By Sydney Olson, senior in advertising
Over the summer I had the opportunity to work at LifeServe Blood Center as a public relations and marketing intern. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the internship looked a lot different than it had in years past. LifeServe Blood Center, itself, also had new obstacles to face due to the pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 500 blood drives have been canceled and over 15,000 donations have been lost. This meant that the marketing department, including me, needed to work to get new donations in order to keep the blood supply stable.
As an intern, my duties varied greatly from day to day. Many of my main roles included working with local businesses, talking to donors and running the social media. One of the most challenging tasks was finding local businesses to donate to our Blood Donor Day event. We were looking for incentives to reward our donors for their lifesaving decision of donating blood. Due to the coronavirus, many local businesses were struggling financially toward the beginning of the summer and were not willing to make any donations.
One of my favorite things I got to do was be a part of the social media team at LifeServe. This gave me the opportunity to run LifeServe’s social media accounts. I enjoyed getting to create graphics such as Instagram stories, event reminder posts, results graphics and more. I also created and ran two Facebook giveaways, which really brought us great engagement.
I also enjoyed working on promotional days for our donor centers. One of my favorite events that I helped develop was a Christmas in July event, in which we gave away free Christmas tote bags and got into the holiday spirit. We also did a State Fair Week, in which I was able to reach out to food trucks and vendors.
This internship provided me with the opportunity to see how a nonprofit organization functions. I also got an inside look at all the different departments. Throughout my internship, I had the opportunity to assist in not only the marketing department, but also the donor services and recruitment departments. This allowed me the chance to learn more about how the company functions as a whole.
Earning a Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication Internship Scholarship was a huge help to me, as my internship was unpaid. It allowed me the ability to focus on my internship experience and not stress so much about my summer expenses and course fees.
Overall, I had a great summer interning at LifeServe Blood Center. This opportunity opened my eyes to the importance of donating blood and blood products. Donating with LifeServe is local and can help your friends, family and neighbors in your community.