Rutgers University’s decision to distribute a press release, on April 1st, regarding Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s speaking engagement was either ironic or genius. Speculation about the April Fool’s Day release had the Internet a chatter about the validity of the story. But as days passed no one from Rutgers came out to take responsibility for the prank.
Rutgers University reportedly paid the Jersey Shore star, Snooki, $32,000 to educate its students on the benefits of tanning, self esteem, and always having a work hard, play harder mentality or in Snooki’s terms, “study hard, but play harder.” The University comes under a fire storm of controversy, not just for inviting the reality TV star (best known for being punched in the face at a bar and being arrested for disorderly conduct) to the campus, but for paying her $2,000 more than Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison, who will speak at the university’s graduation ceremony in May.
Although a controversial decision, one wrought with repercussion from both parents and students, Hollywood Reporter announced that 2,000 people came to Rutgers to hear Snooki’s pearls of wisdom. Jersey Shore fan or not, there must be an underlying reason for choosing such a mainstream star to rock the boat. As we have all noticed, the economy has taken a toll on every institution, with no exception to the institution of higher education. Tuition has gone up, expenses are higher than ever and students are looking for a good education at a good price. Is it true that any publicity (positive or negative) is better than no publicity at all?
Rutgers paid $32,000 to Snooki and in return received nationwide coverage for the school, coverage that would have cost them a pretty penny and publicity Rutgers’ budget may not have been able to afford. Is Rutgers trying to ride the wave of Snooki’s fame? Was the Snooki gig a genius PR move or a detriment to the school’s reputation?
Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.
*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce