Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

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Week 7: Editorial Meetings Part 2

Monday, August 6, 2012 10:03 pm

This week I mostly worked on my articles and contributed to the marketing department of Pride. I continued to make phone calls to companies interested in advertising in the upcoming issues. The most eventful part of my week that deviated from my normal day was the occurrence of an editorial meting. I was asked to sit in on another monthly editorial meeting and it was even more enlightening than the first. I was more involved in this meeting because I was more comfortable since I’ve been to an editorial meeting before and I’ve been working for Pride for almost two months now. Our editor, Lee, went over the general layout of the upcoming issue. I shared the status of my three articles, which were still in progress, but nearing completion.

The main topic of discussion was design ideas for the September-October issue. Just like all of the other issues of Pride Magazine, this issue has a theme and it is dual them, Health and Education. Our goal was to think of a creative cover that incorporates both themes. After much brainstorming, the most popular option was a woman biting into an apple. Eating the apple represents maintaining health through the use of fruits, while the apple itself is a popular representation of education. We combined the “apple a day, keeps the doctor away” expression, with the apple symbolism for education. Now that we have an idea, the next step is for the graphic design team to translate our idea visually.

We then moved on to using social networks as a way to publicize Pride and receive feedback from readers. With the Sunset Jazz Festival right around the corner, we decided to utilize Facebook more as a means of informing the public. Lee is also in charge of Pride’s Facebook page, so she suggested using trivia for giveaways. We all agreed that this was a great idea because it grabs the interest of the public by giving them the opportunity to win a prize and simultaneously, plants the idea of attending the Sunset Jazz Festival in September. If Facebook is successful, Pride will continue using this marketing tool with other events hosted by Pride and in generally promoting the magazine.

Next week is my last week at Pride and it saddens me that this journey is coming to a close. By next week, my articles will be finished and I will make sure to include them in my final post.

XO,

Epiphany

Week Five/Six: The Pride Awards

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 5:44 am

I never realized until now how many people it takes to make an event successful. These past two weeks have been about The Pride Awards, an event occurring in January 2013. The CEO and Publisher of Pride Magazine, Dee Dixon is spending so much time on each award’s name and criteria because she intends on including a page in the next issue of Pride with all of that information to not only notify readers of the event, but to also start collecting nominees for the various awards.

On last Thursday, I sat in on a brainstorming meeting for the Pride Awards to throw around ideas for the two awards and narrow down the criteria for the applicants. The majority of people in attendance did not work for the magazine. They were mostly representatives of the major sponsor of the event (Lowes) or an influential person in the Charlotte community who has graced the cover of Pride a time or two. When I first gave Dee my ideas for the “generation” award, she really loved the “Communitas” award so much that she brought it up at the brainstorming meeting and it made it to the list of serious contenders. That same list includes possible names for the second award, granted to a high school student who has made an active effort to positively affect the Charlotte community. Surprisingly, one of the names thrown out was my own, “epiphany”. It’s nice to know that I provided some inspiration, even if it is just a little bit.

Though we did not come to a final decision on the exact name or criteria, it was still very helpful and at the end of the day, it will be Dee who makes those decisions. It was such a wonderful experience to observe all of these different people who are also similar in some ways come together to help plan such wonderful event. I’m very excited to see the end result and we only just started planning it! The more I work at Pride, the more I learn from Dee and all the responsibility she has in wearing a variety of hats. Even though she is the CEO and Publisher of Pride Magazine, she also writes, edits, advertises, network, and manage all of her employees, along with so many other roles. I truly admire Dee for her tenacity and passion for her company, because if she did not have those two qualities, she would not be nearly as successful and she is today. One thing I have learned from Pride thus far (along with so many others) is that I really love the idea of owning my own business. It might be a magazine, but it could also be one of the many other things I am interested in. Time will only tell.

