June 4, 2009
By Lauren Garcia
Well, the first slightly nerve wracking but exciting days of my public relations internship at Boys Town are behind me. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the name Boys Town, it is a 90-year-old organization founded in 1917 by Father Edward Flanagan in Omaha that provides a variety of youth and health care across the country. To learn more about the organization, go to boystown.org!
The first day was a whirlwind of meeting new people, understanding expectations and, maybe most stressful, learning how to answer the phone and transfer calls correctly. By the second day, my rehearsed "Boys Town Marketing and Communications. This is Lauren, how may I help you?" was impressively professional.
Besides the wicked phone skills, the most important lesson I've learned so far is that when you start working with a nonprofit organization, especially one so rich in history like Boys Town, it's essential to take in as much information as possible in order to fully comprehend the vision of the organization. Thus far, I've visited the Hall of History, taken a tour around the campus, read old articles and news releases and my favorite, watched the Academy Award winning movie from 1938, "Boys Town," staring Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney. Everything I've learned I take into account when I answer a question, write an article or just interact with the staff around me. Particularly with marketing and public relations, the mission of the organization must be consistently communicated. And yes, I will probably visit the Hall of History more than once in order to make that happen. And because it's really fun.