I had the awesome opportunity to intern downtown Chicago at SocialMedia.org this past summer. At SocialMedia.org, we work to give social media executives at big brands the opportunity to collaborate with each other in a vendor-free environment. We do this by instant feedback discussion forums, weekly calls to discuss issues, and several conferences and meetings every year. Some of our clients include Allstate, BMW, Boeing, Target, Burger King, Microsoft, FedEx, U.S. Cellular, McDonald’s and many more.
Every few weeks I got to rotate through a different department in the company so I was always working on new projects in different areas. I was able to get my hands in many different tasks and learn a lot of new skills. My job mostly centered around event planning, creating content for newsletters and the website, and helping create relationships within the community of members.
One of my favorite tasks was writing scheduled tweets based off of the “Big List” which is a list that is compiled every week of interesting case studies and social media news. I scheduled tweets for an entire week to send out to SocialMedia.org’s 24,000 Twitter followers. I also had the opportunity to write posts for their blog on the website.
Another of my favorite tasks was researching and proposing topics for show and tell calls. These calls happen every week with our clients. We give them a topic along with several key points to discuss and then they dial in to give and get advice from other executives in a roundtable. Several of my proposals were chosen and used for these calls.
The highlight of my internship was definitely preparing for and attending the 32nd Member Meeting that was held in Chicago. Not only was it a great venue (overlooking Millennium Park on the first day , and then the river and Trump tower on the second day), but the experience was invaluable. I did everything from printing information packets, to typing out directions on how to get there from every direction and every mode of transportation possible. I picked out gag gifts for the members, and recommended hotels for them to stay in. I also paired members together based on common interests and sent them buddy emails so they would have a friend at the meeting.
At the meeting, I helped greet members and get them registered. I also worked presentation slides, assisted with the setup, and then finally, the tear down. The best part was that we were allowed to sit in on some of the case study presentations and small group discussions. It was a privilege be able to sit in on these highly confidential conversations to hear the kinds of challenges and wins of the social media executives of the biggest brands around.
Overall, working with SocialMedia.org this summer has been an incredible and invaluable experience. The people at the company were great and so was the work I was able to do. I will be sad to leave them, but I’m excited to get back to Bloomington and improve on the skills I have learned.
Katie Hogue is currently a sophomore at Indiana University, majoring in Journalism, specializing in Public Relations and Advertising, along with a second concentration in Marketing. She serves as Co-Director of Programming for IU PRSSA.