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.
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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!

Design Principles for Valentine’s Day – The Chamber – Symone Grady

With love filling everyone’s hearts as Valentine’s Day was quickly approaching, staff at the Chamber of Commerce decided to host a luncheon for all of their partners and sponsors. Utilizing the “Holiday”, Valentine’s Day, the staff decided to have this event on Valentine’s Day with an appropriate theme to show their appreciation for members.

Days before this joyful day, one of the coordinators for this event asked me to create gift tags that would accompany gift bags for guests. With this assignment, I was simply told that the labels must say “We love our members”, and incorporate the organization’s logo. That’s it. Without very much direction for  how to create these gift tags, I had to put my creative print media skills to the test. Not only did I need to  create labels that would capture one’s attention, but that also effectively communicates the desired message.  With only an hour to complete this task I knew that I needed to work diligently to create an exceptional finished product.

Before beginning this task, I immediately thought of the principles that I have learned in the Interactive Media Production course that I am currently taking. These basic design principles include proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast.  I wanted to be sure to incorporate each of these  principles into the design that I created.

Ultimately, I created three different gift tags and allowed my supervisor to select the one she thought was most appropriate. After she told me which she selected, I understood that the design she favored the most best utilized proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast. I was very proud to walk into the building during the luncheon to see the gift tags that I created being used and appreciated by all of the guests. I was also very excited to be able to use skills that I learned in class, and directly apply it to a task for my internship.

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The gift tag that I created for the member appreciation luncheon.

The Beginning of My Journey – Symone Grady

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The beginning of my journey with the CSU internship began as a bumpy ride. However, when faced with obstacles, overcoming them makes us stronger and wiser.  Dr. Gibson introduced the option of being an Intern at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, I was thrilled. Dr. Gibson explained to me that this is a very high prestige site and that the organization was seeking a student with strong writing and social media management skills. After conversing with my previous and current professors, Dr. Gibson felt as though I would be a great candidate for the position.

Each of the upper level classes that I have taken at CSU will help me succeed as an Intern at the Chamber of Commerce. The primary skills that I have acquired which will be used to my advantage include group communication skills, interpersonal communication skills, writing skills, public speaking skills, social media management skills, and listening skills.

This internship, like any other student’s internship, is a great experience to use the techniques and skills that have been learned in the classroom, and apply them to the real work force. I will use this internship as a means for networking as well as learning and understanding techniques that I may use in future and present endeavors.

I currently have a meeting with the Senior Vice President of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce on Friday February 7, 2014 to discuss my responsibilities and duties as an Intern as well as scheduling. I cannot wait to officially begin my journey with the Chamber of Commerce.

First Impression – Symone Grady

I was thrilled to finally meet with Amy Bryan, Senior Vice President of Talent, Retention, and Community Development at the Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce.  I was a bit nervous walking into my initial meeting because of the slightly conservative atmosphere . However, I found that my nerves quickly began to subside after meeting Amy. With such a  fun and outgoing personality, she has a way of making one feel right at home.

After discussing my skills, previous work, expectations, duties, and scheduling, Amy hopped out of her chair and gave me a grand tour of the office while introducing me to staff members we crossed along the way. During the tour,  I was greeted with warm smiles and firm handshakes . Right away I sensed that this was a close-knit working environment;  staff members are like family.

Overall, my impression of this internship site and all of it’s staff is positive. The work environment is not too hectic and everyone is more than happy to assist me with any questions that I have. When going into an internship, one hopes that they will not be looked down upon or simply made into a gofer. However, I know that this will not be the case with the staff at the Chamber of Commerce.