Why Jakhia Gray’s “Golden Ticket” Campaign Is The Best In HBCU History (An Analysis)

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When I speak on the HBCU Pulse Instagram Story, I always say, “Those that don’t write their history are doomed to be erased from it.” Election season is one of the most important times in HBCU life. Students are charged with scheming up elaborate campaigns with ideas that cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to be implemented. I’ve seen many impressive campaigns over my years in college, especially this Spring. Alacia Brew, the newly elected Miss Southern University and our Queen Ambassador, comes to mind for her “Class Act” Miss SU campaign. She stayed on theme!  I could go on for paragraphs talking about the other stand out campaigns that I’ve seen but I’ll leave that for later on in April when everything’s said and done. However, this article is for Jakhia.

Jakhia had the best election campaign that I’ve ever seen, SGA included. Jakhia set the standard for what a campaign could be and how far it can travel. The support that Jakhia drew around the nation for her “Golden Ticket” campaign is immeasurable. Students vying for positions at their own institutions stopped to marvel at the historic greatness that Jakhia has displayed. The fact that I had the chance to meet, network with and even befriend Jakhia before this campaign is amazing.

I met Jakhia by happenstance. She reached out to me to let me know how much she loved the brand of HBCU Pulse, specifically the IG story. “I watch it every day!” she told me. Immediately, ever the forward thinking media entrepreneur, I asked if she could cover Alcorn’s campaign life. At the time, I didn’t even know she was running. I thought she was a graduating senior, with all of her prior accomplishments and vast networking connections. We then proceeded to speak more and she hinted that she was running for a position. I correctly guessed that she was running for Miss Alcorn, knowing that was the only position that would fit a woman of her caliber. I knew that she would come with the heat. I didn’t know she’d make history though.

I don’t even think Jakhia fully realizes what she’s done. As I write this, she’s still on the emotional high of finding out that she’s won the position she’d worked so hard for. I know phone literally has hundreds of notifications of her peers congratulating her and giving her well wishes. After announcing that she’d won on Twitter and Instagram, I know that I’m contributing to the vast amount of notifications that she’s getting. As Jakhia processes her win and we bask in adulation and wait in anticipation at her reign, let’s recap her campaign and confront why it’s the best ever.

She Had Social Media Popping Popping

Don’t you hate when everyone is sharing the same flyer or video over and over again? Jakhia didn’t have that problem at all. She started out on the morning of March 18th with a motion graphic that looked like a promo from Scandal. The sheer quality of the graphic mesmerized Alcorn students and HBCU students at other schools alike. They were tuned in to her campaign. Immediately they had the urge to post about it themselves on their social media. You know what Jakhia did? She started to share the posts of people talking about her! Her IG story was full of people cheering her on and even outwardly promoted her.

Her Twitter was on fire too, just not in the way you’d think for campaign week. Normally, you see the campaign team on their pages and the school hashtags reposting the same verbiage over and over again. However, you saw a change with Jakhia. All I saw throughout the week was people willingly tweeting about her contributions to Alcorn in her time in student leadership. Hashtags were started such as #howIMetJakiahG. She started a thread listing everything that she’d done in student leadership. She even made a thread asking students what they wanted to see in the upcoming year.

The variance of these posts, along with the cool movie clips that she superimposed her image in, caused people to discuss her more. As they discussed her more on Twitter, her name became a trending topic in the HBCUSphere. As her name started to trend, the mystique of her campaign started to rise. Perception was reality. Jakhia had too much support to lose. If she’s garnering this much love from around the nation, how could she?

Jakhia is no slouch when it comes to social media. Her following on IG before the campaign was 6,000+ with thousands of people that would like her pictures and videos every day consistently. Her Twitter has 5,000+ followers with a video of her dressed impeccably that has nearly 90,000 views and it was posted on January 7th of this year. Jakhia wasn’t a rookie to this and her and her campaign team took on Twitter and sparked national attention that’ll follow her into her reign.

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She Campaigned Fiercely

I swear, if you were reading a post from Jakhia or watched videos featuring her, you could feel the energy that she exuded. She wanted this. It didn’t take a conversation for you to see that! Her spirit was infectious. You could tell that she was having fun with everything but still took her campaign seriously. This describes every candidate vying for a position at their institution, especially the ones that are already extra. Jakhia had a different type of intensity though. With her excitement and vivacious energy came tact. You could see the poise oozing from her as she walked across the stage at the Miss Alcorn State pageant. I could sense a passion that rivaled that of an athlete in a championship game.

That tact and attention to detail by her and her team leads to one of the most noteworthy points of why Jakhia’s campaign stood out from the rest.

Every Event Mattered

The way that Jakhia and her team planned out the “Golden Ticket” themed events was brilliant. From the majorette style performance in the cafe that had social media going crazy to the circus event that looked more like a circus than a real circus, every event mattered. She even teased that a golden ticket would be given out at every event and that the golden ticket would be a gateway to a bigger price. Often times at our institutions, all we want to do is have a dope experience. We want to see events on campus that are different and push us out the box. Jakhia was able to deliver that flawlessly, within her theme, and created a feeling amongst Alcorn students that drove them to vote for her.

Speaking of driving, the Carpool Karaoke theme that her campaign team came up with was amazing in itself. Once again, it allowed them to put something else on social media that would be able to promote Jakhia’s campaign while also giving prospective voters the ease and convenience of driving to the polls to vote.

All in all, everything that Jakhia did just worked. This win couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person, as her kindness and love for her university traveled further than she even could imagine. Jakhia has to be commended for her winning efforts. I urge the HBCU world to formulate your own opinions and take us down memory lane to other HBCU election campaigns that broke the mold. There’s a reason why Jakhia’s went national and stayed that way. The standard has been set. Now that the Golden Ticket has been secured, one can only imagine what else is in store.

 

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