By: Amelia Guldi, Account Management, IZEA – Innovations in Social Media
They say the key to our industry is networking, and I look at my experience at IZEA as a direct result of that vital tool. A coworker at my part-time job referred me, handed my resume over to her supervisor and I was asked to come in for an interview. I was hesitant initially because I didn’t know much about IZEA or what the company did, so like any savvy PR hopeful, I did some research. I stalked their website, followed their CEO Ted Murphy on Twitter, and checked out their blog.
What did I discover? Their site fascinated me. I was captivated by their fun message, forward thinking and of course the work they do; I felt completely in my element. As I walked into the office for an interview, I noticed the culture reflected exactly what I saw on their website and I was hooked. I suspect the interview went well, because I have been with IZEA since August and will continue my internship into spring – the final semester of my senior year.
I know I am preaching to the choir, but many are aware that PR is being redefined – literally, according to an article from the New York Times “Redefining Public Relations in the Age of Social Media.” The work I do integrates exactly what I am studying in the Ad/PR program at UCF. IZEA is a hybrid of the industry, using word-of-mouth marketing as a tool to generate buzz on the web through social media channels.
My PR skills are put to the test when I work with the publishers in our system; building positive relationships in order to maintain a strong and lasting publisher ecosystem and essentially build our brand. I was also given the awesome opportunity to be a publisher for our blog. I write articles called “casting calls” that discuss our upcoming campaigns that prompt our current publishers to take part and recruit new ones. In these casting calls, I am encouraged to be witty, fun and really just take it and run. I have writing samples being displayed with my photo, name, and best of all they are on a blog in real time. My writing is blasted on our social media accounts and read by thousands.
Although I love the work I do, I have to say the people I work with are what truly make this experience what it is. I never feel like just an intern. I attend the company meetings, celebrations and discussions. I give my opinions, brainstorm and help strategize. I even won a costume contest because my love for Justin Bieber (as displayed on my T-shirt) was apparently welcome with open arms!
You know you love what you do when you don’t have to hit snooze, when you come in early and stay late because you want to, when you instant message with your boss about how much the industry has changed and about how sometimes we miss the sound of dial up…until we realize we have our lifelines…I mean iPhones.
IZEA has been more than an opportunity; it has been an all-encompassing experience. I am psyched to stay on for another semester and learn even more about the company. Social media is here to stay and I’m stoked to be a part of a company that recognizes that.