In this installment, Publicity Intern Marcelene Sutter learns each step of the book publicity process.
I’m overjoyed to be back at Island Press this semester, and not just because I get to continue my love affair with the UPS machine. The writing and marketing skills that I developed last semester in my internship with Island Press served me incredibly well over the summer, so I jumped at the chance to spend another semester refining my skills in such a friendly work environment. This semester, I’ve been able to delve further into the research side of publicity: finding publications and identifying reporters who might be interested in covering Island Press books.
From my experience with Seven Modern Plagues last spring, I knew that research was necessary for marketing plans, but I never realized how much of effective publicity boils down to planning. This semester, I learned how to use both Cision and internet searches to identify potential media outlets and reporters, and organized this information into spreadsheets. Because of this emphasis on planning, my work at Island Press this semester has allowed me to hone my organization skills. I learned to plan every step of the marketing process, from properly prioritizing tasks to making sure that galleys were mailed to the proper media contacts.
Beyond planning, what I’ve gotten out of this internship are the foundational skills that are vital in the workplace and the confidence to execute them successfully. I no longer agonize about sending an email to a potential employer or professor or worry that signing my correspondence “All Best,” makes me sound anything but professional. Being tasked to quickly summarize material or put together Tweets or a press release has gone from a source of worry to work that I know that I can quickly and cleanly knock off of my To Do list.
My time at Island Press has surpassed any of my other internship experiences. Working here is something special, and something that I will really miss in coming semesters. From the moment I walked in the door on my first day, I felt welcome and comfortable enough to ask the million questions that I had, which was something I had not experienced in the workplace.
I’m thankful that I got the chance to work with such a warm and welcoming group of people, especially Jaime and Meghan, who bestowed their marketing wisdom on me with a smile and patiently tolerated a million questions and mail merge tutorials.