Entries by Erin Peterson

5 Pros Share Secrets To Finding Great Photographers Anywhere

Maybe you need a photographer for the story of an amazing alum who lives halfway across the country — or halfway around the world. Maybe you’re just looking to shake things up and get a different perspective on your own campus. How do you find a photographer who’s going to get your school and your […]

3 Myths About Alumni Magazines You Definitely Need To Ignore

When I started out in alumni magazines, I learned lots of smart things about writing good profiles, creating packaged features, and making a magazine that was beautiful and compelling. But I also internalized a few truly terrible ideas that it took me years to unlearn. I was not smart. In fairness, one of the big […]

Avoid This Mistake With The Second-Most Valuable Page Of Your Publication

Every month, I pick up a few new magazines from the newsstand to see what kind of stories they’re doing, what unique approaches they’re taking, and what I can learn from them. But when I picked up a copy of REI’s Uncommon Path magazine — a beautiful and engaging magazine in almost every respect — […]

How Can You Make Your “Difficult Profiles” Amazing?

Today I’m excited to explore one piece of “common knowledge” about profile writing that is 100 percent wrong for higher ed communicators. I’ll start the story in one of my favorite places: writers and editors conferences. When I was younger, my favorite part of these conferences were the keynote talks. Amazing writers — Susan Orlean, Jacqui Banaszynski, Malcolm […]

Research That Shows Exactly How To Improve Your Difficult Profiles

Recently, I’ve been reading a *lot* of profiles about incoming college presidents, chancellors, and heads of schools. I have plenty of opinions on these profiles, but they could generally be summed up this way. These new leaders are clear-eyed about the challenges their schools face! They’re ready to listen to their constituents! They’re excited to […]

Will Your Readers Love Your Story? Find Out With A “Performance Pretest.”

When I was an editor at an alumni magazine, one of the most frustrating experiences I dealt with was never knowing whether or not the brilliant story idea I had was going to resonate with readers. Would a story generate lots of congratulations, letters, and other feedback? Or would it barely create a ripple? The […]