I only have about two more weeks at Pride before my journey comes to a close. I am making great progress with my articles and we have another Editorial Meeting on Wednesday, which I am looking forward to. I plan on cherishing these last moments because they are all fleeting and eventually, all I will have left are the wonderful memories.

XO,

Epiphany

Week Four: The Art of Event Planning

Saturday, June 23, 2012 6:33 pm

This week at Pride Magazine, I focused a lot on event planning and what exactly a company must do to create a major event. The Annual Pride Awards that occur in January, is one of Pride Magazine’s biggest events of the year and Dee has already begun preparing for it; it’s only June! I didn’t realize that we would start discussing this event six months in advance!

Every year, the Pride Awards has a theme. Last year it was globalization. Pride Magazine recognized individuals who not only functioned as leaders in their community, but also made a difference globally. There were various awards that catered to different age groups. There was an overall, main award but also another that was granted to a high school student in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district. Next year’s theme is legacy. Pride Magazine is honoring individuals who have made a long lasting impression on others and have continuously fought to make a difference in various communities. Previous Pride Awards winners are eligible for next years awards.

My job this week was to think of a possible title for the main award. Dee wanted something unique since “Generation Award” and “Lifetime Achievement Award” have been overused. She suggested something with an animal in it i.e. The Golden Eagle Award, but she emphasized that she wanted a very creative title for the award. I did some research on Latin words and Greek gods/titans, which gave me inspiration to create a strong list of candidates for this coveted award. Some of my suggestions were the “Communitas Award” where communitas means community in Latin, the “Auctoritate Award” where auctoritate means influential in Latin, and the “Primarius Award” where primarius means outstanding and distinguished to name a few. These were the most popular to Dee, especially the “Communtas Award”. If she chooses one of my suggestions, it would be great to see the result of my creativity at such a prestigious event.

Because she was so pleased with my work, Dee asked if I could think of some names for the teen version of the major award. That’s my current assignment on top of working on my various pieces for the next issue of Pride Magazine. I hope to have my articles finished by next week. I’m still waiting for a finite deadline, but I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress!

Stay Classy,

Epiphany

Week Two/Three: Editorial Meetings

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 6:46 pm

My past couple of weeks at Pride Magazine has truly been a whirlwind! Things have been fast paced and hectic in preparation for the next issue (July-August), which is scheduled to come out within the next week or so. I’ve sat in on multiple editorial meetings, which gave me the feel of all the different components that make up the publication of a magazine.

My first meeting included the Editor-in-Chief of Pride, along with the CEO and Publisher and the lead writer. It was interesting to see the distribution of power between such strong women (the CEO and Editor-in-Chief). They first started off by discussing their opinions on the latest issues, for example what were the best parts and which needed the most improvements. I found this very helpful in determining which direction to take in the next issue. The CEO, Dee, wanted to make sure that Pride didn’t repeat any of its mistakes from the May-June issue.

After we spoke about the last issue, we moved on the most recent issue, which is just about complete. Everyone rehashed what they are working on and what little is left to do. I didn’t have much input since many of the decisions for this issue was already made before I started interning at Pride, but I was able to chime in when it was time to discuss the September-October issue. This is the issue that will give me the writing experience that I desire from Pride.

The Editor-in-Chief, Lee, assigned me four different assignments that I am extremely excited to be working on. The theme of the next issue is Health and Education, more specifically on dental health thus the majority of my articles relate to dental health. My first article is about the history of the dental field and fun facts about the industry that many people wouldn’t know. My second article will be about careers in dentistry and my third about teeth in general. My last assignment is to compose a calender of major events occurring in Charlotte in the months of September and October. I am truly looking forward to working on these assignments and I plan to add them to the blog whenever they are completed.

The second editorial meeting that I attended centered around the placement of advertisements in the Charlotte Multicultural Resource Guide, a publication affiliated with Pride Magazine that is released every summer. There was a minor issue of four ads that needed placement in the Resource Guide, so a meeting was called to figure out which articles or ads to move in order to incorporate the ones that currently didn’t have a place. Though it was stressful, we were able to reach a solution withing 45 minutes with the help of the entire team.

