Alumni Profiles

Giving Voice to New Jersey’s Tweets

Photo of Megan Coyle with Gov. Murphy.

After graduating from Rutgers University–New Brunswick last year, Megan Coyne took a position as a digital assistant in the office of New Jersey governor Phil Murphy, helping to manage the state’s official Twitter account, @NJGov. In dispensing government information, Coyne SAS’19 and her boss, Pearl Gabel, have become a two-woman booster club for the state, never more so than during the COVID-19 crisis. Their tweets have ranged from sentiments like “REMINDER: Keep AT LEAST one Springsteen of space between yourself and others” and “Howdy. I’m the sheriff of supporting local restaurants by ordering takeout.” They also retweet official news from the state.

Coyne and Gabel had earlier developed a huge following because of their saucy retorts to tweeted barbs about the state’s perceived shortcomings—the usual stereotypes from out-of-staters about New Jersey being the “armpit of America,” for instance. They have responded with a brash sense of humor and knowing understanding of their home state with their one-liners and memes.

“Armpit what?” said one of their tweets, accompanied with an arresting video of the Jersey shore. When one user wondered, “Who let New Jersey have a Twitter,” Coyne and Gabel replied, “your mom.” The tweet generated more than 80,000 retweets. As another user commented, “This is the best twitter account and I’m not even from New Jersey.” And now they have a captive readership as they root for New Jersey and counsel residents to stay safe as the state rides out the pandemic.

Story originally appeared in Rutgers Magazine.