By Leah Gebeke, senior PR
When working for an event like the 3M Open, you often hear the phrase “once in a lifetime opportunity.” You meet notable people from every industry imaginable and create relationships that last a lifetime. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to take pictures and stand in the presence of legendary NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley or network with some of the biggest names at 3M, but these are moments I will cherish forever.
I served as one of two social media and content creation interns for the 2021 3M Open. Essential parts of my job leading up to tournament week were to create digital and print marketing materials and assist in social media campaigns to raise awareness surrounding the tournament and promote the golf fanatic experience. Throughout my time at the tournament, I would travel to different locations in the Twin Cities and photograph special events hosted by various 3M Open partners for future social content purposes. One of the notable experiences leading up to the tournament included my colleague and I photographing stills of Chad Greenway from the Minnesota Vikings making “Birdie Juice.” This was the official cocktail of the 3M Open that features his company, Gray Duck Spirits. We would then edit the photos and send them over to Gray Duck to promote the tournament on their socials. It was so rewarding to see our work published on socials for thousands of engaged users.
During advance and tournament week, my primary objective was to capture as much content as possible on a DSLR camera. This included attending Pro-Am tournaments, sponsor golf clinics with PGA professionals, candid players, fan moments and more. My colleague and I were in charge of creating a mixture of organic and sponsor-based content to put out on our socials to engage users interested in the activations on-course during the week. Another part of my job fell in the category of influencer relations. I served as a communications liaison on behalf of the tournament with local influencers, like Madison in MPLS and more, to persuade them to come to the event in exchange for social media promotion on their pages. It was interesting to learn about the skills it takes to communicate effectively and negotiate how to make their experience memorable and “Instagram-worthy.”
If I had to describe my internship experience in one word, it would be: rewarding. All of the hours spent tirelessly working on Adobe Creative Suite and Canva, communicating back and forth with my supervisor, and seeing my work published amongst social platforms and across the course during tournament week is a sight to behold. Some moments were so taxing, whether it was my idea being rejected or a design not getting the approval I desired, but seeing the final product after that long process is something worth being proud of.
Editor’s note: Edited for length and clarity. Greenlee 499A internship scholarships support students who have a primary major in advertising, journalism and mass communication or public relations and are completing their required 400-hour internships. The application is available each spring.