Pride continues to give me experiences that I would have never had to opportunity to have without this internship and it is a bonus that the magazine is small. If I were working for a major corporation, I wouldn’t have access to the CEO or could be making suggestions that are actually being used in the next issue as an intern. Each week I continue to be more and more appreciative of everything that Pride Magazine has given me thus far and it has only been three full weeks!!!

Stay Classy,

Epiphany

Week One: The Importance of Advertising

Friday, June 1, 2012 10:20 pm

Today concluded my first week working at Pride Communications, Inc., but more specifically with Pride Magazine. Pride Communications, Inc. is the parent company of PRIDE Magazine, a local publication that is distributed in Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding areas. Pride has become a positive, meaningful and influential icon in the community. For over 16 years, the magazine has highlighted the accomplishments of African Americans and promoted social and cultural awareness throughout the community with regard to men, women, business and health.

In conjunction with the magazine, Pride Communications produces two signature events to give back to the community on a larger scale. They are the annual Pride Awards and the Sunset Jazz Festival.The Pride Awards is one of Charlotte’s premier black-tie affairs. This gala recognizes the contributions and achievements African Americans make in the community. Pride Communications also gives back to the community through an established annual event called the Sunset Jazz Festival. The original purpose is twofold: to give back to the community with free entertainment and to provide a way for businesses and sponsors to mix and mingle with the community outside of their corporate boundaries. Because the Sunset Jazz Festival is in September, while the Pride Awards aren’t until 2013, I have been working closely with the CEO and Publisher of Pride Communications (Dee Dixon) with preparations for the festival.

Yesterday, Dee asked me to write a Press Release for the Sunset Jazz Festival, which was a bit scary because I’ve never written one before. She told me that typically their PR person handles the press releases, but she wanted me to get very involved since she knows that I want to pursue a career in the magazine industry. She gave me some press releases for the festival from the past couple of years and suggested using google for a templates and examples of press releases. It was an experience that I truly appreciated. Of course once I was finished it wasn’t perfect, but Dee reassured me that it was a good try and gave me lots of great suggestions. Because Pride is such a small magazine, I am getting lots of hands on experience that I wouldn’t have gotten from a large corporation like Conde Nast or Hearst.

One of my on going projects is working on a list of lists that Dee wants me to create. The lists that Dee asked for are of people to contact to inquiry about purchasing ads in the magazine. This has really taught me a listen in advertising and how much a magazine relies on it. So far Dee asked me to create lists of African-American dentists in the Charlotte area, lists of people who work in home improvement occupations (painters, interior designers, contractors, landscapers, etc.), and lists of travel agencies too. It is definitely a tedious process and that’s only collecting the information. I haven’t even started calling the various businesses to find out if they are willing to purchase ad space in the upcoming issues of Pride Magazine.

Advertisements are a major part of the magazine industry because they are the main source of profit. If you look at any magazine, at least half of the pages contain advertisements. In the end, both parties benefit from it in the end. Readers are exposed to new products that they wouldn’t have known about before seeing the ad in a magazine and often purchase these products, the businesses who buy ads in the magazines are profiting from consumers purchasing this products, and the magazines profit from the ads that the business buy. It’s a win-win situation.

So far, I am really enjoying my time at Pride Magazine. The commute isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. The town that I live in is about 30 minutes away from Pride Communications, Inc.’s headquarters. I travel during low traffic times, so I arrive in a reasonable amount of time. The office environment is very laid back and casual. All of the employees are kind and willing to help. Because I live in South Charlotte, I haven’t had too much exposure to the downtown area of Charlotte, but I’m really growing to like that area. Pride Magazine is located virtually in the heart of downtown Charlotte and I love the location. We grab lunch everyday outside of the office and it is nice to explore an area that I don’t know much about. I’m really excited to see what else interning at Pride will bring me.

Stay Classy,

Epiphany

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