Getting the word out on campus
In this section
•Explaining Merit: a short slide deck you can use
•Answering internal questions:
‣ What is Merit?
‣ Why do we need Merit?
‣ How do I know Merit works?
‣ and more...
Explaining Merit: A short slide deck you can use
Answering internal questions like...
What is Merit?
Merit is software that we use to recognize
and publicize the accomplishments and
activities of our students.
Using Merit gets positive attention for our
university by showcasing the outcomes
that make us unique.
Merit is extremely effective at getting our
message into social and local media, and
giving students a high quality presence
We can use Merit to promote big,
university-wide accomplishments like the
Dean’s List, or program- and event-specific
Why do we need Merit?
The job of marketing, communications and PR is getting attention
so that prospective students, parents, alumni and employers care about our outcomes.
Audiences are not where we used to find them. Print media readership is down 30%.
All media has fragmented into smaller, more specialized audiences. Think of cable
It’s not as easy to get the message we want through the media. Everyone wants to
hear what’s relevant and specific to themselves. We need more direct
communication with key audiences.
Audiences are much less trusting of advertising and the media in general.
Personalized recommendations and word-of-mouth marketing is twice as trustworthy,
and we need a way to make that a real part of our tactics.
The issues above mean that traditional advertising gives us less bang for the buck.
We need to incorporate tools that address those gaps more effectively.
We need to prove that our investments are generating attention.
Why does Merit work?
Merit addresses the 5 challenges faced by all traditional marketing & PR
Only Merit consistently and reliably reaches and engages our audience
Public relations Advertising Direct mail
No one reads
hard to audit7
Advertising across all media is 50%
less trustworthy than word of
Reports, social media
clipping & peer
Need to repeat
“50% of my
funnel also costly9
How does Merit work?
1 2 3
Students make the
Dean’s List, study
abroad, join a service
that tell our university’s
Whether it’s one student
or 1,000, within as little as
5 minutes a PR or comms
staffer creates and
stories for each person
Merit kicks off social media
sharing that generates real word-of-
mouth marketing about our
Students, parents, former teachers
and other fans and followers get
emails linking them to the
students’ university-branded Merit
Merit tracks, measures
and reports on the
Merit even sends customized
press releases to hometown
newspapers to generate
awareness in local press.
Students receive an email
notification with a link to
meritpages.com, where they
can view their achievement
and easily share the good
news with family and friends.
Merit also creates and
distributes a version of the
achievement to each
What is a Merit page?
When you grant an achievement, 1) a personalized Merit page is created for each
student on meritpages.com, 2) a copy of the achievement is sent to each students’
hometown newspaper, and 3) students receive an email notification with a link to their
When a student claims their Merit page, they have the option to enhance their profile by
adding a photo, additional academic activities, and work experience. Creating a positive
online identity will benefit the student as they move forward in their academic career and
later on when they seek employment.
Each achievement contains options for students to
share the goods news with family and friends via
email or social media channels.
Achievements granted by
Academic activities and
accomplishments added by
Work experience added by
How do I know Merit works?
*Customized date range for ultimate
understanding of engagement
*Number of achievements granted
*Percentage of active and passive engagers, as
well as opt-out rate
*Online page views generated from Merit
*Number of media outlets reached
*Number of Government Representatives
*Number of High Schools reached through use of
*Social Media Reach
*A numeric breakdown for each achievement
Each report can be emailed to relevant internal
FAQ 1: What other neat things does Merit do?
Calculates geographic reach
We can see the hometowns of students
who receive achievements on a heat
map. This allows us to support
admissions, development and other
departments with information about
Merit reaches international students and
their social networks as easily as it does
domestic ones, allowing us to build
brand awareness in hard-to-reach
Strengthens parent relations
Parents can opt to receive updates
when their child’s achievement is
recognized. This keeps them “in the
loop” with good news and promotes
affiliation with our university.
FAQ 2: Are there privacy concerns with Merit?
Merit is designed to use only “directory information” as defined by FERPA,
which is explicitly public. Directory information includes, by statute and
interpretation, at minimum:
• Student name
• Address, telephone listing and email address
• Date and place of birth
• Honors and awards
• Participation in officially recognized sports and activities
Directory information can be more expansive; university policy dictates the
For example, Harvard’s “Common Set” of directory information is extensive:
Merit includes opt-out provisions that give students extensive control over this
information. Merit will even prevent us from publicizing a student’s achievements
accidentally if he or she has already opted out through the software.
FAQ 3: Who can I contact if I have questions?
Tell internal stakeholders they can contact you.
You can say, “We’re available to use Merit to promote accomplishments and activities taking place in your program.
To use Merit most effectively, please let us know the names and email addresses of the students you’re promoting,
and a short description of their achievement.”
Primary points of contact can include
Merit manager: responsible for the decision to purchase, implement, and oversee Merit’s use
Merit champion: the appointed primary user is responsible for collecting student data, identifying,
writing, and sending achievements.
Merit brand liaison: a representative from your graphics department who will assist with the creation of
your landing page and or your custom badge set.
FAQ 3: Who can I contact if I have questions?
They can find answers in the Merit Knowledge
http://readmedia.desk.com is a great resource for nitty-gritty
questions about how Merit works.
Contact our Merit account team anytime!
Merit’s account team is extremely helpful. You can reach these
contacts at 518.429.2800 or email@example.com.
Head of Customer
I need help. Stat! (print me out and hang me up)
Merit Knowledge Base:
Merit team! Contact us anytime: 1.800.522.2194 or
How do I use Merit?
Register for a one of our free weekly trainings: