Posted on Jun 04, 2012 by Tory Barron
Getting My Feet Wet
As I began my first week at Sports Media Challenge I had every confidence I would do a great job. After all, my first summer internship, at the Supreme Court of the United States (really) was a huge success and I knew I was willing to work hard on whatever Kathleen Hessert threw my way. I am a Communications major at the University of Connecticut and have practically taken every Comm class you can think of. I also happen to be a huge sports enthusiast (specifically the UConn Huskies, Washington Redskins, and Washington Nationals), so essentially this internship was right up my alley.
Due to my background in Communications and since I am what I believed to be actively engaged in the new wave of virtual interaction/social media, my only real concern as I walked into the office Tuesday morning was regarding my outfit. Lets be serious, every intern worries about their work wardrobe. Making a good first impression on day one is key. Let’s just say I was in for quite a reality check.
I had heard about Kathleen’s excellent reputation and all the ways she had helped to revolutionize the sporting world with BuzzMgr, but I had no grasp of how extensive the reach of social media in sports truly is. A prime example is the exhaustive efforts the University of Michigan athletics department is taking to expand their social media base through as many avenues as possible. Over the past few days my naïve outlook has shifted tremendously. I already feel like I have acquired more knowledge in these past 4 days than in a whole semester back at school, I guess that is the beauty of internships.
Welcome to the Big Leagues….
On my first day of work I had not been there for an hour before Kathleen called me in to her office to talk strategy. Even Bryce Harper got a few months to prepare before he was sent to the big leagues, here I was day one thrown into the starting line-up at Fenway Park. I nodded my head in agreement as she spoke, and hastily wrote down everything I could so I would be able to google all the foreign terms when I got home. Words such as geo-location, crowdsourcing, dropbox, whitepaper, hootsuite, infographic, mashable, digital ambassadors, and gamification were all lost on me. Where was the preparation for this, Professor McGloin? After that meeting Kathleen took off for a sports activation summit in Chicago, and I took advantage of her absence by reading everything in the office I could get my hands on. Slowly but surely I began to become familiar with the unique features of all the different sites.
On Wednesday I attended a webinar on gamification and engagement; after that I felt even more capable of contributing to all the cool campaigns taking place around me. Upon reading an article that highlighted the success the Pittsburgh Penguins have had through the use of Pinterest, I began focusing my efforts on comparing the use of the site by various professional sports teams and NCAA athletic programs. I will post my results and insights on the power of Pinterest on Thursday. The ability to engage fans through different boards is incredible and not used nearly enough. On Friday I had the opportunity to sit in on a google hangout with Kathleen as she discussed a revolutionary idea linking sports and emergency response with San Diego State University and someone from The U.S. Department of Defense. There are also huge things going on in preparation for the BTN social media summit in Chicago involving Michigan athletics and their Director of Digital Marketing, Jordan Maleh. Another campaign is being developed to use social media to establish a tourism legacy for the upcoming DNC in Charlotte. Stay posted for more details as I continue my quest to become the ultimate intern. #RealInterns
In the meantime, what are some other sites or articles I should explore to make sure I’m more prepared for the summer ahead of me with BuzzManager and Sports Media Challenge?
Follow me on Twitter and share your stories (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and I will incorporate your experiences in my upcoming posts! Oh, and use the hashtag #RealInterns so we can all follow intern insights everywhere.