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Street Team Intern: Weeks 5-6

I am now over a month into my internship with the Indiana State Museum, and every day that I am here I find new ways to appreciate the museum and further confidence in having chose public relations as part of my career path.

Though I have come across some challenges, particularly trying to rack my brain to generate social media content, I look forward to most of the tasks I’m given. I’ve probably now roamed the museums exhibitions ten times all the way through, either as a nice stroll on my lunch break or searching for some new angle to take a nice photo. It’s truly a unique experience to have the privilege to do so.

People continuously ask me how it’s going, and they never seem satisfied with my solid “good” reply. Everyone wants details, but at the end of a 9-5 day it’s honestly hard for me to go back and pick out details quickly. I always need a moment to decompress, because a lot goes on, but not all of it is as interesting to others as it is to me.

As for the social media content I mentioned before, several posts I have drafted have now been published online on all three main platforms for the museum: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’m very pleased with the work I’ve been able to do and the feedback I’ve been given so far.

This weekend I will be attending my first actual Street Team event by going with my coworkers to the Fishers Freedom Festival. Though I know absolutely nothing about what the festival entails or what is to be expected of a museum running a booth there, I’m doing my best to look forward to it and be confident rather than nervous. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Update: Though spending the majority of my Saturday sitting at a table in Fishers, IN was never at the top of the list for cool weekend plans, it went considerably well. It was interesting to observe the people of Fishers at an annual event for the community, and the food I had on break (a gyro) was delicious. The weather was pleasantly cool and breezy, which posed a problem for some vendors with large signs that wanted to blow over, but we had no such issues. It had been a while since I’d really had to use my sales pitch voice, and I think I did well! I am glad, however, that I will not be spending another Saturday away from home.

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Media Pitch: Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites

Good morning,

With the first day of summer just around the corner, we’re encouraging families to consider 12 great day trips to any of the state historic sites. With locations all over the state, it’s a great way for Hoosiers to have some fun and learn the history of sites  which have shaped their community.

We would love for you to encourage your audience to take a trip! More information about the state historic sites can be found at the attached press release and at indianamuseum.org

Thank you,

Marissa Smith
Street Team Intern
Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites

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Street Team Intern: Weeks 2-4

As promised, here is an update on the work I’ve been doing with the Indiana State Museum:

In the past few weeks, I have updated the media contact lists for all eleven state historic sites in an effort to ensure that all press releases are sent to relevant media outlets, reporters and news directors. This means I have spent time sweeping the internet for information on radio stations, television stations and newspapers. While it’s mentally draining to sit and stare at a Word document full of names for hours at a time, it’s a necessary evil that I’m happy to do.

Having updated the lists, this past week I accomplished two different tasks which were a bit more fun and creative: writing a media pitch and drafting every museum tweet for the upcoming MuseumWeek. Not only would some of my words be sent to every media contact for the state historic sites (it’s a lot of people, trust me) but also potentially be seen by the museum’s 19,800 Twitter followers (@indianamuseum). To a PR geek like me, that’s a big deal!

See the media pitch content here. Updates on the tweets will come once they are officially posted later in June.

As always, I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to work somewhere that’s letting me hone my skills and also teaching me what a positive work environment can look like and do for its employees. I will do my best to continue to keep my blog updated, but be forewarned that this summer is flying by fast and it’s hard for me to keep track of it!

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Street Team Intern: Week One

The nerves are gone!

Having completed my first ‘week’ as an intern for the Indiana State Museum, I thought I would do a little bit of a recap for me to look back on at the end of the summer.

My first two days at the museum included the most welcoming environment I think I’ve ever experienced when starting a new position. My supervisor led me around to meet everyone in the office and though I am not anyone they care about, they all stopped their work for a moment to welcome me and shake my hand (I really need to work on my handshake). From the people to the office itself, I couldn’t help but feel like this is exactly the type of place where I should be starting my career and I am so incredibly fortunate to be doing so.

I spent most of the day doing data entry, updating the state historic site’s media contacts. While my fingers did start to cramp from typing and the afternoon lull of an office shift did hit me pretty hard, I finished out the day excited to see what Tuesday held for me.

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Content generated from my midday walk. Follow us @indianamuseum!

The next day, I felt more at home in the space and less jittery, where as on the first day I kept feeling like I could make a mistake and they could fire me at any moment. I spent some time talking to my second supervisor, who oversees the social media accounts for both the museum and all 11 state historic sites (no wonder they needed help!) I toured the museum twice, taking photos once when it was full of children and other visitors, and once when it was empty.

The freedom to roam the empty museum created a unique concoction of feelings in me, as the eeriness of a quiet museum was almost haunting but the privilege of being there made me feel, in a way, powerful. People don’t question you if you’ve got a branded ID badge!

The main takeaways from my first week are that I’m so excited to see what other career-enhancing opportunities this position brings to me, and also that working 9-5 (cue the Dolly Parton track) is going to be a pretty big adjustment for me. I’m going to do my best to keep this blog updated with my museum adventures, so stay tuned!

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Daily Prompt: Pink

How the colors I wear reflect my personal growth.

For a period of my teenage-hood I was very particular about the colors I would wear. If the colors I adorned my body with directly related to how people thought of me, then that black sweatshirt on black skinny jeans and black Converse shoes ensemble was the best way to indicate that I was cool.

As a result of this desperate need to not look like the

old selfie
An old selfie for you, brought to you by a 2012 slide phone and chunky eyeliner. This was actually a light makeup look for me at the time.

norm at my school, soft colors were out. Instead, my chosen outfits heavily relied on black, on neon greens, pinks, and oranges, and on deep reds and purples. My clothing became a barrier between myself and the people around me.

 

I embraced the fact that I had always been known as a quiet person and kept to myself unless my few close friends were around, earbuds in and bent over a notebook, doodling. I just hoped that people took my silence to mean that I was cool and edgy and didn’t need their conversation, though the reality was that I was too socially anxious to approach groups of people and attempt to participate in conversation, and they just thought I was a weirdo.

I have grown in many ways since that era of my life, though I still am quite shy when forced to talk to more than one person at a time and I still wear Converse sneakers almost every day. My clothes remain a key part of who I am, because like most of us, I find joy in expressing myself through them. Today though, they are not adorned as a social barrier. Rather than the thick layers that hid my body and harsh traffic-cone colors that made people literally cautious to approach me, I now wear soft colors.

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2017 me is better at eyeliner and finding my light.

I wear dusty pinks, heather grays, and sky blues, all an invitation to start a conversation with a person who’s continuously working to overcome her timidness in an effort to let people know she loves to chat and makes a loyal friend. It took a few years, but I finally learned two things: shutting yourself off from the world for the sake of your anxieties harms both yourself and the people who haven’t gotten the chance to know you and people who feel the need to dress ‘cool’ are never actually cool.

via Daily Prompt: Pink

 

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You got this:

A message to the doubts in my mind and the knots in my stomach.

Less than a week prior to beginning my internship at the Indiana State Museum, the nerves have started to kick in. It’s routine at this point, for me to get nervous days before any big event in my life, despite the fact that nothing particularly traumatic has ever come from a similar event; things almost always turn out 100% better than my doubt-filled mind has decided they’ll go.

This internship opportunity has multi-layered reasons to cause anxiety for me, which I will not delve into for the sake of positivity (WordPress is telling me that ‘positivity’ is not a word, but I double-checked, and it is). On some level, my brain is well aware that I can handle whatever the museum and my new supervisors might throw at me, but that hasn’t stopped me from noticing the doubts rolling around in the back of my mind over the past few days.

So, I sat down to write this blog entry as a reminder to myself that I can, in fact, handle this and that those doubts are welcome to leave any time now because they have no grounds for their argument:

At twenty years old, I have worked hard enough to secure multiple scholarship opportunities which are covering the cost of my schooling, I have a steady job with a supervisor who genuinely values my work and well-being, I have support system in my relationship, my family, and my university, and I’m well-known for having a great work ethic and abundant self-discipline. I can do this, and more than that, I can be one of the best interns the Indiana State Museum has ever had.

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Because I’ll always hear this phrase in George Lopez’s voice
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“Do you still like living in Indy?” 

My girlfriend, Chelsea, & I at one of the four First Friday events we attended tonight downtown.
When I made the move from Small Town, Indiana to Indianapolis in the summer of 2015, I had a lot of adjustments to make, but I was excited to see what changes living in a city would bring for me. I’ll admit, I have not been the most adventurous resident, but two years later I know pretty well how to navigate Indy and have spent quite a lot of time exploring its various communities. 

Though I was eager to life in a more urban setting, it’s something that many people where I am from do not understand. A type of question I commonly get to this day is – “do you still like living there?” or “how do you like living in Indy?” 

These queries almost always come from people who care about my well-being and are genuinely just checking in. While I do find it strange and a little bit funny that they’ve continued to ask this time and again, I appreciate the concern. Certain people, however, have been known to ask this question with a hopeful glint in their eye and a sheepish tone which implies they want me to answer negatively. 

Nope, I hate it there. Worst decision I ever made, you were right when you warned me about it! 

I’ll admit, all too often, I give into this. I’ve caught myself brushing off the question or searching my brain for something cynical to say, in order to not disappoint someone I care about (Marissa, you’ve gotta stop doing that). The reality of it is though, that I love living in Indianapolis. 

Sure, it has its flaws (and crimes), but I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be here, living. There are cool events to go to, amazing restaurants to try, and wonderful people to meet.

 I’ve been here two years and I know I am just getting started on taking advantage of everything this city has to offer. I’m definitely going to be here at least two more years, and I’m so excited to see what else this city has that I haven’t been brave enough to discover yet! 

