Better Business Bureau
They say in your introductory PR classes that a communications position in a non-profit organization is often a huge undertaking. With a small budget allotted for marketing and communications, the position takes on more duties than positions in firms and corporations.
That was definitely the case for the communication “department” at the Better Business Bureau in Louisville. The department was made up of one person, my mentor, and vice president of Communications, Reanna Smith-Hamblin.
I never imagined how much I would get out of my summer with Reanna and the BBB. I thought I was in for a summer of writing press releases and newspaper articles, but the internship was so much more than that. On the first day, after explaining my duties as an intern, Reanna asked me to “take a crack at” writing six radio scripts for her upcoming radio recordings. It was that kind of dive-right-in attitude that had me designing advertisements for The Courier Journal, participating in strategic marketing meetings, updating social media sites, and designing numerous infographics.
Of course, writing was a big part of the internship as well. Dozens of press releases and paper articles were sent to, and picked up by local media. It was so rewarding to see my work being used by professional media outlets.
Another big opportunity for me was being able to sit in on radio and television interviews. Radio and television stations often called out of the blue days after a press release was sent out, or if there was a local scam that the BBB was reporting on. Reanna had to be ready to work with the reporter’s schedule. It taught me a lot about being prepared and flexible in order to get the best results for the brand.
I was not expecting to learn so much about event planning, either. The annual BBB Golf Scramble was a huge part of the first half of my internship. Putting the finishing touches on the planning process, as well as getting everything ready for the scramble, awards ceremony and silent auction was a learning experience in its own. Learning to keep calm and problem solve when things inevitably went wrong has been invaluable.
This internship was one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had. There are some things you just can’t learn from inside a classroom. You have to get out there, take a crack at it, and see what happens.