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Saint Mary’s launches hashtag campaign on social media

| Thursday, January 21, 2016

Saint Mary’s initiated a new social media campaign this semester by implementing two new Instagram hashtags, #BellesOfSaintMarys and #SMCseniormoments.

Junior communications major Kate FitzMaurice, who is a new Saint Mary’s media relations intern for Director of Media Relations Gwen O’Brien, thought of the hastag #BellesOfSaintMarys in order to get students involved with the College on social media.

O’Brien said she initiated the campaign due to the past success of another Instagram tag, #SMCsummerlearn.

“Social media is one way … to give other students, prospective students and parents an opportunity to have a glimpse of what goes on here and what the student experience is,” O’Brien said.

FitzMaurice said her idea was inspired by the popular blog, “Humans of New York.”

“I was thinking about how much I love that blog and thought, ‘Why don’t we do something here?’” FitzMaurice said. 

“Humans of New York” is a blog started by photographer Brandon Stanton, according to its Facebook page. Stanton goes around New York to interview people on the street and features these peoples’ stories on his blog.

“He finds and brings out interesting things about them,” FitzMaurice said.

She thought a similar idea would be a fun way to bring the Saint Mary’s campus to life on social media, FitzMaurice said.

“I thought there are a lot of faces that you see and recognize on campus, but you don’t really know anything about them,” FitzMaurice said.

O’Brien said she quickly approved of FitzMaurice’s idea.

“I wouldn’t have come up, honestly, with the ‘Humans of New York’ idea on my own,” O’Brien said. “I need the younger perspective — it’s very valuable.”

FitzMaurice said she hopes the campaign promotes a sense of community for students.

“I hope that #BellesOfSaintMarys further promotes the sense of community we have here at Saint Mary’s,” FitzMaurice said. “It gives us a chance to celebrate and be supportive of each other’s unique talents and ideas.”

Senior Melissa Fitzpatrick, who is also a media relations intern under O’Brien, came up with the hashtag #SMCseniormoments exclusively for Saint Mary’s seniors.

“It’s their bucket list of things they want to do before they graduate, or their feelings and thoughts about Saint Mary’s, or what Saint Mary’s means to them,” FitzMaurice said.

Fitzpatrick said her idea was inspired by her feelings about her final semester at Saint Mary’s.

There are so many emotions — excitement, fear, relief, accomplishment — overall, it’s bittersweet,” Fitzpatrick said.

“I want this social media campaign to give the senior class a chance to slow it down, recognize our accomplishments, laugh a little and, most importantly, remember our final moments at Saint Mary’s.”

Both campaigns were made for the students, O’Brien said. 

The students have this energy that is truly what Saint Mary’s is,” O’Brien said. “It’s confident, it’s fun, it’s fresh. It really can be anything they want to be.

“Who knows what we’ll find out as students start sharing their stories.”

Both interns said they have enjoyed interacting with the Saint Mary’s student body on social media.

“Honestly, it’s just so fun getting to know people,” FitzMaurice said. “I’ve loved interviewing people and I hope that I can bring that excitement to all of Saint Mary’s through the social media campaign.”

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