Time for Art- Symone Grady – The Chamber

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One of the major projects that I have been working on while  being with the Chamber is the Time for Art project. Time for art is a local event that occurs every October. It features local artists who put their artwork up for auction for the Time for Art show. Members of the community attend the art show and bid on their favorite pieces of art. However, instead of bidding with money,  they bid with volunteer hours. So, if you were to attend the Time for Art Show and you saw a piece of artwork that you wanted, instead of having to pay for the artwork with money, you would bid by committing to a certain amount of volunteer hours. The bidder that commits to the largest amount of volunteer hours wins the artwork. Bidders have 1 year to work of their committed volunteer hours. Once they have completed all necessary forms proving that they completed how ever many hours they committed to, they will receive the artwork, and that is where I come in.
Ultimately, I help the bidders complete their volunteer hours so that they can claim their art. I send out individualized emails to all (42) bidders providing them with instructions on how to track their hours, reminding them of the # of hours they have committed to, and provided a picture of their artwork. I am the point of contact for bidders with questions. I also help bidders track their hours. Some bidders complete a few hours then fill out the assigned form and email it to me so that I can keep track of it for them. Other bidders track their progress themselves, and send me the final form showing that they have completed all of their hours.
Once a bidder has completed their hours. I schedule an appointment for them to come into the Chamber and meet with my supervisor, Amy Bryan. At this time, she takes a picture of them with their artwork for future marketing purposes, and the bidder claims the artwork that they have worked so hard for!

Photography- Symone Grady-The Chamber

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One of the projects that I have been working on while at the Chamber is the Time for Art project. Local artists place their artwork up for auction and bidders bid on the artwork with volunteer hours instead of money. I have become the go-to person for bidders on how to complete their volunteer hours and retrieve their artwork.
Whenever a bidder emails me the necessary paperwork showing that they have successfully completed their volunteer hours, I schedule an appointment for them to come into the Chamber to collect their artwork, and to get a picture of them with their artwork. Doing this, forces me to familiarize myself with various digital cameras, and how to take an appealing photograph. In middle school I was in the photography club for 1 year, and I was a member of the yearbook committee for 3 years. I am pretty experienced in taking pictures. However, at that time cameras were a little less…. COMPLICATED.
Before a bidder comes in, I familiarize myself with the camera so that I do not leave the person standing there with their artwork while I try to figure out how to operate the device. While I am taking pictures of the bidders. I also think about some principles that I learned in my Interactive Media Production class such as lighting, angles, etc.

Time Management- Symone Grady- The Chamber

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Last week my supervisor hired an assistant, Maggie Reese. Maggie Reese graduated from CSU last May, and is a pleasure to work with. However, now  I am working for two people instead of one. At this crucial time, I find it very important to manage my time effectively. 
Working directly for two people can be  a difficult task. I find myself getting assigned one task and then moments later getting assigned a completely different task by the other person. In order for me to get both tasks done in a timely manner, I have to work efficiently and manage my time.
I have come up with several tips for managing one’s time.
#1 Get organized.
How can you expect to get anything done if you don’t have your assignments organized? Use time saving tools such as appointment calendars, “to do” lists,  file folders, etc. By doing this, you will not waste time simply trying to figure out where an assignment is or when it is due. You should also maintain an organized and clean workplace. 
#2 Plan Ahead
This can be done by having a calendar or planner on hand so that you can record assignments or appointments as you get them. In order to effectively plan ahead, you must predict how long each assignment or appointment will take for you to complete (do this before taking on the assignment). This will keep you from biting off more than you can chew, and over working yourself. This will also help you effectively divide your time up so that you will have enough time to complete tasks.
#3 Prioritize your tasks
The most important tasks, should be placed at the top of your lists since you will want to take your time with these projects to ensure that they are done to the best of your ability. Less important tasks should follow.
#4 Multi-task 
Finding ways to multi-task and combine commitments can help you best utilize your time. Although multi-tasking can be a time saver- try not to juggle too many things at once or you may find yourself “dropping the ball.” It also helps to multi-task with things that are somewhat related or similar to one another.
#5 Avoid Overload
In essence, do not procrastinate. We all have times when we don’t feel like doing something at a particular time, but it still needs to get done; better now that later. One thing that you can do to help ease the temptation of procrastination is to work on an assignment a little bit at a time. Dedicate a certain amount of time where you work on the assignment, and when that time is up move on to something else. Be sure that you plan out exactly how long the assignment will take so you will know how much time you need to allot yourself each day!
#6 Be Flexible
Life is unpredictable and at times, things just happen! As employees, we need to be able to adapt and work these things into our schedules. Know how to rearrange your schedule when necessary. 

