Promoting Blue Jays news

Credit: illustration by John S. Dykes

Alumni-to-alumni networking is especially important during the pandemic, and the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association is making it easier to share university news, discoveries, and opportunities online. Through Hopkins Promoters, launched in 2018, alumni, parents, and students can act as social media influencers, or ambassadors, for the university they love. While the 676 active participants have already made almost 800,000 connections with their posts, there is always room to grow.

"From recent graduates to longtime volunteers, Hopkins Promoters attracts participants who want to bang the drum for Johns Hopkins," says Gwen Harley, senior associate director of communications. "It's a good way for alumni to engage with the university community from anywhere—easily and cost-free— and make a difference by promoting our most important initiatives."

Hopkins Promoters provides its ambassadors with pre-written social media posts they receive by email twice a week and simply click to share with their followers. Facebook is the most popular sharing platform, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter. Ambassadors earn points by generating social media traffic and recruiting friends to join the program. The more points, the more chances they have to win prizes, including a swag bag filled with Johns Hopkins–branded accessories.

Hopkins Promoters uses an engagement software platform called SocialToaster, which was founded by entrepreneur Brian Razzaque, Engr '00, in 2009.

Ambassadors represent all nine academic divisions of the university and span generations, with 47 being the average age. They expand the university's reach for campus announcements, such as those pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, and messages from President Daniels, along with news about alumni programs and events.

Paul Matlin, Peab '70, '72 (MM), Bus '81, Engr '84, was among the first to sign up for Hopkins Promoters. A 2018 Alumni Association Heritage Award winner, Matlin has served the university and the Alumni Association as a longtime volunteer.

"It's just so easy to participate in Hopkins Promoters," he says. "And there's a good sense of giving back." To join Hopkins Promoters, visit

Posted in Alumni

Tagged alumni, networking