Solid

I keep thinking about how plant-less my life is going to be in two short weeks. On my desk is a Janet Craig, poor thing probably needs to be watered some more. On the side of me is a ponytail palm, which I stare at constantly because it’s so different. I walk into the warehouse and I feel like I’m on the set of Jurassic Park, tropical plants are literally tripping me when I walk to the office.

Although no one could say that I was blessed with a green thumb, I’m considering keeping the plant aspect alive in my house. As bad as I am for caring for them when they’re my own – my parents never allowing me to have a dog makes so much sense to me now – I think not having the greenery around me would be too sad.

Week by week, I have a different involvement with the plant side of the business. Sometimes I’m really hands on with service technicians and installations, other times I can just be found behind my computer screen under piles of notebooks and coffee cups.

I think this week, although mostly at the desk, had a good amount of plant influence – even if it mostly consisted of just writing about plants.

I’ve written 3, now 4, blog posts this week. And I’m loving it because for the official NPK Blog I want them to be like mini articles, so being able to write blogs for NPK that have detailed quotes and references is awesome and is also helping me to sharpen my journalistic experience.

I finished a large blogging project this week on NPK’s collaboration with Rose Pest solutions to promote pollinator health. I interviewed our contact at Rose and a few coworkers at NPK to help describe why pollinators are so important to our environment. You can check out the blog and pictures here:

Design work has been big this week as well. As I’ve mentioned before, we’ll be sending out quarterly newsletters and an announcement postcard about Meet the Team and our social media pages. So this week has been spent fine tuning the content but also designing the templates that will be sent out. Not using an Adobe product for layout designs is so foreign to me, but I’m happy with the product we’re creating. Gaining these new skills is incredibly important to me. I also just spelled incredibly wrong probably four times, so maybe the next software I need to be trained on will involve enhancing my spelling.

Two more weeks are left and they will be filled with blogs, content writing and enjoying all of the plants around me as much as I can. Which reminds me, I can’t forget to water Janet Craig…

Enjoy the blog post and look for more to come!

Tying Up

I know I’m not the only one who hates loose ends.

 

I’ve covered this topic in previous blog posts about how frustrating it is to want a project to be done because you’re so excited to have others see it. It was another one of those weeks.

Last week, Leah and I filmed a video on how to prune and pinch plants so they are able to grow and be healthy. The filming went well, minus the sound difficulties, but the editing was crazy!

After a whole week of attempting to edit the video using my Asus, I decided to suck it up and return to where I learned all of my editing techniques: Macbook Pro. After a much easier time reducing the background noise from downtown Chicago and stringing the videos together to create a fluid sequence, we’re on our way to publishing! After a few edits later this week our first video blog will be published!

Now, with only a few weeks left, I’ll be focusing on creating content for long term projects. Everything from newsletters to future blogs will be written in these weeks and it’ll be exciting to have a vault of material to choose from when continuing our publicity for NPK.

This week will be focused on that and a very exciting collaboration with Rose Pest Control! Rose Pest Control is in the process, with NPK, of installing a display to promote pollinator health. Yes, they are an exterminator company that wants to encourage bugs! Bugs do not always equal unwanted pests. NPK knows insects and other “pests” contribute to the health of plants and are excited to join Rose Pest Control in promoting this around the Chicago area.

We’ve also had an addition to our Meet the Team page! If you didn’t have the chance to take a look last week, you can do so here: meet the team blog

So, while I’m tying up the ends of projects here and there to prepare for the final internship projects at NPK, be sure to check in and see what we’re publishing week to week!

Turning Points

Although a lot has been accomplished during my internship with NPK,  I’m very excited to announce that the big project that I’ve been working towards is finally ready to be seen by the public!

Meet our NPK team here: meet the team blog

 

After gathering all 14 interviews, writing their biographies, taking their picture and trying to figure out WordPress web design, they are finally done! I’m most excited about this project because not only are we now implementing it into other future projects but that I was able to really take the time to learn about this business and those that work here. It’s nice to take my journalism background and be able to apply it within this internship.

Next, like I mentioned last week, comes the editing of the blog video on pruning and pinching. I’ve done lots of video edits over the years but I am definitely learning that trying to create a video that successfully exhibits a “how to” is a lot more difficult than I had originally thought! Every frame should exhibit a step in the process and, seeing as how we were in the middle of Chicago filming, it can be difficult to be sure you have each step down.

