Rocking Media Marketing-as told through an Internship

Just another Marymount University Commons site

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…I’m kidding! It was the best!

April30

It is so hard to think that this is the last blog post I’ll be writing about RockChurch and the internship, at least for academic purposes. I’ve learned so many incredible life lessons while working with the church. The friendships I’ve made, I hope, will remain forever. Throughout the last few months, I have created meaningful content for social media posts, assisted with small events at the church, and became someone they can rely upon. One of the big things that I wanted to leave RockChurch with, was the cross I built for Easter. Although the cross represents much more than myself, I wanted to have a constant reminder of the thanks they might look at each day.

I have thoroughly enjoyed diving into the world of small business online marketing, and have such a large foundation to start from because of this opportunity. Because of this internship, I was able to add so many more personal skills to my resume, skills that closed the gap between the civilian world and the military side of my work history. Not only did that gap close, but this process brought me back down to earth. When I began classes at Marymount, I had just separated from the USAF. Civilian life and military life are so different, and it takes a long time to adjust-and unfortunately, many never do. Without Marymount and the friendships, mentors, and leadership from everyone, I would still be struggling to find my place. I truly cannot say thank you enough to my professors and colleagues for all that they have done. Their patience and willingness to push me in the best directions is what led my ambitions into online marketing and education. My English skills from critical theory, developing ideas in poetry, and peer reviews, have given me ideas and courage to continue to improve myself. I can honestly say that this internship and my academic career at MU has helped me to feel SEEN and HEARD! For anyone who reads this blog post, just know that when the school is right, and the job is right, the best version of yourself will come out. Surround yourself with people who cheer you on and help you improve. Don’t stop learning, and never think that you’re an expert, because someone can always teach you something new! Live with an open mind and an open heart! Value your friendships with all who you come in contact!

by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    

Looking professional, feeling professional, actually being professional

April24

Head Shots!!

Backdrops!!

Camera!!

Flash!!

SMILE PRETTY!

 

So this has been my favorite FAVORITE week of the internship so far. I was asked if I could take professional headshots of the RockChurch faculty! I’m so thankful that I found this internship that allowed me to use my photography skills with the marketing strategies I have learned. Photography is my absolute favorite pastime, there is something so surreal about capturing a moment that will remain frozen in time and space.

Headshots are so fun, because when people step in front of the camera their expressions, body positions, basically all the AWKWARD feelings come out. As a photographer, it is my job to relax my clients. I joke around with them, show them all the what not to do stuff, and sometimes I even let them take headshots of me so that they know what to expect. Then when it’s over and the picture has been taken, I love to turn the camera around and show them what they look like. In this moment, I want to hear their own critiques of themselves. After my many mental notes, I go into edit mode and fix those critiques.

How crazy is it that we are our own worst critics? We constantly strive to be the best we can be, and yet, we are struggling on the inside from ourselves. Imagine students turning in papers who have everything, their entire future riding on their grades in school. That massive amount of pressure to “do good” remains poised on their shoulders.

It’s funny to think that a simple headshot is going to reflect the pressure a person feels in their lives, but it does. The way that our consciousness brings out our worst flaws when we see an image is all in our heads. Taking these headshots reminded me of my freshman year, having no clue what I was doing, what direction I wanted to go in life, that total uncertainty was definitely clear. Now, as I am ending my internship and closing my undergraduate career, I have learned to celebrate the awkward and just relax!

by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    

Life, academics, work, what separates them?

April15

Previously, I have been very personal and fun in my blog posts. The interesting stuff that I’ve been working on has been highlighted and discussed. I haven’t done a great job at telling everyone how I’ve connected with my academic career and internship simultaneously.

So many believe that when we graduate we stop being tested. Those all too common phrases of “when I graduate, I won’t have to do this anymore” are spoken on every academic campus in the world. Learning does not stop when we leave the classroom, I think it begins. While we take courses like creative writing, or major women writers and hope to refine our skills, it is only when we experience the topics that we pursue, that they become concrete in memories and lives. For myself, the most important lesson that I’ve taken away from the internship and my courses is to remove all traces of my voice from media when I post on behalf of someone else. Although our opinions will always sneak through it is imperative that the audience not know who is behind the words.

