As a fresh college graduate who finished his degree during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, internships, and job opportunities seemed somewhat unattainable. Many companies and organizations were reframing their business models and reorganizing their budgets. Internships and entry-level positions were some of the first expenses to be cut. Becoming an intern at DH was truly unexpected, but something that I am forever grateful for.
From day one, I was brought into live projects and campaigns. This included working with organizations such as Washington State Department of Health, Wenatchee School District and STCU. As an intern, my job role was predominantly to support account managers and coordinators. This included performing competitors analyses, creating progress reports, digital audits and much more.
As my internship wraps up, I wanted to share few learnings from my experience that I felt would be relevant to so many communicators across various industries:
Health equity — listening to communities to inform strategy.
Health equity work can be challenging and it starts by recognizing public health issues are also social justice issues — many historically excluded communities face gaps in the quality of health outcomes as a community. When engaging these communities as a communicator, I learned the importance of listening to the realities they face and letting them take an active role in shaping campaign content and strategies to messages resonate.
Digital audits can be robust or simple.
One of the things I supported to inform strategies for clients was qualitative and quantitative audits of their existing content and channel strategies online. A solid audit analyzes not just the strengths and opportunities for content to better align with an organization’s brand promise, but reviews it in the context of their competitive marketplace. It’s something communicators can do on a quick, monthly basis by studying up even a handful of social posts from competitors to stay abreast of best practices. The audits I supported included audience demographic study attributing content performance to audience subsets, which helped make better decisions aligning content to those audiences.
The strength of a passionate team.
Working at DH, I realized people do some of their best work when they’re surrounded by other people who are not just great at their jobs, but care deeply about making an impact. People live and breathe a collective, mission, vision and values. I guess the advice I’d give to other communicators on this front is to search for teams who energize you, inspire you and challenge each other to bring their best thinking on every project. Working this way makes a job not just a job, but a joy.