So, the answer to your question, no matter how much I might hesitate when you ask me (I am going to work on not giving into that pressure) is YES. I love this city, and I could never ever go back to living in Middle of Nowhere, Indiana. 

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Experiential Update: working with an active Indy nonprofit

This past semester, as a requirement for a public relations course at IUPUI, myself and three other IUPUI students created a public relations plan for the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA, http://www.indymoca.org). The creation of this plan involved analysis of the organization, its key stakeholders, and the public relations situation at hand – a lack of awareness of the organization and its exhibitions around the city of Indianapolis.

In addition to those analyses, research was conducted in the form of a survey and tactics, goals, and objectives were established in order to help the organization increase its event attendance and Indianapolis residents’ overall awareness of the organization. Linked at the bottom of this entry are the slides as they were presented to the iMOCA staff representative we collaborated with on this project.

This assignment was created over the span of three months, according to both what iMOCA required as an outside entity and to what the professor of the course, Fred Bagg, had asked of us. The work was divided equally among all members of our team, which consisted of myself, Lindsey Stafford, Morgan Holian, and Leslie Salazar.

I greatly appreciated this experience, as a young professional who is interested in the nonprofit sector of public relations and communications. I am excited to continue building my PR skillset over the course of my career and see where that budding interest takes me.

Copy of iMOCA Presentation

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Mock Press Release: iMOCA Special Event

Below is an example press release written as part of a group project in collaboration with the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA). Event accreditation belongs to iMOCA – http://www.indymoca.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
CONTACT: Marissa Smith
(e) ms204@umail.iu.edu
(p) 765-555-5555
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ATTEND AN EXCLUSIVE DEMONSTRATION WITH ONE OF INDY’S HOTTEST ARTISTS

Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art presents: Glass Artist Benjamin Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, MARCH 13, 2017 – The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art will be hosting the Benjamin Johnson Spacetime Catalog Release and Demonstration on Saturday, April 8 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Indianapolis Art Center. It will be an opportunity for 30 ticket holders to watch a glass-blowing demonstration and listen to the artist discuss the creation of Spacetime, a series of prints of the moon’s lunar cycle.

Tickets are $50.00 each and the perks of attendance include: a glow in the dark pint glass handmade by featured artist Benjamin Johnson and a copy of the Spacetime exhibit catalogue. Guests will also enjoy Sun King Beer and light hors d’oeuvres from Black Plate catering.  Mr. Johnson will do a glass blowing demonstration and discuss how he created his Spacetime prints of the moon’s lunar cycle.

Interested persons may purchase tickets by going to www.indymoca.org and selecting the Spacetime event page. Event capacity is limited to 30 attendees, so be sure to purchase your ticket before they are sold out.

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About Spacetime:

Spacetime depicts imagery of the moon throughout the lunar cycle via 20 vitreography prints and 7 glass panels. The exhibition also features a nine by fourteen foot installation of hand-pulled hot glass cane created with UV reactive materials and lit using special UV LED lighting, which makes the entire piece glow in the window space.

About the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA):

iMOCA is Indianapolis’s only museum dedicated solely to showing and advancing contemporary art. As a non-collecting institution, iMOCA’s mission is to bring contemporary exhibitions and programs to the Indianapolis community to stimulate minds, inspire new discoveries and demonstrate the vital connections between visual culture and life.

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Why keeping busy over summer break is important to me

Today I finished the last class of my sophomore year of college, marking the halfway point in my journey to a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. I am looking forward to spending the next four months (approximately) away from coursework and curriculum, but I will not be taking the summer off – not completely. Many of the people in my life have shared a sigh of relief with me when I have announced the end of my semester, usually nodding and replying something like “well, I bet you’re happy to have some time off and just relax.”

I am happy to have a break.

This past semester was particularly mentally draining for me, as I did not enjoy a lot of courses and could often be found in a state of distress over it. However, as I have mentioned before on this blog, I will still be holding three positions over the summer which will amount to roughly thirty hours of work per week. This schedule will hopefully still allow me plenty of time to spend summer relaxing and doing some of the things I’ve had it in my head to do (road trip, anyone?) It also serves an important purpose – to give me structure. When informed of the tasks ahead of me, the people who were nodding and happy for me replace their smiles with looks of pity, “wow, you can’t catch a break, can you?

In previous years, summer breaks have often meant that my mental health has taken a dive. It wasn’t until last year that I started to realize why this pattern had developed: a lack of mental stimulation during the summer months. Prior to this self-reflection, summer days were often spent sitting alone, unsure of what to do to pass the time, and a vicious cycle reared its head.

The more I did not do anything, the more I felt like doing nothing at all.

My brain and body just function better whenever I have a daily routine to follow. Due to this realization, I believe that I’m better at managing this issue and will be able to use it to my advantage, keeping active and getting work done over the summer.

So, not only am I getting some amazing professional experience and allowing time for some personal days, I’m taking care of myself.