‘Learn more, earn more, be more in New Jersey’ is the motto driving the higher education public affairs campaign (www.BeMoreinNJ.org), launched on May 20, 2020 by the New Jersey Presidents’ Council (NJPC). Representing all sectors of New Jersey’s higher education community (two year, four year, research, public, private, proprietary colleges and universities), NJPC worked with governmental and business leaders to develop the campaign as a strategy for publicizing the outstanding qualities of New Jersey’s higher education institutions. The initial launch of the campaign was delayed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which also altered admissions processes at the higher education institutions that comprise the NJPC. Many of New Jersey’s colleges and universities are now looking forward to re-energizing their efforts to inspire students to recognize the value and benefits of a New Jersey education.
“In New Jersey, students can receive an education that prepares them for an abundance of success. Those attending colleges and universities in our state benefit from an array of outstanding institutions, proximity to major financial market centers and growth industries, unsurpassed diversity and culture, as well as post-graduation earning power that places them ahead of their peers from other states. Our K-12 education system in New Jersey often is recognized as the best in the nation, and it now is time for people to understand that higher education in New Jersey is equally strong and worthy of being recognized as such,” said NJIT President Joel Bloom, who serves as president of the Presidents’ Council.
Last year ago, the presidents appointed a task force of higher education, business, and government leaders to work on developing a public affairs campaign that would feature a website and video. NJPC, upon a recommendation from the task force, hired a media consultant to produce the infrastructure for the project. Based on a survey of a demographically representative group of New Jersey parents and students, the consultant created and tested a video that communicated the desired message about higher education in New Jersey. NJPC now is engaged in a statewide distribution of the video and webpage.
Choose New Jersey, a privately funded economic development organization, is supporting the NJPC initiative by hosting the Be More in NJ video and webpage www.BeMoreinNJ.org on its website. To measure the reach of the campaign, Choose New Jersey is also providing data on web traffic, including visits and video views.
“New Jersey’s higher education institutions have a lot to offer students, from research-intensive experiences to small liberal arts colleges and everything in between. Our hope is that this campaign will highlight the diversity of higher education in the state and the benefits it provides to students,” said Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis, secretary of Higher Education.
“We are thrilled to have this resource as we go throughout the state to promote an understanding of New Jersey’s generous grant and loan programs that offer another invaluable quality to higher education in NJ – affordability,” said David Socolow, executive director of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA).
NJBIA president Michele Siekerka, who served on the NJPC task force, sees multiple beneficiaries to this project – students, parents, taxpayers, and employers who value and rely on New Jersey’s skilled workforce. “This campaign is an investment in retaining students in the state and bolstering the quality of the workforce,” she said.
“As New Jersey emerges from the pandemic, we have employers in the life sciences that are still bullish on New Jersey and very eager to hire graduates of New Jersey institutions,” said Randi Bromberg, vice president of Communications and Marketing at BioNJ.
For further information, please contact Allison Samay, director of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, firstname.lastname@example.org.