You may be wondering what interning looks like in the age of social distancing and widespread remote work. I am here to tell you that it was just as rewarding and beneficial to my understanding of non-profit marketing as if we had been in the office. Throughout the summer, the entire team made an effort to regularly communicate with the interns about our projects and offer their feedback. My various intern projects gave me a deeper understanding of both the technical side of non-profit marketing and how non-profit marketers look to evoke an emotional response from their client’s target base. From working through social media analytics to compiling a branding competitive review, the team made sure I learned about all areas of marketing. Kelly Callahan-Poe, the President of Williams Whittle, offered an account management seminar for every intern to kick off the summer, which was very informative. She shared her insights from her experience in advertising and marketing. This seminar gave me a solid foundation for the various projects I was given throughout my internship.

During my first week, I worked on a joint project with my co-intern Mandy. We were tasked with compiling email lists for new business initiatives. During the process of searching for contact information on various organizations’ websites, we were able to familiarize ourselves with the clientele of the agency and the way they portray themselves on their social channels. This introduction proved to be incredibly helpful as we worked through understanding the best social strategies for these organizations. Following our work on new business initiatives, I worked with Facebook analytics to create a dashboard for Williams Whittle’s social media trends. By creating this dashboard, I gained a deeper knowledge of excel as well as how to track various trends using social media analytics.

After examining social media trends, I worked in creating a competitive review slide deck for a rebrand. I analyzed logos to search for similarities and differences as well as logos that were aesthetically pleasing. I also searched for taglines that were effective in sharing the mission of the organization. Once I researched various logos and taglines, I looked for patterns and characterized them based on location, use of acronyms, and other identifiers. I gained an in-depth understanding of how to design a professional slide deck in PowerPoint. I gained technical marketing skills from creating a competitive review for a nonprofit brand. I learned why certain logos or taglines are more effective. I also noticed that many of the organizations I researched used simple yet power imagery and language to convey their group’s mission. This similarity in the taglines of many non-profits showed me the importance of emotions in the space of non-profit marketing.

Following my work on the competitive review, I further reviewed Williams Whittle’s social media channels for this year’s ICOM Bright Business Ideas. I created an outline for our 2020 submission using data from our social media analytics. By reading through past submissions, I gained a new perspective on creative ways to solve business issues either in the workplace or within the company itself. I also gained an appreciation for the collaborative nature of the ICOM network. It taught me how important it is to look beyond your company at times to generate fresh, new ideas for your clients. Once I finished working on the submission for ICOM, I began working on a client satisfaction survey for Williams Whittle. I crafted survey questions and designed the survey. Each project that I worked on during my time at Williams Whittle taught me valuable tools that I will need as I navigate through the world of marketing.

From the start, Williams Whittle wanted me to take away a better understanding of all aspects of marketing and advertising. Each project I was assigned touched on a different area of marketing and helped me gain a deeper understanding of how each aspect came together to create the final campaign. The collaborative and supportive nature of the Williams Whittle team made working on projects virtually very manageable. Our weekly status zoom calls helped me connect with the team while still working from home. During these zoom calls, the team asked me my own opinion on different initiatives, which made me feel very involved in the entire process. Each team member was open to my many questions that popped up throughout the summer and they helped me execute my projects more successfully by offering specific feedback. My intern experience at Williams Whittle has been incredibly informative and I am grateful to work with this team.

Janie Stillwell is a rising junior at Washington and Lee University, majoring in History with a minor in Entrepreneurship.