At Marymount, the most common advice that every single professor has given me, (education and English alike) has been to join the conversation. Not necessarily lead, or skim, but join. When we are researching topics we aren’t professionals in the field that is why we are researching something. At the academic level of undergraduate, and sometimes graduate, we aren’t leading the way of the conversation, we are still joining it. So then, how do we separate our lives from academics and work?

That’s easy to answer. We don’t.

We take all of the lessons, assignments, everything in between and apply it to our life. The goal is not to “never do something again”, but to learn and become better at what we did. That is why an internship is necessary for college. The moment that we start thinking we are too good to learn something new or to start at the bottom, I think we fail ourselves. I’m so guilty of this. It’s taken quite a lot of self-reflection to understand that I came to Marymount, and Rock Church to learn because I am not an expert. I am so grateful for those who have come along the way with me, and helped me join the conversation.

by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    

Scheduling and consistency

April8

The last week has been a whirlwind of tasks and accomplishments. As I talked about in my previous post, my fiance` and I built the church a cross to have out front. We stained it a beautiful walnut color, and the morning of Easter Sunday, I covered it in flowers. Being new to an environment, as well as an area-so basically an ‘out cast’ so to speak, makes proving one’s worth quite eventful. Since the start of this internship, I have allowed myself to be depended upon, fast at tasks, and quick to learn. Those are my personal characteristics, so it has never been very hard to implement them in the workplace. However, implementing my skills into social media anonymously, as a religious organization has been a big learning curve.

Since the start of this internship, I have created and stuck to a time schedule for each objective that I cover throughout the week. In order to be the most efficient, I needed to understand the structure of my organization I was representing. My manager, Theresa, has been so unbelievably helpful in guiding me to a consistent and fluent manner of representation. She checks my work and lets me know (frequently) that the font is too small. She’s given me ideas for everything. Most importantly, she has been consistent in her feedback, and each time, given me something I can build upon to not only make the organization better but to better my work skills as well.

Consistency is key! Each day, I create and edit content. The goal is to grow the responses on social media so that our SEO ranking increases. Little by little, we have been rising in the rankings. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity that RockChurch has given me. Schedules and consistency…that’s it.

by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    

Branding! Just how important is it?

March31

The team behind the success!

 

Last Saturday RockChurch held an Easter event. Prior to the pandemic, we had children come to hunt eggs and enjoy themselves at a picnic party-styled event. This year though, we wanted to do something safer, but still fun and enlightening for the children in our community. As their media marketing intern, I felt that the consumers deserved more than just some posts about the event with generic pictures. My fiance and I built an arch that was large enough for vehicles to drive through, and I decorated it with fun images and paper fans. It was a big hit. (I will admit that in this area, having something like that had people being very skeptical of its’ strength and durability to withstand wind. They haven’t realized how much of a structural engineering background I have yet, so ssshhhh!) Through the arch’s enormity, families and onlookers were able to experience RockChurch as more than a church, and more than a media post in cyberspace. They were able to experience their brand in real life. This project demonstrated dedication to the community and visual arts. It showed everyone who came that this establishment is an over-the-top, one-of-a-kind church…basically, “though we are little, we are mighty”.

As you can see in the image above, the group is full of all ages and woks of life. Anyone who was willing to lend a hand was welcome! That is one of the things that I’ve learned as their marketing intern-living the brand that we sell to the public. Although this is a religious organization, the church still has an image to uphold. We are more than just a post in cyberspace, and when we use the hashtag, #forthe309 we are telling our community that we are FOR THEM ALL.

So, to draw the attention back to the main idea of this entry…branding is more than just an image on a screen. It goes above and beyond that, into the minds of everyone who sees it. Having a reputable brand should allow the name of the organization to speak for itself. I believe that by volunteering as an intern, to build this arch for the event, our community will now see that. Below is a link to their Facebook page, as well as all of the photos that I took on 3/27/21-all 494 of them!

https://www.facebook.com/rcpeoria

 

click on the photo album section and look for: Easter Eggstravaganza 2021.

