the main website might also push to the Alumni site).

Social Media Snippet

You may choose to have content from Twitter automatically push to the alumni (e.g. the firms most recent tweets might appear in a feed). 

Dynamic Content

Snippets of content can be tagged against InterAction fields, which means content can be shown/hidden based on an Alumnus’ setting in IA. Applications are varied but include content only for RSVP yes to events, VIP Alumni, In-House Counsel content etc.

Reporting

Individual Dashboard

The individual dashboard allows a Vuture user to see which pages an Alumnus has looked at and how long they spent reading the page.

Site Statistics

The site statistics shows which Alumni have logged in during the timeframe selected.

New Features Currently in Development

Who’s attending snippet

We are currently working on a new snippet to show which Alumni have RSVP’d yes to an event. This will allow other Alumni to decide if they should attend or not. This will be delivered in q4 2014.

You haven’t logged in recently alert

We are currently working on the ability to send an alert to Alumni who haven’t logged into the site in a recent time frame (e.g. you haven’t logged into the site for 3 months, here’s what you are missing email).