Interning with the German Village Society

Guest Blogger Ellen Fraser

My name is Ellen Fraser, and I am a rising junior from Columbus, Ohio.  I am double majoring in English/Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) and Art History with a Spanish minor.  This summer, I will be completing my PWR internship with the German Village Society.

German Village is a nationally recognized historic neighborhood in south Columbus, OH, and having lived in a suburb outside the capital city my whole life, I have always known that German Village is a nice neighborhood with many interesting homes, as well as great places to shop, eat, and explore.  The Society where I am working is a non-profit organization that plans events for the neighborhood and works to preserve the rich history of the community.

Friday (June 1) was my first day on the job, and I had the privilege of going on a tour of the Village with a tour group that consisted of the spouses of engineers from all around Ohio.  They were having some adventures of their own while their significant others were at a conference.  We visited two homes, and learned about the steps that homeowners have to take when renovating in order to follow rules of historic preservation that have been established by the City of Columbus.

So far, my main project as an intern here is to research the benefits of social media for non-profit organizations and draw up a social media marketing strategy for the Society.  I started work on this endeavor by going to a social media marketing workshop held in downtown Columbus at a company called Cement Marketing, which is a small company that boasts employees that are experts in both social media marketing/advertising strategy and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Some of the key points that I took away from the workshop were how to post effective Facebook updates that gain maximum viewer interactions, and how to gage what those updates might be by looking through a Facebook’s “Insights” page.  Since then, I have also learned how to check insights on Twitter as well by using accounts such as  Hopefully sometime soon I will also be meeting with members of the German Village Business Community who effectively utilize their social media to obtain some useful advice.

I hope that as I develop this strategy my PWR skills, especially my ability to analyze the parts of the rhetorical situation that deal mostly with identifying the appropriate purpose and audience, will be useful.  From what I have read thus far, understanding and identifying your audience is essential in developing social media strategy.  Your audience, as well as the audience that you hope to reach with your social media use, and its demographics dictates what social media platforms are the best for your non-profit, and whether or not your organization should be active on social media sites at all.  The goals of your organization also affect these same principles.  As I become more familiar with this organization and perform more research, I hope that I can recognize the best platforms using my PWR skills.

My research has only just begun; so hopefully in my next post I will be able to introduce a rough draft of my original strategy for the German Village Society’s social media use.  Here’s a link to some videos about the German Village Societyfrom their official website for more information about historic German Village in general.  Hope everyone is having a good summer!

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