Summers at Mount Union: UMU Meets CLE
The City of Champions, The Land, CLE, the 2-1-6, however you say it, we all love Cleveland. Every day I help promote Cleveland businesses to the world such as the West Side Market, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, Corner Alley and many more. Not only does it feel great to intern in the vibrant city of Cleveland, but there is no greater sense of pride than helping our city grow. My name is Brandon Lucas and I’m a senior majoring in Public Relations and I’ll be talking about my exceptional summer internship with Destination Cleveland, Cleveland’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Do you ever see those white, over-sized Cleveland script signs placed throughout Cleveland? Maybe your friend posted a photo with one on Instagram? That’s Destination Cleveland and they’re the innovators behind those signs. Destination Cleveland works to stimulate economic impact for the city by bringing in visitors for leisure and business travel. Don’t let the word “visitors” fool you; Destination Cleveland works to make residents in surrounding cities tourists in Cleveland too! This is because residents are the third most utilized tool when deciding to travel somewhere. Having our residents excited about Cleveland helps bring in more visitors, who would’ve thought that? Those Cleveland script signs are a way for residents to show off their Cleveland pride while showing prospective visitors and businesses why Cleveland is one of the hottest cities in the nation. All the work Destination Cleveland puts in to have Cleveland in the spotlight paid off when they won the bid to host the 2016 National Republican Convention. This brought the city to new heights and was an incredible accomplishment for the city and Destination Cleveland.
My role as the PR/Communications intern can range day-to-day, but no matter the task, I’m helping our city. Since I work under the marketing department, I focus on writing news releases about our cities events and attractions. The first article I wrote was about events residents could attend on the Fourth of July in Cleveland and surrounding cities. This article required a lot of research on events in our city, checking to see if our partners had events, knowing the Cleveland brand and understanding my audience. Outside of writing, during my first week I was able to meet and connect with several local news stations. The Cavs were in town for the NBA Finals and I was lucky enough to meet well-known news reporters from Channel 3, 8 and 19 as they interviewed my supervisor. I was able to watch and learn how my supervisor responded to the questions and how she put emphasis on certain sections of the interview regarding Destination Cleveland’s mission and purpose. I also work closely with the Cleveland Visitors Center in the front of our office. This is where I help residents and visitors alike plan their adventures in Cleveland!
Taking an internship over a typical summer job is highly rewarding and beneficial. Not only does my internship fall in my field, but I’m improving my strengths and learning new skills along the way. Two of the biggest areas I’m improving are my research and writing skills. A simple Google search doesn’t solve all your problems when writing a news release. Being able to know where to look, who to talk to and what would work for the article all come from practice and guidance. After doing research, the writing part comes in. Destination Cleveland has a very unique and relaxed tone in their news releases and it takes time, and again, lots of practice and edits to get the article to the best version of itself. A new skill I’ve picked up here is customer service. Working in the Visitors Center comes with helping a variety of people who have lots of questions. Some people want one question answered, some have an abundance of questions or others may have questions they haven’t even thought of until they walk through our doors. We always strive to treat visitors like family. Even though they may come in for one question, we engage with them and see why they’re in town, what is on their agenda to see, and look for other ways to enhance their stay in Cleveland. They may never have thought about seeing the Great Lakes Science Center or may not have known about the special exhibit happening at the Cleveland Museum of Art. By the end of their stay, we want them to love Cleveland as much as we do!
In the end, interning for Destination Cleveland has given me countless opportunities to grow and expand my skills and network. I get to work with an incredible team that is fun and passionate about their work and look to empower me and want to see me succeed. You can call Cleveland whatever you want, but I’m lucky enough to call it home. #ThisisCLE