Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Networking Networking Networking

Discovery Educator Network. Social Networks. Professional Networks.

I feel like I've learned a lot about the company in the past few weeks. Along with the online streaming services which Discovery Education provides, there are various professional development and networking opportunities for those who subscribe to our product. One of these opportunities is the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) which is a network of educators around the country who share resources, strategies and meet at professional development events. What I find most interesting about them is that they are a network based on online communications but their networking is most important when they meet at in-person events.

One way that we reach the DEN is through social networking sites such as our Twitter page. One of my assignments has been to create an editorial calendar of tweets to sprinkle in between the main online community coordinator's tweets. I have definitely learned a lot more about twitter and twitter culture in the past week than I definitely would have on my own.

Since I started as a freshman at AU, I have heard almost non-stop about "the importance of networking." As an 18 year old I didn't quite know what networking was, how to do it or how important it would be.

My manager is always introducing me to people and telling me to reach out to them for a half an hour of their time to discuss what it is they do at Discovery. I am meeting a woman for coffee on Friday who has a more international focus and works for the Global Education Partnership. We also occasionally have press strategy meetings with all of the communications people in Discovery (its where I get to hear all my Jon and Kate + 8 news) and I am interested to talk to those people and see what it would be like to work for one of the TV networks.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

And so it begins

I have so far survived my first 3 days of interning at a corporate media giant. Monday I spent most of the day in orientation with about 60 other interns learning about the history of the corporation, trying to meet people, and exploring the large labyrinth of a building that is the world Headquarters of Discovery Communications.

I am interning for one of the many branches of the company named Discovery Education; an almost completely online product which primarily provides a library of thousands of segmented educational videos for classroom use. It is an interactive product exemplifying the innovative nature of web 2.0 technologies and is already present in about 50% of U.S. schools and is continuing to expand to more U.S. school districts and international markets.

My on site manager is Stephen Wakefield who is the Communications manager for Discovery Education. We discussed a number of projects that I will be working on throughout the summer term:

1.) Formulate and Implement a plan to raise awareness of Discovery Education Products and services among current students in schools of education through the placement of stories about the use of new educational technologies and Discovery Education Services in college School of Education newsletters and newspapers. These placements will be merchandised back the sales team
2.) Write, distribute and follow up on the distribution of press releases following the DEN National Institute in San Francisco in July. She will then merchandise these stories back to the sales team
3.) Undertake a variety of research projects including research into emerging edubloggers, current state science coordinators, current state superintendents etc. In addition she will research past press releases for usable marketing quotes for the marketing team.
4.) Build and implement an editorial calendar that provides regular updates from the communications department on the DEN Twitter account

That is just an overview of my duties but new things come up each day. I still have a lot to learn but I am pretty excited about what the summer has in store.