DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Students recruit ‘The Bachelor’ guest speakers with TikTok campaign

Students recruit ‘The Bachelor’ guest speakers with TikTok campaign

Nate Mitchell, a former contestant on The Bachelor, stands in front of a classroom of students

Nate Mitchell, who was on Season 19 of "The Bachelorette," spoke to students in the College of Communication class "Examining Bachelor Nation." (Mary Hansen/DePaul University)

Watching the reality show "The Bachelor" might seem like a mindless activity. But for College of Communication instructor Adriane Stoner, each spring the show offers fodder for her interpersonal communication course "Examining Bachelor Nation."

"We dissect 'The Bachelor' franchise in a way that reveals a lot about our social systems, structures and norms, and getting the opportunity to talk with cast members, leads and producers adds another fascinating layer by revealing more about industry practices and dynamics," Stoner says.

Inviting guest speakers is a fun and collaborative process, Stoner says. This quarter, DePaul students used TikTok to recruit 20 guest speakers, including cast members, leads, producers and a clinical psychologist from the Unscripted Cast Advocacy Network. Parin Sensenbrenner, a sophomore studying communication and media, and Ruthie Salita, a senior studying communication and technology, shared how they made the viral videos and what they learned.

How did you use TikTok to engage with guest speakers?

Parin Sensenbrenner: We spent the first day coming up with different ideas to best reach "Bachelor Nation," and we thought the global reach that TikTok has would be our best bet. Thus, the creation of @studentsofbachelornation! Every member of our class contributed to the success of our account by coming up with content ideas, starring in our TikToks, and interacting with the contestants who commented on our page.

The first video we posted on the account was "A plea to bachelor nation" to accept our metaphorical rose and Zoom with us. With over 800,000 views, 71,400 likes, and more than 25 contestants willing to speak with us, we were a success! After each Zoom/visit, we asked if the interviewees would be willing to make a video with us. Each ask was reciprocated with an enthusiastic "yes!" and our comedic videos continued our social media reach and growth.

What behind-the-scenes insights did you hear?

Ruthie Salita: Throughout our discussions with our guest speakers, we learned a lot about what they were going through mentally and how long the filming process actually took. We learned how they would wake contestants up in the middle of the night if something was happening with filming. They would keep the contestants awake until everyone was back in the mansion or hotel. It was sad to hear how the producers played with the minds of the contestants and leads to get the TV that they wanted. The producer would even edit the episodes up to three days before so if a lead or contestant did anything right before the episode aired, they were able to change it.

What was it like having reality TV stars talk with your class?

Ruthie Salita: When speaking with our guests, our class had very interesting questions. We always said that they did not have to answer if they were not comfortable. It was fun to not only interact with people you watch on TV but to see your classmates also react. Everyone in the class was so encouraging, which made the experience all the better. At first it was very nerve-wracking to go up and speak with our guests. I was starstruck, but they were all so kind and welcoming to questions. All of my nerves went away.

What did you learn about relationships from the guest speakers?

Parin Sensenbrenner: The insight our class gained from our guest speakers of the franchise was exceptional! A common question was how each contestant approaches relationships after their time on the show. This was often met with an answer of getting into deeper conversations earlier in new relationships and leaving the trivial "get-to-know-you" questions to come naturally. Each contestant we met emphasized an appreciation for time in a relationship in the real world, in opposition to the few weeks they get to know their counterparts on both "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette."