This summer I served as the marketing and public relations manager at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, Wis., supporting the marketing director in a 12-week internship. It was through this commitment that I learned the importance of effective storytelling and how to tailor my writing for different purposes and audiences.
I was fortunate enough to collaborate with the development and education departments as well as the box office in marketing education programs, ticketed performances, and fundraisers. As a co-ghostwriter and editor for the Center’s weekly newsletters, press releases, brochures, and website copy, the position allowed me to hone my writing skills. I learned how to write in different styles for different types of audiences, and I became a more effective storyteller through text, image, and design. My role allowed me to build relationships with media professionals in the Greater Milwaukee area through the distribution of press releases covering the Wilson Center’s many endeavors. Whether it was promoting an evening of classic cars or announcing the Center’s recent NEA 'Our Town' award, the Wilson Center’s diverse array of programming kept me busy!
In addition to the full performing arts season, the Center also has two major festivals: the Guitar Competition & Festival, and the Hidden River Art Festival. I was charged with managing much of the marketing and public relations functions for both festivals, including booking advertising space, updating media calendars, and overseeing a $55,000 budget. Under the guidance of the director, I learned how to target and segment specific audiences and allocate marketing dollars accordingly. I am excited to see the results of these efforts when both festivals wrap up this fall.
Through a graduate project assistantship, I will continue this position through May of 2015. I look forward to building on the knowledge I acquired this summer and being a part of an entire season of programming.
I am incredibly grateful for this unique learning experience. I owe a very special thanks to Executive Director Jonathan Winkle and Marketing and Public Relations Director Jennifer Bauer for their mentorship and faith in my abilities.