Here’s the skinny on my summer.
I got a fellowship from the MIT Public Service Center to intern with a non-profit in Hawaii on the Big Island (Hawai’i County)*.
I will be here (in Hilo, HI) for 2 months (June and July).
Now, for the meat-n-bread of what I’m doing, check out this gchat conversation**:
Question: What’s the name of the organization you’re working with again/the thing you’re putting together the marketing campaign for?
Answer: My supervisor is Andrea Dean, CEO of Sustainable Initiatives, LLC. Andrea, along with a committee of community members, acquired a grant from the county to create a “Think Local First” campaign^^ for this island. I’m working closest with Tom DeWitt, a marketing professor (also on the committee) at the University of Hawaii – Hilo to develop the marketing plan for this campaign.
Question: So what kinds of tasks must be carried out under this campaign?
Is it like promoting sustainable practices to residents?
tips and things?
making a Sustainability Day? well, organizing of sorts?
(just throwing out ideas)
All great ideas but we’re not there yet (except for the website); probably won’t get there by the time I leave.
So the purpose of the campaign is to basically get more investment into locally owned businesses and thus stimulate the economy on the island. So my tasks now are to:
- Collect data to help structure the campaign
- Distributing the survey that was created to local businesses gathering their interest in a venture like this
- Tom and I created a survey for consumers to gather insight into the buyers perspective on local products/businesses
- I will be following up on these surveys and compile the responses
- Create databases …
- One of businesses that we will begin dialogue with and
- The other of media outlets, their contact info, and advertising rates for when the campaign is up and running
- Investigate the progress of other “Think Local First” campaigns throughout the country… figure out what they did right/wrong, etc.
- (…once we get to this point) Help craft the key messages and images to be used to promote the campaign
- All the while developing the plan for marketing this whole shebang to businesses, sponsors, and the community
fun summer huh?
Also, outside of the main task, both Tom and Andrea have asked my assistance on other projects they are working on
- Andrea has two more initiatives she needs imaging/media for (Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu – Revitalizing Breadfruit in Hawaii and North Kohala Eat Locally Grown Campaign) and
- Tom is working with the YWCA here to start a program for middle school aged girls … to build self esteem n whatnot
Andrea wants to get some video footage of stories, testimonials, and comments from the community, business owners, farmers, natives, etc.
Some for use in promotions… but also just to populate the website
… well, except for these p.s. type additions:
*Here is a short geography lesson…
The state of Hawaii is made up of four major Islands: Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and Hawai’i. The largest of these islands is Hawai’i, which is often referred to as the Big Island of the state. Here is where my summer adventures take place.
**Some parts were modified for clarity… punctuations added… full words entered to replace some “chat language”… ya’ know, the things that make grammar conscious people squirm (I’m not one of them… but I empathize with their pain)
^^For more details on this project, look at these sites:
ok… now it really is the end. For now at least :)