Our intern, Megan, joined our team about three months ago as an undergraduate in Communication Studies at McMaster University. As she gets ready for her final year of school, we asked her to reflect upon her internship and what she had learned as part of the Merkato team.
From the moment she unlocks her office door in the morning to the moment she leaves in the evening, here is a typical day for a Merkato intern, as told by Megan.
8:45 a.m.: I arrive at the office, power up my computer, and read through the day’s news headlines. I search through my Google Alerts, review specific sites that are relevant to our clients and scroll through hashtags of our current campaigns. I make a note of the important articles and the authors of each piece and send a thorough media monitoring report to the team. My report needs to be one of the first thing my team sees.
9:30 a.m.: It’s time for the WIP (our Work-In-Progress meeting). I meet with Beatrice, our Account Director, and Cassie, Justine, and Margot, our Account Managers to review all current and upcoming client work. Each team member goes through each of their clients’ work to-date as well as the upcoming tasks of each current project. We each leave with our action items and start to get to work. We’ll all check in again later in the week.
10:30 a.m.: I return to my computer and draft a tweet for the day. Based on social media best practices I also use Photoshop to combine a visually engaging image with a motivational quote for an all-around interesting graphic. I send my suggested copy and image to the Account Managers for their feedback. Once I have the approval to post, I then schedule the tweet for 1 p.m. which is when traffic increases on Twitter and we have encountered more engagement.
11:30 a.m.: I hop on the streetcar to Dundas & University to buy some equipment for an upcoming online media training workshop. I’m specifically looking for a professional-grade microphone to make sure we have the best sound quality during the webinar.
1:45 p.m.: I return from Staples and eat lunch at my desk while reading through my newsletter subscriptions, like PR Daily, Bulldog Reporter, and Holmes Report. As an intern, I’ve found these resources helpful both to keep up with industry news and also to learn best practices within public relations. One of my favorite articles was posted on PR Daily and explained the advantages of working at a small agency. Merkato is the first agency I’ve worked at and reading the article helped me to appreciate this environment and learn how to navigate successfully with a lean team.
2:15 p.m.: We ran a product seeding program with one of our clients last month and are in the middle of capturing social coverage. I look through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find mentions of the company and/or its products, saving both images and links in an Excel document to help the team create an evaluation of the project.
3:15 p.m.: Once the product seeding coverage has been captured I move on to capturing coverage from our matte article project. Matte articles are pre-written and pre-formatted articles promoting our clients’ products which are then distributed to newspapers to publish online and in print. The articles are available for newspapers free of charge, and in turn guarantee media impressions and high return-on-investment (ROI).
4:30 p.m.: Take a break from my computer screen and grab a snack.
4:45 p.m.: One of my long-term projects is to create an influencer database. This master document, when completed, will highlight every influencer Merkato has worked with, and hopes to work with. We take pride in the relationships we’ve built with influencers over the years and aim to stay up-to-date on their latest accomplishments. We’re also monitoring for up-and-coming bloggers and social media masters that we can start building relationships with. The database will track recent activity and social media information to find the most beneficial partnerships for our clients and upcoming projects.
5:30 p.m.: Save my files, log off my computer and head home.
Aside from her daily activities, we also asked Megan some questions about her experience interning here at Merkato.
Q: In three words, how would you describe a day at Merkato?
A: Challenging, social, and fast-paced.
Q: What is the greatest lesson you have learned during your internship?
A: The greatest lesson I learned is that there is no greater way to learn than through doing. I’ve studied and read a great deal about public relations. In my first few days at the internship, I quickly learned that I had only been exposed to a fraction of the industry and I knew I had a lot still to learn. The details of a blogger product seeding program, for example, were completely new to me. I was aware that brands often sent bloggers and editors products, however I had no idea how much work went into creating the strategy, finding the right influencers, picking the products and preparing the packages.
I’m so grateful that Merkato granted me this opportunity. While I was eager to learn about public relations, the whole team invested a great deal of time and patience in teaching me the ins-and-outs of the industry, so thanks, ladies, for your generosity.
(Posted by Megan)