The following post was written by Sakshi Pathania, Global Exchange’s Social Media and Online Communications intern. Global Exchange thanks Sakshi for all her hard work this summer. She will be missed!
Coming from a place where morals and values are still held high in spite of the ever growing need for westernization to a city that is liberal, multicultural, yet beautiful. My journey from New Delhi to San Francisco has been no less than what I ever dreamt of. Having pursued my education in Journalism with a career background in media and communications, I became an integral part of media campaigns and revolutions around human rights and social justice in New Delhi.
My belief in standing up for these issues and life experiences brought me to Global Exchange. What better way to support a cause that is close to your heart and using a medium where your interest lie than to take up the Social Media summer internship at Global Exchange.
With a well structured internship program in place, I began my internship under the guidance of Global Exchange’s Online Communications Manager-Zarah Patriana. While working closely with her, I not only gained practical online community management experience but also helped to promote Global Exchange’s campaigns, events, actions, and programs.
One such event that I became a part of was the 12th Annual Human Rights Awards Gala. The 12th annual Human Rights Awards were held May 8th, 2014. I helped promote the inspiring event on social media and witnessed an evening that honoured the great work by 2014 honorees: The 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Schools, Maria Estela Barco Huerta, and the Cuban Five.
By keeping Global Exchange in a mix of tweeting, facebooking and blogging, I got to manage social media networks and learned the latest tips & trends. From creating social media content on Community Rights, Green Festival, Reforming FIFA, Reality Tours to blogging on Fair Trade and interviewing the winners of What about Peace program, this internship has definitely opened my eyes to a variety of issues concerning human rights that need immediate attention in our society.
An interesting aspect of my work is the ability to analyze, manage and grow social media channels and audiences by undertaking several workshops and projects on communication strategy. Coming up with social media best practices and brainstorming on how it can be implemented has been very challenging yet fun.
The best feature in the whole internship program is the weekly intern workshops that featured various campaigners and speakers who talk about the issues we are concerned about. One of these issues that Global Exchange is actively involved is Fair Trade Program and the Ghirardelli campaign. It’s an ongoing campaign that really excites me and was my summer project too!
Global Exchange has actively challenged the entire cocoa industry to stop using child labor and start using Fair Trade certified cocoa and this summer our target was San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Chocolate company. We came up with a social media strategy to best target Ghirardelli and urged them to go Fair Trade! And yes, Ghirardelli definitely heard us loud and clear. Ghirardelli executives have agreed to meet us very soon.
As I spend the last day of my internship in Global Exchange, I remind myself of the take-aways. They have been many-gaining knowledge on human and social justice issues, learning online advocacy tools and enhancing social media skills.
But one thing for which Global Exchange will always remain special to my heart is that this program opened my mind to a whole new experience. It has built a new road for my career-breaking into Social Media.
And my journey begins here…