Homecoming queen candidate includes UA marketing materials in campaign

Ainsley Platt | @ainsleyplatt, News Editor 

The University of Alabama posted promotional photos and videos of homecoming queen candidate Ellery Hill on its social media pages in the days leading up to her announcement as a candidate.  

The posts, which started on Sept. 27, are part of the Division of Strategic Communications’ 2022 “Where Legends Are Made” marketing campaign. Most recently, Hill was posted on the University’s Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts on Oct. 7, the day before her candidacy for homecoming queen was announced.  

Hill was first featured in a tweet posted on Sept. 27 promoting a feature written about her by the Division of Strategic Communications. The content of the tweet was also posted to the University’s official Instagram on Sept. 28.  

Sept. 27 was two days after final scoring for homecoming queen candidates, and was supposed to be the date the candidates were announced, until the date was pushed back. The candidates were announced on Oct. 8. 

Hill said she did not find out about her status as a finalist for homecoming queen until Sept. 27, when the first post was made. The new guidelines do not have a specific policy on University-affiliated PR involving homecoming queen candidates. 

My invitation to participate in the ‘Where Legends Are Made’ campaign was based off my longstanding involvement in the Culverhouse Investment Management Group and multiple internships in the financial realm,” Hill said in response to questions about whether the social media posts would benefit her homecoming queen campaign. “My involvement is unrelated to my ambitions to be Homecoming Queen and the timing was determined by UA’s Strategic Communications team.” 

Hill has the feature and video from the marketing campaign linked in her Instagram Linktree, which she is currently using to promote her campaign for homecoming queen. 

Monica Watts, the associate vice president of communication, said in a statement that the Division of Strategic Communications had “no involvement” in the homecoming queen candidate selection process. The Crimson White has previously corresponded with Strategic Communications about the new homecoming selection process.  

“The Division of Strategic Communications … was not aware of Ellery’s candidacy until the list of preliminary candidates was released,” Watts’ statement read. “[Hill] was one of many students selected to be included in the University’s latest television commercial and marketing campaign last spring.” 

In addition to Hill, three other students are part of the marketing and social media campaign.  

According to Watts, the posting schedule for the social media campaign was determined before the semester started. 

Rosalind Moore-Miller, the chairwoman of the Homecoming Steering and Advisory Committee and associate vice president for student engagement, did not respond to a request for comment.