Internship Diary #10 — Little Crumbs of Payoff as I Get Better

A few weeks ago in this ongoing diary of my internship experience, I talked about a valuable piece of advice I received from my writing professor: “Say yes to every writing opportunity.” Part of my takeaway from that lesson was that, despite the fact that he meant it very literally, the actionable piece for me was to simply write any kind of thing until I became comfortable with it. Obviously, as a college student, a lot of the legwork in that department is done for me. My classes often present me with assignments in areas of writing I’ve never done before. Last year, for my major, I was required to take a Public Relations Writing course. This is not a genre of writing that especially interests me (I’m not convinced that it especially interests anyone), but the experience made me better. What’s more, my newfound comfort with PR writing landed me a few small-time freelance gigs. These were never much at a time, but $50 is $50. Seeing skills translate into money in real time is nice. As anyone who has any sort of semi-specialized skill knows, once other people find out about it, you become that guy in every group you’re part of. My brother, for instance, is “the video guy.” I’m the writing guy. 

These steps in our development produce little crumbs of payoff, even from the outset. After learning how to do PR writing, opportunities for it seemed to be everywhere. My fraternity was conducting a fundraiser, and since I was the writing guy, I wrote the fundraising letter. So on and so forth the process of learning and then doing continued. 

Another little crumb of payoff arrived last week. A non-profit organization that works with Adelsberger asked for a series of fundraising letters to be written on their behalf. Kevin saw fit to let me take the reins on the project and write each letter. If you’re anything like me, you know what it feels like to be asked to do something you’re sort of good at, only now in a higher-stakes setting. All of my fundraising and public relations writing to this experience had been low key. Fraternity brothers are not exactly the New York Times editorial board when it comes to critiquing my work. Now, I won’t pretend writing a letter asking for money is rocket science. Obviously, it’s pretty straightforward. I’m prone to anxiety, though, and there’s nothing more anxiety-inducing than staring at a blank document without a clue if anything you write on it will be correct. I believe this is called overthinking. The point is, my anxiety was quieted, at least a little, by the knowledge that at least this wasn’t entirely foreign. The stakes were raised, but the ground was familiar. 

I wrote the letters. I had plenty of questions to ask, and as usual, Brittany was kind and helpful in answering them. And I checked another box off, another opportunity said yes to, another skill at least a little more developed. 

Website Content – Where Do You Start?

Brainstorming Session

We’ve said it before – websites are no longer an optional part of a business. They give you the unique opportunity to present information to your customers and potential customers when they research and compare you to your competitors. Without stellar content, the time your potential customers spend on your website could be a waste.

Creating awesome website content is a process that starts with a good plan. Whether you are creating a new website or updating an existing website, you should complete an evaluation of your organization before digging in and composing your content. Each time we meet with a potential new client, and even when we recently updated our own website, we start with these five questions.

Recently, we worked with ASPELL Recovery Center here in West Tennessee and began with this same process to find out what information was crucial to include on their new website. We also have a number of other new websites in development, so keep an eye out for those launching in the coming months.

Do you know your organization?

  • What is your company’s history? To clearly communicate who you are to others, you need to know who you are. Spend time with your management teams and employees talking about your past, present, and future as an organization.
  • Do you have a Mission or Vision Statement? If you do have one, make sure these statements identify who you are as a company. If you do not have one, consider crafting one before launching or relaunching your site.

What makes your organization unique?

  • What do you do, that others don’t? Why would you be chosen over your competitors?
  • There is always something that makes us unique from others. It is essential to identify that in order to show your customers why your business is the better choice. Once you know this aspect of your company, you are ready to tell the world!

Who are your competitors?

  • Name your top competitors – those whom you compete directly with for business on a daily basis.
  • Competition drives us to be better. Knowing your competition helps you better determine your strengths and weaknesses. You are also better prepared to make your company stand out, instead of blending into what everyone else is doing.

Who are your customers?

  • Is it a busy, working mom? A retired couple? A College student?
  • By knowing who your customers are, you can clearly understand and communicate what you do to make their lives better. That message needs to be conveyed immediately. Don’t make your customers search for what you do!

What is the goal of the website?

  • What do you want your customer to do?
  • Make sure to develop a clear Call to Action (CTA). People need to know what you want them to do on your website. Do you want them to buy something? Do you want them to schedule an appointment? Make it clear and make the buttons easy to find and click.

Anyone can put up a website, but one with carefully planned out content that is relevant to your industry, up-to-date, and easy to navigate is a different story. Taking the time to do this will always have you a step ahead of the competition. By spending time on quality content, your website will be at the top of search pages without spending extra advertising dollars.

Ready to conquer a new website but need additional guidance? Make sure to download a copy of our Digital Marketing Checklist and then schedule a meeting with one of our experts here at Adelsberger Marketing. That’s what we are here for. Click below and we’ll get started.


Client Spotlight – JCVB Video

JCVB Tourism Video

Video projects are pretty varied. Sometimes you show up with a little idea of what you want to shoot and allow the location and subject matter to direct you. Sometimes, however, you have to plan every shot out ahead of time. This was one of those times. With Paige from the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau, we planned out every shot of this video. Part of the reason this was so important was the goal. We used motion tracking to display statistics in places all over the Jackson area.

This meant going to several locations and filming very specific shots. Then, we combined them with music to give them a unified feel. Using the motion tracking abilities of Adobe After Effects, we were able to insert the explanatory text and numbers into the different scenes. We also used ‘practical effects’ (noncomputer generated effects) and incorporated numbers that were already in use at locations when we could.

Three great examples of this:
1. At the Old Country Store, we used the practical effect of shaped mashed potatoes (Sculpted by JXNTNWKND Host Paige Keith) in combination with digital effects to leave words on the table.2. At ComeUnity Cafe, we used the practical effect of a hand-lettered (Hand lettered by Renae Adelsberger) number with a digitally placed explanation for clarity. This was done to match the style of the menu used by Comeunity Cafe.3. At Rusty’s TV and Movie Car Museum, we were able to use the existing number of the General Lee to illustrate a point with digital words next to it.

It was also fun using real music for a video! Most of the time, we use stock audio. That can be bland sometimes. LoLo, a local Jackson artist, allowed us to use her song “No Time for Lonely” for this video. Using that song added a great beat and excitement to the video!

Here is the video:

Visit Jackson Tourism Stats Video from Kevin Adelsberger on Vimeo.