A Project of My Own | #3

As an intern in New York City, I’ve ended up with the stereotypical and insignificant tasks, like picking up coffee, lunches, printing copies, and pinning up (and taking down) said print-outs.  Needless to say, I was incredibly excited when I was assigned a project of my own with the New Business department.

Every summer, the New Business department sends mailers to the marketing directors of a variety of businesses we’d like to work with.  The mailers consist of a cover letter and photos of YARD’s work with other clients.  For example, commercial stills from GAP’s summer campaign, drink recipe ads for Campari alcohol, and print ads for OLLY’s gummy vitamins.  The cover letter is a call to action, encouraging readers to be bold, beautiful, and brave by partnering with YARD.

Sounds easy enough, right?  Well, there were dozens of steps involved that I hadn’t considered before jumping on the project.  While I’m satisfied with the final product, it certainly took longer than I anticipated to complete!  Here’s a general overview of the tasks involved with the mailers:

1. I was given a list of companies by Jake, the associate director of New Business, and used a website called RedBooks.com to find out who the marketing points of contact are.  This was a bit tricky, since there are a few different titles for basically the same role – Vice President of Marketing, Head of Marketing, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer, Head of Advertising, Head of Global Brand Marketing, Chief Brand Officer, to name a few.

2. I made a spreadsheet with the companies and the names of marketers who would be receiving mailers from YARD.  RedBooks provided me with their email addresses and the mailing address of the company’s headquarters.

3. I had to cross-reference mailing addresses for big companies using LinkedIn, because companies like Amazon have more than one headquarters.  This meant I had to do a bit of online stalking to determine which employees worked in which regions.  I did so many searches on LinkedIn, that I reached the limit, and had to upgrade my account!

4. So now I’ve got this big list of 500 names, emails, and addresses.  It took days to compile all the information, and even had the help of 2 other interns.  Jake took one look at the list, said it was wayyyy too long, and had Jason, the Chief Growth Officer, look through the list and whittle it down to about 250 names.  Why did we do all this research for 500 names???  A question that I do not have the answer to.

5. Emily, a graphic designer at YARD, printed stickers for me with the YARD mailing address.  I had to hand-write the names and addresses for the 250 names that made the cut.  Jake says it’s more personal that way!  Good thing I have great penmanship! This took at least 2 full days to complete.

6. Jake used the spreadsheet to create the cover letters, and the program he used pulled the first names and company name from the spreadsheet and inserted into the cover letter.  The program was super efficient and saved us (aka me) from having to type in each name and company individually.  I proof-read each cover letter to make sure everything was spelled right and the name/company pairing was correct.  Then they went to print!

7. I printed 250 cover letters, and 250 7-page slides of YARD’s work on cardstock.  I went through all of the cardstock in the office, and we had to order more!  The printers were a bit finicky, and at times, incredibly frustrating.  I used them for several hours, and had to let the other employees know to use the secondary printer.

8. Once everything was printed, I used a binder clip to hold the cover letter and other pages together.  I slid the packet into a decorative envelope, and then slid that envelope into a standard USPS mailer envelope.  Then I slapped on a hand-written sticker with the name and address.  Lots of trees were harmed in the making…

9. Last year, Leah, a copywriter and former intern, was responsible for the mailers.  She taught me how to print postage using a Pitney Bowes postage meter.  Each mailer cost $6.70 in postage!  The postage meter printed the postage on a sticker, which I put on the envelopes, and ~finally~ they were ready to go!

10. The front desk coordinator, Matteo, scheduled USPS to pick up the mailers for me.  I loaded the envelopes into USPS caddys for shipping, and filled 6 total!  And 2 weeks after I started the project, everything was sent out.  A labor of love!!  And all the time, effort, trees, and money have paid off for YARD in the past – one of our current clients, David’s Bridal, reached out to us after receiving a mailer!

2 thoughts on “A Project of My Own | #3

  • July 30, 2018 at 9:10 am
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    Micayla,

    Thanks for submitting this entry as you continue your experience in NYC!

    I’m really happy to hear that you were able to see a project through from start to finish – in a lot of organizations, interns can get assigned some pretty menial tasks, so it’s good to hear that your organization has the faith in you to give you important work.

    What are elements of this project you really enjoyed, and what are areas that you were not too fond of? Doing some reflecting on this will really help you advocate for yourself when it comes to future opportunities. You also talked about some frustrations when you had your meticulously-researched list of 500 names and were told to cut it in half. Have you given your supervisor feedback regarding this experience? If not, do you plan to? Feedback is a two-way street – if your organization preaches a culture of feedback and your supervisor has made it clear that your feedback is valuable to the organization, it may be something to consider doing!

    Congrats on completing your first major project – it’s a big milestone, and you should feel really proud!

    -Josh

    Reply
    • July 30, 2018 at 3:47 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Josh!

      I really enjoyed hand writing the letter heads, because I agree with Jake that it adds a personal touch to the mailers. Of course, I hated wasting some of the letter heads because some names and addresses were nixed from the final list.

      I think the mailers were a learning experience for both Jake and I, because he’s a newer member of the new business department, too. I understand that there was some oversight on the number of names on the list, and I don’t blame anyone for the extra work 🙂

      Reply

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