 

Dress the Part- Symone Grady- The Chamber of Commerce

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Earlier this week, I walked in the Chamber of Commerce and an employee was in the lobby. She complimented me on my outfit saying, “You are always wearing something so cute,” “yet professional” added another employee. While the two were talking about raiding my closet, I began thinking about how important your appearance is, and the perceptions others develop based off of your attire. When you accept an internship, whether or not you are paid, you are considered an employee of the company and need to dress and behave accordingly.Like other employees, interns represent the company’s image. Showing up in sneakers and jeans gives others the impression that you are not serious about the opportunity that the company is giving you.

If you are not certain about the dress code, ask your boss or a human resources representative. If there is no formal dress code, look to the company’s employees’ choice of attire. If everyone is wearing sandals, you can probably get away with wearing sandals too. But if only one or two  employees are casually dressed, go with what the majority is wearing.

“Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the one you want.” In other words, don’t show up for your intern position in college attire, dress for the corporate world.

Golf Extravaganza- Symone Grady- The Chamber

Last week I was assigned with the task of creating a save the date flyer  to promote the upcoming Golf Extravaganza hosted by the  Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce. This event will take place in May this year, and has become an annual event that members and partners of the Chamber look forward to.  This event is a wonderful networking opportunity for employers and employees in the community. Instead of simply creating a flyer for this event. My supervisor and I thought that it would be a great idea to create a memorable slideshow. 

My supervisor showed me a slide show that was created to promote the 2013 golf extravaganza as a reference. She then provided me with all of the pictures taken from last year’s event that was to be used in a new slide show. Ultimately, it became my job to create an appealing slideshow to highlight moments in last year’s event and to get members to attend this year.
Before working on this project, I immediately thought of principles that I learned from my interactive media production class. I wanted to be sure to communicate the desired message, make the slideshow interesting and fun, while also providing essential details. 

The message that I wanted to communicate to viewers was that the golf extravaganza is a  fun and exciting event that should not be missed. With this in mind, I incorporated a lot of pictures of people engaged and having a good time. I also incorporated bright colors. 

I knew right away that the most difficult part of this project would be making a slideshow of pictures entertaining and engaging. People generally have short attention spans and do not want to watch a scroll of pictures play out before them. So, I decided to add in a few exciting graphics and incorporated text throughout the show in an attempt to hold the viewer’s attention. I also added upbeat music to make the slideshow come alive. Another concern was length.  I wanted to be sure that this slideshow is as short as possible. With all of the pictures that I was given, the slideshow lasted 30+ minutes. I knew right away that I would have to eliminate show pictures from the slide show and shorten the amount of time that a particular picture was presented. Miraculously, I was able to get the slideshow down to a little over 7 minutes. The finished product turned out to be a great representation of the Golf Extravaganza that viewer’s will enjoy. 

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A Taste of Event Planning-Symone Grady- The Chamber

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Instead of a regular day in my office at the Chamber, my supervisor encouraged me to attend the Leadership Columbus Session that was being held downtown. She felt as though this would be a great opportunity to give me a little taste of what goes into event planning.
Unfortunately due to time conflicts with my classes, I was unable to meet with my team until 1:30pm. However, I was just in time to help set up.
The Leadership session included a tour of downtown Columbus focusing on the Arts. While at the River Center, I helped setup a refreshments table and help put information bags together for the guests.  Since the session was based off of a tight itinerary, we had to move very efficiently to get the various information stations and refreshments table set up.
When thinking of event planning I think of the bigger picture involving dates, number of people, food, decor, itineraries, etc. I neglect to think about the little details and exactly how much work I would have to put into getting things done. I believe this is why my supervisor wanted me to assist her in organizing Leadership Columbus Day. I learned so many vital things this week that will help me in the future to remember to not skip the small details.

