The hottest campus job is ‘COVID influencer’

Reminding other students to wear masks? Your school might pay you for it.


September 29, 2020

It’s a rough time to be in college PR.

For schools that have returned to in-person classes, every day seems to bring new headlines about COVID-19 outbreaks.

Colleges are terrified of a reputational nosedive. So some — like Temple University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Maryland — are paying or have plans to pay student influencers to encourage safety protocols on social media.

Influencers want to reach everyone

One Mizzou influencer, Caleb Poorman, reminds other students to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask on Instagram.

Other influencers are more focused on future applicants.

The popular Insta twins Brooklyn and Bailey have for years had a paid partnership with Baylor University to make the school look “cool” to high school students.

When the twins contracted the virus, they emphasized that Baylor has “taken every precaution, including mandating masks, requiring students to test negative before coming back to school, and many, many more precautions.”

But influencing for your college isn’t going to pay your tuition

At the University of Maryland, which plans to hire student influencers soon, one social post will be worth the equivalent of 15-30 minutes of work at the school’s hourly wage — meaning, probably, just a few dollars.

Other influencing salaries might be a notch higher. The University of Missouri gave an influencer marketing firm $10.3k to hire 6 students.

It’s not clear how much cash each student is getting, but it probably can’t top room-and-board charges.

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