A swing and a Christmas card miss

It’s Christmas card time again and I was excited to get an ‘e-card’ from my alma mater’s alumni office. E-cards give a bigger space to show what’s been happening on campus. In theory. In practice, at least had they mailed a printed card it would be a bright spot next to bills and junk.

The card opened with what I assume is our choir singing Silent Night. Very classic. Except the background and the font were very modern. Both things, alone, were very nice. But together, something didn’t fit.

The pictures (all very well done) flew in at lightening speed – matching the fun font but definitely not the slow music. And there were NO CAPTIONS. I know I’m a writer but…apart from the championship photos, none were self-explanatory.

The random building under the ‘accomplishments’ header? That would be the new education building, which cost millions and replaced an old, decrepit excuse for an education building. As education is one of the school’s biggest majors (it started as a teacher’s college for crying out loud), this is a huge deal. Why not at least a label telling people what this building is and a link to a story for more information?

The photos under the  ‘championship’ header are good and I understand them – again, it would be cool to link to news stories, but they are self-explanatory.

The random smiling student under ‘academics’? Turns  out she’s a scholarship recipient who has a very nice profile on the alumni site. It would be great if the card has said that instead of leaving information-hog me to scour the site looking for her.

‘Excitement.’ Another football photo. Now I understand we finally have a good football  team and let me tell you, even as someone who couldn’t care less about sports I AM excited that I can watch my alma matter kick a Big Ten team’s behind all over the field on ESPN. But you have seven photos and three are of sports teams? That’s too much. Show the marching band, the cheering crowds, a parade. Even better, find another header and showcase the theatre, the arts or a cool campus event. This is a college, where people learn. I get that they can learn outside the classroom, but when you have one ‘academics’ photo and three sports photos (two football) in a group of seven, something is off.

All that said, most of the material I get from my alma mater is top notch – well designed with interesting content. The communications office earns awards every year. I suspect they were handed the images and text and given a tight deadline. But if you are going to put the effort into creating something like this, please, for the love of the season, put more thought into it. Or send me a card through the mail. 🙂


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2 Responses to “A swing and a Christmas card miss”

  1. Laurie Says:

    I sent you a card through the mail! 🙂

  2. amandavlhatter Says:

    It’s cool – we talk online through Facebook all the time, but you taking the time to actually send something made it that much more special. I realize Christmas cards are still ‘expected’ in certain circles, but it’s worth it to think about how much time you can put into it, both in direct mail and digitally.

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