As we proceed in to 2011, many alumni clubs and organizations are in the process of changing leadership.  Whether this change is a new president or a new committee chairperson, boards and individuals should see this transition time as an opportunity.  In addition to the usual internal processes transitioning boards go through (updating rosters, websites, etc.), boards need to spend some time considering their external audiences.

From a logistical stand point, consider what goals you should set as a board for the upcoming year, and keep your audiences in mind when you do so.  For example, suppose you want to better serve your constituents by giving them more advance notice of events, and hopefully increasing attendance as a result.  This could lead to an organization goal of adopting an electronic communications plan, utilizing more social media, or creating a calendar system so individuals within the club are more organized and better prepared to promote upcoming activities.

Organizations should also use this transition time as an opportunity to connect with constituents.  Have your outgoing leadership prepare a short statement with a year-in-review theme to update your audience on organizational successes throughout the previous year.  Have your incoming leadership introduce themselves and outline goals and plans for the following year.  This transition communication can serve to excite and retain audience members who may be wary of change.

By keeping both your internal and external audiences in mind, organizations can set themselves up for a successful new year.