Branding the name for the community! 

 

 

by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    

Building Relationships

March26

My readers may not have noticed this yet, but I am a very imaginative and artistic person. In everything I do, my goal is to have fun and be interesting. I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as flamboyant or ostentatious, but rather, more captivating and inquisitive.  So for the last week, RockChurch has been preparing for Easter! As most churches do, we are holding an Easter event for the public. Since COVID-19 is still at large, we wanted to do something fun and exciting, but safe! The children’s pastor, Theresa, decided to do a drive-thru Easter Eggstravangza! Easter is one of my favorite holidays too, so I felt that it was vitally important to decorate the drive-through area. I built an arch out of 2×4’s, and it is collapsible. It stands 8ft tall, and 10ft wide. I’ve decorated the top and sides with Easter colors, flowers, eggs, paper fans, all kinds of fun stuff that I had laying around the house, and a few that were ordered from Oriental Trading Co.

 

For the duration of this internship, I have worked remotely and behind the scenes. Building this arch has allowed me to come forward some and let our church members see who I am. I don’t mean who I am, as in I am just Alicia. I mean, what my personality is and what I am capable of doing. I believe that this Easter arch will let everyone see how creative and engaging RockChurch is, and the length they are willing to go to for their community. This entire internship came about through a women’s bible study group, where I was the new person in town. Finding a new career is difficult when relocating to a new area, let alone a group of friends. I’d like to say that with this internship, I received both. It has helped me to see how possible online marketing truly is. I am thankful for the skills that have been developed, especially in graphic design.

The Easter arch is my way of bringing what I have learned with the graphic social media designs, to life.

If you’d like to see the images, please click the link!

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1FmmF9tmXnY_3fiuOmIybySa06egCG2Wx?usp=sharing

The Power of the #

March17

How are things happening so fast? Well, we have an incredible team working together for a common goal. Each person comes in with a good mood, and a get it done mindset. That’s not to say that all we do is work. A lot of RockChurch’s work is promoting their ministry and lending aid to the community. Without the citizens in our community, we would not exist. It is incredible to see how much the church does for each family, from children’s events to provide a place for teens to belong, giving each person a place to come and worship where they feel accepted. It is incredible. This is where I come in with social media. As mentioned earlier, my tasks are to find quotes that we can share online throughout the week—some that will engage those who attend services online and in person. One of the new things that we have been doing is promoting our local businesses. The pandemic took its’ toll on everyone around the world. So many lost their way, and we want to remind them that we are here. So through social media, I plan and manage the content that is shared. 

 

I use Canva and Photoshop to create and edit images, which I hope are eye-catching and meaningful. There is usually a short caption that accompanies the photos and a series of #’s. 

This brings me to a critical thought: the # a company uses will become the label’s face. Thanks to social media, #’s are a fast and efficient way to search for related information about a business, interest, or event. Using #forthe309 in all of our posts and content, we tell our area that we are FOR THEM, like how Marymount uses, Once a Saint, always a Saint as their encouraging moto. Our other # we implement frequently is #samemessagedifferentlanguage. It is long, so if anyone has an idea to shorten it, please let us know! However, this specific # is exceptional. It means that as a church, we are still working to deliver the word of God just as many others have before us. The big difference is the way we deliver it. Instead of having a congregation sitting silently while the pastor reads from the Bible each Sunday, events and memories of life Is linked to the purpose of the Bible’s text. So with the use of our #’s, we are informing our community of our goals. 

 

Some of my own goals in this idea of the #’s, are to slide them into everyday conversations while running errands. Social media is a great tool, but it does not erase human contact and verbal communication. I believe that it should be used as an assistant to communication-not the sole base of communication. With that said, one of my personal goals for this internship is to find a way to use social media’s voice for the greater good. Throughout this pandemic, we have all relied so heavily on social media to communicate that returning to face-to-face interactions will be a little awkward. Perhaps, with social media as a guide, I can aid others in conquering the awkwardness.

by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    

Rolling with the punches

March13

What an interesting few weeks I have spent learning the ropes at Roc Church! As with any job, familiarizing oneself with co-workers and volunteers is the most important task. These are the people who will become a mentor to you, as well as who you can count on to give advice and assistance when the workload becomes heavy. 

