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Behind TwillyP: Jaclyn Antonacci

NAME: Jaclyn Antonacci
YEAR: Senior
MAJOR: Print Journalism / Media Studies
HOMETOWN: Ship Bottom, LBI
FUN FACT: I’ve been to Newport Folk Fest every year since I was 18. It’s my favorite place in the entire world.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.” – Tina Fey
HC: TwillyP has been such a great success on campus. What made you think of starting a student based twitter account?
JA: In the spring of 2012, Kim Casamento, Shannon Cleary and I were hired as student social media interns for the marketing department. We were given a name and a goal; Twillyp (a play on Twitter + Willyp) was to be a student-run social media campaign designed to build a stronger online community. While there was already a video and a concept in place, it really became our job to create a campaign that would stick. We began by just trying to get the word out however we could. Our very first action was to write “#Twillyp” in chalk across campus, so we like to say that we literally built Twillyp from the ground up. We’ve come such a long way from the early days of Twillyp. Through trial and error we eventually found our voice, improved our production quality, and discovered how to amplify each team member’s strengths.
HC: William Paterson has its own twitter account. What sets TwillyP apart from it?
JA: The official WPUNJ_edu Twitter is wonderful, but the account is limited because it needs to appeal to an incredibly broad audience. Twillyp has the luxury of being able to cater to an audience of mostly students, which means we’re able to share things that really only a Pioneer would understand. Being a student here is such a special experience, and part of what we love doing is talking about and sharing the parts of WP that make it so unique.
The fact that we’re also students here means that we’re able to understand and share with the community in a way that is authentic. When someone tweets us because they’re frustrated with parking, we get it. And when someone tweets us about how great Javier’s sandwiches are, we really, really get it.
HC: It didn’t take long for students to hear about it, and embrace the idea. Now you have 2,115 followers on Twitter! Were you expecting all of the positive feedback?
JA: We’re constantly amazed and grateful that so many people are willing to share their WP experience with us. We might run a Twitter account, but they are the real Twillyp. It’s incredible because each of those followers represent someone in our community who has experienced campus in a different way. Our campus is so diverse, and I think it’s a really beautiful thing that so many students have come together under Twillyp to celebrate the things that unite us. 
HC: How did you get started? Did you have a team to brainstorm with?
JA: I’m incredibly lucky to be able to work with a supportive, creative team in an environment that’s really open to our ideas. Kim, Shannon and I each have incredibly different personalities and perspectives, which makes for a really interesting and exciting creative process.
HC: After you graduate, do you plan on handing down the TwillyP account to another student?
JA: Kim is a graduate student with one year left, and Shannon is a junior, so this is something that we think about a lot. I don’t think it will be difficult to find students to inherit Twillyp after we’ve graduated. The momentum is there, and there is definitely no shortage of enthusiastic, talented students at WP.
HC: Now that we’re on the topic, where do you see yourself post-graduation?
JA: Over the past two years I have completely fallen in love with social media. The opportunity to unite people across the world in such an exciting and rewarding field. My academic background and first love are print journalism, so I’m incredibly interested in finding a career where I can really blend that traditional journalism with new media.
HC: Lastly, do you have any college advice for future Pioneers?
JA: It sounds so cliché, but putting yourself out there is really the best thing you can do. All the best things that happened to me in college happened because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. And, of course, everyone should follow Twillyp.
Follow TwillyP on Twitter!
Megan Galema is a senior at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. She is a double major in Print Journalism and Public Relations. She was appointed the development manager and managing editor of Her Campus WPUNJ, where she gets to work hands on with the new members of the chapter. Megan began as a contributing writer since it first launched in March 2013. She also works for Undergraduate Admissions at WPUNJ as the special tour coordinator and writes for The Pioneer Times. Megan is also a contributing writer for an online music magazine, EDGE, that highlights local bands, charity organizations and up and coming photographers.  
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