By: Katie Gerweck
Last week my fellow eboard member Natalie Burns wrote about her summer internship experience, and the lessons she learned there. Although internships are a great way to gain experience, they’re not the only way to practice your PR skills! Volunteering at a nonprofit can be a great way to work with social media, practice writing, and make a difference- all at the same time.
For example, I just spent the last two weeks helping a small nonprofit add content to their website and Facebook page. I’ve been volunteering with this organization, an all-volunteer animal welfare nonprofit, since last September, and I knew none of the volunteers had much time to work on social media. Since I had some free time this August, I offered to step in and see what I could do.
The website hadn’t been updated since 2013, and the Facebook page was only updated sporadically. But after some hard work, the website’s content is concise, clear, and up-to-date…and I learned so much doing it! Working on the website gave me more experience working in WordPress, and I learned some new tricks along the way. I got to write more, and brainstorm ideas on what content people would want to see. I also worked on scheduling consistent and engaging content on Facebook, which was fun and informative. I looked at what content had done well in the past, and studied Insights to see when our audience tends to be online.
Although I brainstormed with others in the organization about the kind of content we needed, when it came to the technical stuff I was on my own, and it really pushed me to learn and improve. I’m looking forward to seeing people’s reactions to the changes, and learning from that as well. Volunteering your time and PR skills at a nonprofit can be a great learning experience, and it’s also incredibly rewarding.
Katie Gerweck is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in journalism. She is the editor-in-chief for EMU PRSSA, and also works as a copy editor for the Eastern Echo. She was the copy chief for the Echo during the summer of 2015.