Young Professionals Facebook Contest- Symone Grady – The Chamber

A few weeks ago I was assigned the task of brainstorming ideas for on how a Facebook Contest could be utilized to help raise awareness of the Young Professionals Program at the Chamber, and to get more people involved. I made a list of several Facebook Contests that could be used, and sent them to my supervisor for review. While doing this, I figured that she would select a few from the list that she really liked. However, she liked all of the ideas and left the task of selecting one to me. Below are the Facebook contest ideas that I came up with:
1. Short answer Contest
2. Video Contest
3. Fill in the blank Contest
4. Picture Caption Contest
5. Trivia Contest
I decided to use the short answer contest. I made a Facebook post on the Young Professional’s page stating, “Are you interested in joining the Columbus Georgia Young Professionals Community? Well, right now you can become a member for free! All you have to do is tell us what being a young professional means to you! Free membership will be granted to the first couple responses to this post.”After discussing it over with my supervisor, participants to be considered for the free membership would only have that day to submit their post and the first few people would win. This forced participants to be quick yet creative.
The post received a total of 8 comments. After reading a few of the first posts, we decided to be generous and award the first 6 participants that posted a comment free YP membership. All of their responses were great answers and since this was the first  free giveaway contest, we felt the need to do something bold.
This will not be the last YP Facebook Contest. This contest was very exciting for myself, my supervisor, and the participants. It has also proven to be a great way to get others involved. The YP membership fee is $75 and many people are interested in joining but just can’t afford it. So, this social media contest gives people the opportunity to be part of something that could ultimately benefit them.

Press Release -Symone Grady – The Chamber of Commerce

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Each day I walk into my office at The Chamber to find a little yellow sticky note on my lap top with a “to-do list” for the day. This time, I was thrilled to see my first task was to write a press release.
I checked my email and found a template of how the Chamber of Commerce typically writes their releases. I was also given information about the event I was to write about. After studying the materials, I began working.
The event that was to be announced was the Chamber’s Annual Trip to the State Capitol for Columbus Region Day. In the release I provided information concerning the date and time of the event, the importance of this event, ticket prices, and what participants can expect to gain from attending. I also provided information on how people may purchase tickets.
While writing this press release, I thought about all that I have learned in my Multimedia News Writing Course. I was careful to give a good lead which will grab the reporter or news director’s attention. I was brief in my writing, but still gave adequate information. I was also sure to double check my writing for grammar and spelling.
Being that this was my first press release that I wrote for the Chamber, I was a little nervous that my style of writing may be different from what they are used to. The members of the Chamber are all very seasoned in the creation of press releases and I was nervous that they may view my work as amateur. However, this was not the case. Shortly after sending my press release to the marketing team, I received emails thanking me and complimenting me on a job well done.

The Makings of a Facebook Contest- The Chamber of Commerce- Symone Grady

Nearly after one month of working with the  Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce, specifically with the Young Professionals Program, I was made content creator of the organization’s Facebook page.  It is now my responsibility to research information about our audience including gender, when they are most active online, and what posts they enjoy, to get the most exposure when Facebook posts are made.

The Young Professionals Program was formed in response to a growing need to strengthen recruitment and retention of young talent in our region. Benefits of being part of this program include unique social and unique social and professional networking opportunities, participating in organizations and activities that contribute to community and business development, and taking active leadership roles in the community.

Moments after publishing my first Facebook post on behalf of the Young Professionals Program, I was given another exciting task. My supervisor explained to me that she is interested in raising awareness of the Young Professionals Facebook page.  The thought of a Facebook Contest really excited her, and she offered to give winner(s)  a free membership into the Greater Columbus Georgia Young Professionals Program. Ordinarily, the membership fee is $75. So, the winners(s) of the contest will obtain all of the listed benefits of being a Young Professional member for free!

After deciding on an outreach method, a Facebook contest, we needed to come up with a type of contest that would stir up the most interest in community members.  When thinking of contest ideas, I wanted to come up with something that people would enjoy doing. I also wanted to draw attention to the program’s Facebook page by involving the community somehow.

Below are my ideas:

1. Writing Prompt Contest

Participants would write one paragraph explaining why they deserved to win. These paragraphs would be posted on the YP Facebook page wall.

2. Video Contest

Participants would make  short video explaining why they should win. These videos would be posted on the YP Facebook page wall.

3. Fill in the Blank

We would post a sentence like , “Young Professionals are ____________, ______________, and _________________.” Participants would make a post including the written statement and fill in the blanks.

4. Caption Contest

We would post a photo and participants would post a creative caption to go along with the photo.

5. Q & A Contest

We would post a trivia question and the first person with the correct answer wins.

In order to get the community involved, I suggested that winners  be determined by the number of likes their post receives by other people. The person whose post receives the most likes will be the winner. Also, in order to be eligible to win the contest, I suggested that participants like / fan the Young Professionals Facebook page.

I have sent my supervisor this list of ideas and I am currently awaiting her opinions. Hopefully, one of my ideas will be used for the first Young Professionals Facebook Contest!