This spring, 451 Marketing’s interns were given the opportunity to develop a fully integrated marketing communications campaign for a local non-profit organization, Old North Church Foundation.
Joseph Martelli, public relations intern and Boston University senior served as project manager, overseeing the team’s strategy and progress for the group of 22 interns, dubbed 22 below. I sat down with Joseph to get his take on the semester-long project.
What was your initial reaction upon being introduced to the client?
I was excited! Mostly because its an iconic landmark around Boston and New England in general.
This was a huge opportunity to showcase good work with a good client that is regionally recognized. I volunteered for project manager because it was a great opportunity for me to lead the team and gain management experience.
Working with a client that does good and that we all know has made the project all the more exciting to work on.
What has been your favorite part about the project?
My favorite part of this project has been working with so many different people with such different backgrounds from around the city.
We all have varying work styles, so it was interesting (and great practice) to manage such a large and diverse team. It was truly fun being the one to coordinate it.
What were some challenges working with 21 other interns?
Well, it is funny because my favorite part about the project was also the most challenging: trying to coordinate all of the differing work styles and level them all so we were all on the same page. It was definitely challenging to work with people who have different schedules.
For instance, I never even met the Tuesday/Thursday interns, but still had to coordinate with everyone and track the overall progress. It can result in a lot of confusion, but that happens in the work place. It was really difficult at times.
What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned from being project manager?
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that it isn’t necessarily all hands-on. The project manager role is often hands-off—it’s about effective oversight. Although I had previous experience through my time at Boston University and other internships, it was much more challenging with such a large group.
Another valuable lesson that took some getting used to was that not everyone is going to be happy all the time—and that is O.K. At the end of the day, as long as we got the work done and were able to ground ourselves for the greater good of the client, that was all that mattered.
Lastly, I’d add that being creative and having fun with what you are doing is so important. You need to be excited.
The whole team needs to be excited and passionate about the project. Without that enthusiasm, it’s not going to be fun, it’s not going to be productive, and the client will no doubt notice.
Could you describe the team’s final results and the recommendations you made to the client?
All in all, we recommended a more streamlined and efficient social media presence for the client. Basically, we suggested their brand identity be consistent across channels so engagement would feel more real and personal with those seeking out ONC.
We also recommended they try to partner up with tour groups to drive traffic from elementary school and other specialized tourist groups into the Church which was a suggestion originally brought up by one of the Church’s staff members in a previous meeting.
The team really pulled together as best they could to produce what we believe is a strong recommendation for future marketing strategies for the client. There is, of course, still room for improvement and elaboration upon our recommendations, but we see that as a good thing!
What was the most rewarding part of working with a non-profit?
I think the most rewarding part of working with a non-profit was in the interest of those they serve.
I love how the Old North Church is unfocused on themselves. They provide a service and a safe place where people can visit and experience Boston and its history. It was a good feeling that the work we did was for the betterment of the church’s audience, in addition to the client.
What are some tips you would give to future teams?
Split up work even more than you think you should.
There is no such thing as too much proofreading. Everyone should have a role. Also, get on the same page early on so that everyone has the same expectations the whole way through. This will clear up a lot of confusion and any possible tension.
**Composed by Marketing intern Victoria Taylo, Communication major at Boston University (Class of 2015).
22 Below consisted of Christine Abrams, Karen Chiu, Michaela Deluca, Stephanie Dulcey, Soonmee Hayley, Matilda Ivarsson, Meghan Shumway, Peter Juhn, Stephanie Wheeler, Victoria Taylo, Joseph Martelli, Kira Keshavan, Paige Hakim, Lindsay Miller, Aj Park, Summer Fahey, Alex Shore, Lauren Lewis, Lydia Lefevre, Kelsey Bertiglia, Hilary Bokoff, and Annika Plaggenborg.