 

I am thankful that RockChurch has so many people who are willing to stretch their arms out to lend a helping hand. While setting up the various social media accounts into Hootsuite, I have found that there are probably no less than 10 people posting to social media at any given moment. The proverb, “it takes a village…” has never been more true. Prior to working with everyone at RockChurch, I was not a fan of texting other employees unless it was necessary for the job, and truthfully, I prefer to work through emails. However, after starting this internship, I am realizing that friendship and workmanship are one and the same, at least for RockChurch. That is what has made this experience incredible truthfully. 

 

I have also learned that to find success here, you must be flexible and adaptable, ya know…go with the flow. The last weeks have been such a chaotic fulfilling experience of that. I am a structured person, one that needs a schedule and weekly task list, I make charts…but this internship has helped me to find my own rhythm and purpose within the church. I have developed my own schedule, and have been working diligently to keep that on target. We are constantly reviewing new events that the church is doing with the community, and following the numerous safety standards that are in place. Each person keeps going with the flow and making things happen.

 

 This reminds me of The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff, 

“Just how do you do it Pooh?”

“Do What?” asked Pooh. 

“Become so effortless.”

“I don’t do much of anything,” he said. 

“But all those things of yours get done.”

“They just sort of happen.” he said. 

 

We aren’t exactly like Pooh Bear, but you get the picture.

Daoism?

by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    

Publishing the quotes and matching images!

March3

So remember how I was learning to be flexible? Still doing that! One of the requests that the lead pastor made for my internship was to provide weekly quotes so song lyrics or sermon quotes. Rather than simply only post a plain image with a quote, I’ve been using Canva’s preloaded photos to create a nice background that is relevant to the quote I am posting. One that I absolutely must share with you is a song lyric that the pastor’s daughter sang, called “Let the Light In”. To create this image, I wanted to focus on a dark and moody crevice in the world, something that would represent the darkness in our lives. I was thinking in the lines of a metaphor. What I went with instead, is a light and airy, open window that’s a little old and washed out. You can see it above in the picture.

 

So why did I make the change? Well, the song is all about opening the gates of heaven to let the light into humanity. How often have we not opened the door to something because we were scared? I was terrified of how this internship would go. I have skills that are more advanced in many work areas, but lacking in this one. So neither entry-level work, but not advanced either…I was somewhere in the middle. When I began this internship, I was terrified to “let the light in” and see what I would gain from it. That wasn’t the work ethic on my part, but the genre of the work. I was looking for a fulfillment, not fulfillment. While working in this environment, I began to learn how to let in more than the light.

I began to understand the consumer response between colors in posts, words, phrases, all sorts of stuff that I was familiar with because of reading and writing literature, but not in this sense. So this song quote, and the image, turned around from dark and gloomy to something positive and welcoming, like this internship. All too often, my biggest obstacle is my own ego. I thought this was a great reminder to not only stay flexible with the internship and work but with myself as well.

by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    

Interning from your home vs. in person

February24

Hello again everyone!

I’ve been working on communicating with my team better at Rock Church. Since most of my internship has been completed at home, I haven’t built as many working relationships as I want to. Although I do stop in at least once a week in person, it’s just not the same. There hasn’t been the early morning conversation around the coffee pot, or the random person stopping by my workstation to chat. Building those professional relationships has been hard. So far, I’ve learned that it is okay to randomly text your manager with crazy questions. I mean, I already knew that and was never afraid of the answers or of bothering them, but it’s been nice to have their responses be as fun and goofy as my questions. This internship has been guided but is prominently self-driven. Something that I am grateful for. I take task assignments in full storm. I like to be the person who can get it all done, faster than they believe I could. I love being consistent with them as well. However, building those relationships from my computer and cell phone has been a little hard. One thing I am beyond grateful for though, is that they chose to trust me with independence.

by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    
« Older Entries