Colleges in Alabama and beyond are increasingly challenged to demonstrate their value and the unique opportunities they provide to students. Publicizing achievements of successful students externally has become a critical focus for institutional marketing offices. Today, Jacksonville State University announced that through a partnership with Merit, the university will be recognizing and sharing personalized stories of every student’s on-campus success with each one’s hometown communities and other stakeholders.
Jacksonville State joins Troy University, Samford University, the University of Alabama, and 250+ other colleges in the country already using Merit’s software platform to scale efforts to tell more personalized stories about student achievement and connect those stories to key audiences like high schools, community newspapers, state legislators, and friends and family. JSU plans to publicize student achievements such as academic honors, co-curriculars, and athletics.
“Merit will make it easy for our university to tell more stories about more students, said Buffy Lockette, director of public relations, who will be leading the use of Merit on JSU’s campus. “We can engage our faculty and staff in identifying positive student milestones, and then make sure thousands of community news outlets are hearing about the accomplishments of specific JSU students from that area,” she said.
Each time JSU uses Merit to promote student success, those stories will be published online to a personalized Merit page for each student that cataloges their accomplishments and can be shared with potential employers or friends and family through social media.
Merit’s rapid growth comes at a time when many colleges and universities are finding it vital to connect with stakeholders about the value that their institution provides, and who seek to demonstrate this impact with personal, meaningful examples of student success that are targeted to specific audiences.
“Effective marketing in higher ed today requires lots of content and lots of personalization, and then ensuring that all that content is reaching the right audiences,” said Amy Mengel, Merit’s vice president of marketing. “Merit makes it possible for Institutions like Jacksonville State University to scale their storytelling efforts and repeatedly connect with audiences that they just couldn’t otherwise afford to,” Mengel said.
Jacksonville State plans to roll out Merit in the spring semester.