Too often the mention of summer internships conjures up images of endless hours of copying, answering multiple phone lines, and fetching coffee. But an increasing number of Comm Arts interns are making tweets instead of copies and answering Facebook posts rather than phones. From Twitter to Tublr, from video to text, Comm Arts interns are using social media to build business, stimulate philanthropy, and enhance community.
Anna Elsmo-Siebert, for example, is helping to build business through social media at creative communications company Knupp & Watson & Wallman (BA ‘88), known as KW2. As a summer intern, Elsmo-Siebert has taken over responsibility for KW2’s twitter account. Aimed at current and prospective clients, Elsmo-Siebert sends out tweets about new trends, interesting news, and recent studies that demonstrate the identity, values, and image of KW2 as a business. With over 600 followers, Elsmo-Siebert has a big audience, one that she hopes will continue to grow.
The social media interns are not focusing solely on customers and clients. Alex Degener encourages fundraising and giving for the American Cancer Society by hosting weekly online challenges with prizes for the winners. Participants compete against each other to raise more money by walking more miles and bringing in more pledges. Since participants can see how much money other participants have brought in, the online challenges harness participants’ competitive spirit to make fundraising fun, exciting, and interactive.
Social media is also an effective way to build a sense of community. Intern Janelle Schofield created a Facebook page for the Downtown Madison Business Improvement District. The Facebook page provides Madison residents and visitors with event schedules, pictures from downtown events, profiles of downtown businesses, and updates on construction and parking. Schofield’s hard work is appreciated. The Downtown Madison Facebook group has almost 400 “likes.”
UW Comm Arts interns are on the cutting edge of social media. They are demonstrating how social media can promote business, philanthropy, and community.