But – not to worry, because trial and error will end up making this video the tool that it should be! The content for the video is written and ready to roll out when the edits are finally completed and that will be very exciting.

I also learned how to create a successful job flyer this past week. We are hiring for two different positions here at NPK – one in sales and one as a service supervisor. I wanted to create two flyers that could be sent to various schools that were easy enough to read but could also capture students’ attention. Using InDesign, I created two flyers that exhibited pictures of NPK designs and gave a brief rundown of what the positions entailed.

flyer

 

Only a few more weeks left to go and we still have more projects to accomplish! But as excited as I am for those, I’m very happy with what has been achieved so far.

Height of Summer

Height of Summer = I AM BUSY.

I’m not one to complain about being busy, though, because that means progress is happening and big presentations are right around the corner.

This week was a wild goose chase of me finding out where every single employee was going to be. I became the most hated person at NPK – I wanted to take their picture and put it where everyone could see it. But, I am resilient, and I tracked every person down and got them to allow me at least a few shots of them while they posed during their work day.

What’s funny is that although a lot of employees put up a hard fight to get their picture taken by me, they seemed to enjoy it at the end. Probably just laughing at me trying to take decent looking headshots using my Galaxy. Which leads me to something I learned this week – you need to learn to work with what you have.

I obviously don’t have a great camera, top of the line photo editing software, etc because I’m a college student. I use my phone and pray for the best, I leech off of other people who did actually break down and buy Photoshop, and I just work with what’s in front of me. But when I was taking staff pictures, I wanted to be sure that they were great quality and reflected each individual. So, I worked with what I had – I played around with where we took the pictures in terms of lighting and backgrounds, different poses, and anything else I could think of.

The pictures turned out really nice! Now all that’s left to accomplish for my Meet the Team project is actually posting the biographies and pictures to our website. It’s amazing how easy you think a project will be and then realize you have a lot of little ideas to put into them along the way. The whole page will be done by the end of this week, which is a deadline stretch that had to happen. Thanks to Ryan, email marketing strategist and helper of all things WordPress, we decided that this is a project that I needed to be creative about and really like. After exploring the world of WordPress plug ins, I think I’ve finally found the one that’ll work best for NPK right now!

Now that the bio posts are wrapping up I’ve begun the NPK blog that I talked about in last week’s intern blog. Focusing on how to prune and pinch in your garden to create happy plants, Leah and I spent a day at a location in downtown Chicago shooting some footage and Broll for the upcoming blog post. Here’s a little tiny preview:

After a lot of networking this week to try and promote the NPK blog, I’m ready to take this on as the next big project with my internship. I’ve even networking with contacts that I have not personally met which is a brand new thing for me!

I’m so excited to show new things for next week – thank you for following along with me here at NPK!

Zen // Beale

This week has been crazy. Crazy crazy crazy crazy. So I’ve been going in between two different playlists to keep up. One is called Zen (I need it, ok) and the other is Beale (always vacay dreaming).

Zen has some really relaxed tracks on it, which is the whole point. I even have some Sigur Ros on there so you KNOW it’s a Zen playlist – they go between Icelandic to a language they made up. It’s intense.

Beale is a bluesy-southern rock feel. If you asked me my favorite genre, this would be it. I think part of the reason I love it so much is that it feels like home. I have tracks on here by bands from Mississippi and a singer out of Baton Rouge/New Orleans. Hearing some of these songs reminds me of walking around the French Quarter.

Here are my top five tracks from each playlist:

ZEN

1. Julep – Punch Brothers

2. Arsonist’s Lullaby – Hozier

3. Lead Me Home – Jamie N Commons

4. Smother – Daughter

5. Wild Ones – Bahari

spotify:user:1274600319:playlist:6n8Fyy5t0s0S5EoxQ8J2GF

 

BEALE

1. Honey, Leave the Light On – Kristin Diable

2. Violent Shiver – Benjamin Booker

3. Crazy Woman – Joseph LeMay

4. For the Man I’ve Known – JP Cooper

5. Like Rock & Roll and the Radio – Ray LaMontagne

spotify:user:1274600319:playlist:6LawdCbczeA6RqC3wzRunJ