Jackson State University Communications Named a Finalist for 2022 PRSA Anvil Awards

Jackson, Miss. – The Jackson State University (JSU) Office of University Communications has been selected as a finalist for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Anvil Awards for Best Use of Social Media. Of the hundreds of entries submitted, only those the Anvil Judges deemed to have exceeded an extremely high threshold for quality have made it through to the shortlist. The winners will be announced on Thursday, May 19, 2022.

“Thank you to the Public Relations Society of America for recognizing Jackson State University among our national peers as having one of the top social media campaigns of the year,” said Alonda Thomas, JSU chief communications officer and associate vice president for marketing and communications. “This initiative was one component of an integrated fundraising strategy that involved the tireless efforts of many JSU units, including marketing, alumni relations and the Office of Development and Institutional Advancement. Congratulations to the entire team for producing a successful campaign deserving of industry praise.”

In an effort to increase giving from alumni and general donors alike, the JSU Office of University Communications and the Division of Institutional Advancement created an annual fundraising event called JSU Day of Giving. The objective was to raise $500,000 within a 24-hour period through the use of social media engagement. As part of the campaign, a virtual telethon show was produced to share on social media via a Facebook Live premiere and engagement on Twitter and Instagram. The social team set a goal to reach a minimum of 10K viewers for the livestream and day of event viewing.

“The JSU digital media team is widely known for consistently creating social media initiatives that exceed the normal expectations for institutions of higher learning,” said Spencer McClenty, director of digital media communications. “We’ve learned how to collaborate with other university units to inform and engage our audiences in a way that produces real results. Therefore, we’re beyond grateful to the PRSA for this recognition of the efforts of everyone involved with the JSU Day of Giving production.”

In September 2021, a nationwide study by Rival IQ showed JSU’s social media engagement is ranked highest among all other competing higher education institutions in Mississippi. JSU is also the overall second-highest ranked Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the country.

Kentrice Rush, JSU digital media manager, said: “It is always an honor to be recognized for the work that is done to propel JSU’s presence on social media. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work with everyone who made the successful JSU Day of Giving production possible, and I hope we can bring home a win for the University.”