Building an Audience with Social Media: How Senior Mia Campbell Is Contributing to ORU’s Historic Enrollment Growth
Hometown: Madisonville, Louisiana
Last summer, ORU’s Mia Campbell took an internship with FOX Ad Sales in New York City. Working with the FOX portfolio, including the FOX Sports brand, Mia’s job was to provide client research, a position that fell under the Portfolio Strategy team. But before her internship with FOX, Mia was coming up with strategies to help ORU grow. As a student, Mia helps oversee @HeadedtoORU, an Instagram account that was created by ORU Admissions. This account, which connects with new and prospective students, has helped ORU’s enrollment grow for the 14th consecutive year.
“Because of social media,” Mia said, “we’re engaging with students all over the world. @HeadedtoORU allows students to experience college life from anywhere and long before they step onto campus or decide to enroll. I've talked to students who follow @HeadedtoORU, and some of them say my social media work is a big reason they came to ORU.”
Creating Connections That Change Lives
Building connections—whether it be through social media or face-to-face—can change a person’s life. At ORU, faculty and staff make student engagement a priority, a practice that’s earned ORU a Top 10 ranking for Student Engagement (Wall Street Journal) three years in a row. On a personal level, Mia understands the importance of these engagements and connections because without them, her future would’ve looked very different.
“After high school,” Mia said, “I was going to work with international missions, but during my junior year in Louisiana, I connected with ORU’s Director of Peer Success, which was my first introduction to the University. After that, I visited the campus, met professors, and ORU just felt right. There was this peace, and to this day, I can’t quite explain it. When you know something’s right, when something fits, it’s hard to say ‘no.’”
Since arriving at ORU, Mia has witnessed a historic expansion across the University. Not only is ORU’s enrollment growing, the campus is growing too with four new buildings to be completed over the next two years. With these improvements (and with a little help from ORUs’ Sweet 16 trip in 2021), Mia says she’s seen a growing energy among students and a big increase in school spirit.
Spotlighting ORU’s Spirit-Empowered Culture
There’s so much more to ORU’s story than just growth and expansion. As a storyteller, Mia doesn’t use social media to simply highlight these accomplishments. Yes, facts are shared, but Mia also uses @HeadedtoORU to highlight ORU’s culture. This culture offers students more than just an education; the University’s culture—a Spirit-empowered culture—strengthens spiritual growth and sets students up for long-term success.
“When I think of Spirit-empowerment,” Mia said, “I think of it two ways. There’s ‘empowerment’ at ORU, which means we give people a place where they feel seen, known, and loved. This inspires students to do well and to take their skills to another level. And ‘Spirit’ can be looked at both biblically and non-biblically. ORU students are spirited because they believe they can do anything, but they’re also spirited because they have an excitement for the Holy Spirit in their lives.”
Out of this Spirit-empowered culture, Mia says ORU is graduating students who know their calling, their passions, and their next steps forward. Thinking of her own next steps, Mia, who’s majoring in public relations and advertising, sees herself working as a creative director where she can implement big ideas for an organization or business. And while her future may not include social media work, Mia sees social media, when used correctly, as an important part of sharing the Gospel.
“If you’re a church or if you’re a missionary,” Mia said, “you should be using social media to show the love of Christ. The danger is in using social media to mix Jesus and popular culture because Jesus’ whole mindset was completely opposite to what popular culture emphasizes. The whole point of Jesus is that He comes into culture and shatters us all. The end goal is Jesus no matter what, and social media is best used when Jesus is placed into it instead of placing social media culture into Jesus.”