Internship Summary – Erika\’s Summer in Review

My internship this summer has been a great learning experience for me and has given me some insight on how marketable a social media manager can be in my little community in southwest New Mexico. It’s something I see as a need here if my town of Silver City wants to market itself as a tourist destination for arts and culture as well as food.

10580139_1507592849452959_9179412299627014030_nI have been given 3 main projects during the time of this internship. The first was industry research where I had to learn everything I could about other social media management companies, primarily how they run themselves and work as a team with their clients. Some companies had a lot of this information available on their website while others were super secretive about it. Fortunately, I was able to get in touch with 3 different companies – Element Three who is one of the largest in the country, Honey Agency, who is food and drink focused out of Sacramento, CA, and ROI Online which is a local agency in Amarillo. They were all incredibly helpful walking me through their process and were also very encouraging of me going into this field without any marketing background – Because it’s a fairly easy concept to grasp, but the social media platforms are always changing so you have to stay up to date on it.

Next project was to do some market research – talk to businesses about their current online strategies and see if they had ever considered contracting a media management company to help them in their online marketing. I had a lot of luck with the businesses I contacted here in Silver – Not so much with the ones I reached out to in Lubbock. In Silver, I talked to Western New Mexico University, Diane’s Restaurant, as well as Lawley Toyota (I’ve been writing their newsletter for the past year.)

DSC_0004My final major project was to put together a blog/resource for the local foodshed. So after some research I have put together Gila Home Grown, which is kinda like but for my neck of the woods – the Upper Gila Sub Basin. We have three rivers that feed our foodshed as well as monsoon rains in the summer. I started out by talking to the farmers at our local farmer’s market about putting this thing together – They were all really excited and incredibly supportive! And then I didn’t hear back from them for 3 weeks after emailing them multiple times. Actually, I heard back from 1 farmer. So I put the site together anyways and am hoping that I’ll have more farmers to list as it grows in popularity. Gila Home Grown has a facebook page and a pinterest page.

Biggest challenges in this were waiting for people to contact you back. You can only reach out so many times before you move on to the next, and that was a good lesson for me to learn. The best thing, is that I learned that I CAN do this. And be very successful at it.

My supervisor, Kade, was awesome. Being an online based internship, I was given a lot of freedom to just go at my projects full throttle while having someone to ask for guidance when I needed it. It was also cool getting to talk to the community members and business owners who also see a need for a strategic online marketing plan. I love explaining how this internship was possible through Ogallala Commons – Everyone loves the idea of an organization that promotes building stronger community in the smaller communities.

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