I only joined Lori’s Hands (a volunteer club on campus) in September of my freshman year so I would have a great organization to dedicate some time to. It was only supposed to be something for my personal reward and enjoyment. My professional progression would come strictly through the connections I made in my classes and maybe PRSSA-UD.
At least that’s what I thought.
Fast forward through a year of volunteering to April, when I get an email from the founder of Lori’s Hands with the words “SOCIAL MEDIA INTERN WANTED” in the subject line. I immediately clicked on it and skimmed over the body of the email. After realizing this was legitimate and a Social Media Intern was, in fact, wanted, I carefully read the words of the email in the order in which they were intended. Basically, the letter stated Lori’s Hands had recently become an official NPO (non-profit organization), which meant they could go full steam ahead with new projects and plans. They wanted a greater social media presence and were looking for a qualified student to do the job (from home! What could be better?). Could it be more perfect that I had sat through dozens of classes and PRSSA meetings where I was learning exactly how to do just that? I emailed my résumé to the founder, Sarah, and two weeks later I received the news that during the summer I would be working as Lori’s Hands’ Social Media Intern.
Throughout this past summer, I have been responsible for a number of different projects within Lori’s Hands, Inc. What was so ideal about this internship was that Lori’s Hands is a fairly new NPO. It’s small. Only five people (six with me) make up the board of directors. For this reason I was allowed quite a bit of creative freedom, an important voice, and room for mistakes.
My generic responsibilities, as stated in the original email, were to re-launch their underused Twitter and increase Facebook likes. So, with help from a few other board members, we increased our followers by 100% in two months, and strategically decided to set up a Facebook advertisement plan using funds we had earned that year (which included a $500 cash prize for being an Outstanding Service Organization in Newark, as presented to us by the Jefferson Awards). I tweeted almost everyday, posting useful information for our volunteers, interesting and relevant articles, and made sure to retweet, or tweet at, our followers to let them know we are present and eager.
In addition to these basic duties, I established what I called “Social Media Wednesdays.” Basically, I wanted our followers to see a consistency in our social media presence, so they knew that at a certain point in every week, new content would be available. I strongly believe consistency is more crucial than quantity when it comes to social media marketing. Throughout my three months as an intern, I alternated Wednesdays between posting a new blog post (I launched the org’s first blog site at the beginning of my internship) and one-to-two minute informational videos. For the blogs, I wrote the first entry, and then asked fellow directors two weeks in advance for the next post. You could say we had a broad variety of blog posts form different perspectives. As for the videos, I had become obsessed with iMovie that year and thought there was no better way to build on my video production knowledge than to experiment with footage I had taken on my phone over my last few weeks at school with Lori’s Hands. The videos are short, to the point, and not to mention the music you hear in them are originals by none other than yours truly. They highlight a multitude of aspects of our organization and give people an excellent overview of what we do.
I learned countless and invaluable lessons during my internship this summer. Things about social media marketing, things about myself, things about Lori’s Hands. But this is all knowledge for my personal benefit in my future with Lori’s Hands. What did I learn that everybody could benefit from? Get involved. It does not matter in what, as long as you love it and will give it your all. I love Lori’s Hands. I have been passionate about it since the day I signed up and made my first client visit, thinking that was all it would lead me to. Now look at what it is to me: It is the home of my first professional internship; it is where I got my first opportunity to apply knowledge I had learned my entire first year of college; it is where I did work that will now be featured on my LinkedIn and résumé. You truly never know what something could lead to. Don’t think 20 steps ahead of yourself. Simply do something, anything that appeals to you, because it could turn into something superior to what you had ever hoped or imagined.
(Above photo: Receiving our community service award presented to us by the Jefferson Awards)
By: Sydney Scheiner
A sophomore Communications Interest major pursuing a minor in Advertising. Other than being a writer and member of PRSSA-UD, she is a Blue Hen Ambassador as well as the Social Media Chair and Fundraising Chair of Lori’s Hands. Sydney hopes to work in the entertainment PR industry as a celebrity publicist. She is from Old Bridge, New Jersey.