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Hometown Newsmaker isn't just a great tool for your institution, it's a boon for your students, as well. By using the platform, you'll be promoting their accomplishments on and creating a positive online presence for them, which can help them land jobs or internships. So make sure that your students know about your use of the platform and are on board!

Key things to know:

The information contained in hometown news stories is covered under FEPRA as "directory information", so you do not need to have students "opt-in" to allow you to write stories about their accomplishments. 

Students should have the ability to "opt-out" of releasing directory information, and you should know who has opted out and not include those students in your spreadsheets. Check with your registrar or student records office to find out about your institution's opt-out process.

Key things to do:
  • Review your institution's opt-out policy and process for directory information. Do you give students the opportunity to opt-out upon enrollment? At the start of the academic year? Make sure that your registrar filters the opted-out students when they provide you data for your spreadsheets.
  • Let your students know about! Send an email to your student body informing them that your institution will be using Hometown Newsmaker to send stories about their accomplishments to their local newspapers and online. Here's an email template we recommend:

Dear Students,

Wake Forest University wants to make sure that you're recognized for your achievements. The university has started using a platform called to publicize your accomplishments, like making the dean's list, completing a study abroad program, or winning a scholarship. This platform allows us to send news items about your achievements back to your hometown newspapers, and also publishes them on the web.

Your online reputation is important - 75% of employers Google an applicant's name at some point in the hiring process. By using, Wake Forest will help ensure that you have a positive online profile and that employers can easily discover your achievements.

When Wake Forest issues news stories about your accomplishments, you'll receive an email with a link to view your story online. You can connect with Facebook and add your photo and share your achievement with friends and family.

You always have the option to "opt-out" of publicity about your success by following the university's opt-out process. Click here to opt-out. [Insert a link to direct students to your institution's opt-out process]

We look forward to celebrating your achievements with your local hometown media and online at Keep up the good work and be on the lookout for emails about your accomplishments!

  • Send matriculation announcements for entering freshmen each year. This familiarizes new students with right away and gets them comfortable with seeing their achievements. It can strengthen their ties with the university and inspire them to participate in more activities and achieve more accolades so that they can have more accomplishments listed on their profile.