Having a niche as a college student can seem a little limiting. I mean, how many nonprofits or environmental organizations are looking for PR help from a twenty-something student? But I think knowing what I want to do has its advantages. For starters, it helped me land a summer internship working for the local nonprofit FOOD for Lane County.
Companies and organizations are looking for passionate individuals. Period. Or at least that’s what my boss said when she hired me last May. Because I was so focused, I had a lot of relevant experience, which gave me a leg up. Well, that and my video skills.
I spent the summer chasing stories with a Canon EOS 7d strapped around my neck and a tripod strung over my shoulder. Is it a conventional PR job? Maybe not. But the lines between PR and advertising and marketing are all blurring together nowadays. In the end, I produced numerous videos for the organization – but there’s one that sticks out the most.
One of my tasks this summer was to create a call-to-action, or “ask,” video for our annual auction fundraiser. Here was where my niche really came into play. I want to use my PR skills, be that through traditional PR methods or design or video, to help make a difference. Well, with this video I did just that.
By understanding what the organization really did in the community and the difference it made in my area, I was able to use my skills to accurately portray the nonprofit…and pull at a few heartstrings. My video, seen here, brought in $132,400 for the FOOD for Lane County.
I think that’s what it comes down to – knowing what you want to do, or having a niche, and wanting to use every tool available to make that happen. If I had limited myself to learning the traditional PR methods, I wouldn’t have been able to get this far. So screw traditional – be a sponge. Learn everything you can and that is how you make things happen.