CJ talk #4
CJ took the interns for a little jaunt to the park acroos the street. He posed some questions about the overall internship experience. It was clear that he genuiely wanted to hear what we had to say and wants us to get the most out of this summer.
Team dynamics was a major topic and how the intern group felt as we walked through the branding and brainstorming process. Did we tend to fall into a certain role, were their tensions, and how were the interactions with the client and what takeaways did we have working together on this project. CJ presented us with the analogy of four personalities one could take on within a group—a bird, rabbit, monkey and elephant. The bird is frantic and never in one spot or topic, the rabbit lives out of fear and is always afraid of the worst, the monkey is focused on only himself and the elephant is planted firmly where he/she is. He asked us to evaluate where we tended to land in our group discussions and brainstorming.
Overall, our group’s repsonses were positive. Mostly because it was a truly positive experience. I’m sure there were some personality differences but there was a resounding resolution. The team did a really good job of hearing each other out, being honest, and keeping the end goal in sight. It was that last part that made it an awesome process. Without communicating it, our team was focused on giving the client the best result first and foremost. And that was made easy because the client was honestly so deserving of the services we could offer. Their passion for what they do fueled our passion to create for them social strategy, a website and graphics that would help their passions become measurable success.
In a past post I discussed how much I was fueled and energized by the brainstorming and collaborative team dymanics. Honestly, I believe I learn and perform better than working solely on my own (I imagine that is the case with most people). Especially with my past social media internship in mind, this type of environment had me excited to come into work and accomplish what needed to be done. The ability to collaborate and openly discuss my ideas with others who I knew would give honest feedback (even if that means shooting down my idea) kept me up on my game. It forced me to put my best foot forward and keep quality high. I knew that by everyone keeping the client and goal in mind, the best ideas were to be kept and no one took offense to theirs not being taken because they understood it was for the best result in the end.
Everyone brings something different to the table, which is something I have come to love about working in teams. Some bring honesty, focus, attention to details, vision, the drive forward and many other things. It just makes to the best qualities to be used towards the best result.
We had a great example of team dynamics here at Bamboo. We were able to be exposed to the fulltimers brainstorm, collaborate, bring ideas, and move from ideas every week. Being in a setting where that was encouraged made it even more of a blast and phenomenal learning experience.
It is pretty crazy to think that this is the second to last day as an intern here at Bamboo. Classes begin for my senior year of college in 6 days and tomorrow marks the end of my time as a Social Media/Marketing Intern. When I think back on the summer it seems like just yesterday we all met together in the old office conference room.
Yesterday, Melissa and I handed over the pièce de résistance of the social media portion for the Stand Out Talent project. It was bound neatly and gifted to such a deserving group of people. We gave it in hope that it would be utilized and help their marketing efforts with social media to further their success. We walked them through the most important concepts of managing social media much of which were things that we experienced and learned in this internship. In a way, we were collecting all of the tips, tricks, rules and guidelines that we came across, learned on our own, gathered from those more experienced, and discovered by mistakes or by chance. I couldn’t have been more excitied about handing it over to a client. I’m sure its evident that I was/have been excited about the project and the client. I am excited to look in a few months to see how their social is doing and their success overall.
Break a leg, Stand Out Talent. You all are wonderful and deserving of success!
Needless to say, it has been a busy couple of weeks.
I haven’t forgotten, rather couldn’t find the mental bandwidth to blog.
Hmmm… what has happened since my last post?
Oh yes. The social gals put together three campaigns for our client and were able to present them to both of the CEOs and the marketing director. In the same meeting, the web developing guru’s and the graphic design master of our intern team presented some of their work as well. Again, another proud moment. The wire frames and mood board look awesome, and are one step closer to the final product(s). Woot!
The social interns have been working hard with Bamboo’s clients social media management. We both have definitely been learning a lot from positive and not so positive feedback. But that is life, and it makes us and the client better at the end of the day. Time management, as always, between projects and learning has been a challenge but it had been great!
Us social interns took some time last week to tweek and clean up the profiles of Stand Out Talent, and streamlined the images and information across the accounts. Today, the social interns focused on creating a ‘Social Media Handbook/Guidebook’ for Stand Out Talent that they can refer to when managing their platforms. This will hopefully boost and streamline their social posting efforts. It was good expereience laying out the details and important things to know about managing social media, seeing it’s been what my whole summer has been about. Good stuff. I just hope it is a helpful tool that will bring some relief to the organization’s leaders. They so deserve it.
CJtalk #2: Wednesday, July 31
It seems that everytime we have one of these intern & cj meetings my head is put into a bit of a whirlpool. In a good way, of course. Today’s lunch meeting was established by cj as one that he wasn’t sure we were ready for. The topic? Pitching. He expressed to us his desire to communicate this particular concept because it would be a great advantage to get practice and experience with it now. So here it goes.
In order to avoid the common experience of self-doubt, loss of confidence and/or the dark maze one’s mind goes into when presenting an idea or vision, there are some principles and tools.
Principles of the Game: Frames
Everyone has them. Think of force fields protecting each individual. You wanna win the pitch? Win the frame. In a pitching-mode setting of two parties, frames always collide and if you are not prepared, you will lose. A common way that businesses (intentional or unintentionally) demolish your frame is through the usage of beta traps. In these situations, an alpha (person of value) has to be established. For example, key stakeholders or leaders are late on purpose, give you less than than expected, key decision makers are not present, or a cheaper alternative to your idea is suggested. The challenge lies in taking the frame back. It is a game of strategy. It could be as simple as getting their attention, or getting them to listen. They say they only have 15 minutes to give your presentation? Great, tell them you’ll do it ten. Boom, grab that frame back.
In a pitching meeting, there is a constant shift of power. Another key is to understand the concept of prizing. The thing of value is either in the hands of you, or the other party. So, position your idea, project or company as the value piece. Money is a commodity, but great ideas are scarce.
CJ gave us visual examples of this in clips from the movie, The King’s Speech and the tv show, Mad Men. These displayed two powerful people in tension. Each struggling to take the frame and gain control. Who is going to claim alpha of the conversation and win?
A lot of this is based on the ability to read the room, feel the vibe. Understanding (through practice) of reading the next move and what to do to gain the frame. CJ and Ginny expressed to us that this is not a battle of egos or a tool to manipulate. But rather, a tool to put in our tool belt that helps prepare you. It is not important to focus on what other people thing of you, you don’t need their validation. As long as you do the necessary work, this concept will put you in a better position for success.
This is not meant to change your personality either, but provide a foundation to better represent the strongest part of who you are. Being confident in the right places. Knowing how to guide and manuever the conversation. Recognizing the occurence of frames and how to avoid the intimidation of the collision.
I love this kind of stuff. Thanks to the leaders here at Bamboo who cease to sacrafice time for us interns.
Today was the moment of truth. We presented the brand brief to Stand Out Talent (Jason and Debbie).
We took the morning to divi-up the sections between the intern team and discuss the main points to cover. We finalized the brief deck, making quick adjustments and corrections.
In order to get further feedback, we presented what we had first to the Boo Crew. This was the first time most of them had heard about our client. They gave some valuable feedback. For instance, my habit is to present as I would in my business classes. Straight forward, on point with what is on each slide and very professional. CJ and the crew advised us to make this presentation more of a conversation. This organization is the CEO’s baby, so we need to communicate and share in the vision along side of them. It is not about reading everything on each slide but more so about communicating the importance and practicality of each section, how it addresses the issues they face.
So with that, we took time to review and revise before Debbie and Jason arrived. We were definitely all excited to go over the brief. All in all, it went really well. Now for refining and beginning the strategy/designing process!
Today is Friday.
Got hands on experience (again) with scheduling posts out for real-life clients. No pressure, right? I found it challenging and rather fun. Having 3-4 clients and finding content for each for the next week was more challenging than I thought. It is a process that involves getting into the personality of each individual, unique client. A church is not going to have the same posts as a university. Bamboo Creative’s posts are similar with distinct differences in content to Snippet’s. It took some time getting into the head of each, finding content that ‘they’ would put out and using the applicable verbage/wording that communicates the profile’s personality.
Great stuff. Another solid week.
This Monday, the team met with Ginny to go over the Target Audiences. We defined who they were externally and internally within the organization and what their personality, core need and action trigger is. Seeing this is the second to last section of the brand brief, we powered through. Our meeting Wednesday will be with Debbie and once she gives the word of approval, the design and strategy stages will start. I took a moment and put into perspective the purpose of the brand brief. It is for the organization to use internally, to provide inspiration and guidance through decisions for the betterment of the organization. From the brief, the design and strategy flow. Bamboo takes the time to do this for their clients because the value is so high. They do not just create logos, advertisements, websites or marketing efforts but they do so with purpose. That is why they dig for the why and let that speak through the design and strategy, allowing for the organization to be placed on a firm and authentice foundation for success.
Sadly, today was Emily’s last day and what better way to see her off than to go bowling!
Melissa and I were asked to come in today and meet up with Emily. She had some exciting news for us! Bamboo would like us to handle the social activities for their clients while they look for a full time Social person. I got the opportunity to schedule posts for next week for one of their clients and get some feedback from Emily. Alright folks, training wheels are off! I could spend all day being nervous or worried I was going to mess something up or I could just go for it and trust my gut. That’s the best way to learn, right? Just do it, learn from your mistakes and gain experience. Well, here it goes!
We got another early start to the brand brief today. We asked Ginny to give us some thought/guidance on what we have so far and what we have left. With that, we were able to condense the three BHAG’s into two and dig into the Positioning statements. We skipped the Target Audience and Value Propisition sections to knock out the Quote and Big Idea. This time was again filled with defining, adding/subtracting, thesaurus reference, and restructuring again and again. I have definitely found that my mind only strints forward for so long and needs a break. I usually take the time to doodle, grab a snack, walk around or look for some design inspiration. We successfully cemented in the Positioning statments and moved to the Quote and Big Idea. This took up most of the day but was well worth it. This section quickly filled up the IdeaPaint whiteboard wall and moved to the adjacent window, talk about creativity and free thinking! We found three quotes that applied to the why of Stand Out Talent and chose the one that could have very well come straight from Jason.
“"The purpose of a story teller is not to tell you how to think but to give you questions to think upon." -Brandon Sanderson
We agreed that this nailed what Stand Out Talent is about. From here we brainstormed some verbs and words that could be used to create their Big Idea. After some fun visual brainstorming on the window, “Reshape Perspectives” was decided. Their purpose in being a theater/production company is to ask the difficult questions to get people thinking, and to what end? Well, in hope that their perspective on life as a whole or on one aspect of their life could be reshaped for the better.
I love seeing the end results. I am so thankful for Stand Out Talent and am proud of my team and all of their hardwork. We are one step closer!