Events director stresses importance of accuracy in communication
By Elle Hansen
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
As someone who grew up when technology was rapidly increasing, Rachel Halbmaier was intrigued by social media and the ability to share information quickly.
She would eventually turn her curiosity into a variety of jobs, landing as the events and promotions director in the Railyard in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska.
Halbmaier first became interested in advertising and public relations in high school when she started to do some public speaking. She realized that she had a knack for talking and interacting with people, on and off the stage.
Her interest in advertising grew after working on her high school yearbook. She was in charge of advertisements and became competitive, wanting hers to stand out among the others.
But it wasn’t until her new student orientation day at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that she learned about an advertising and public relations major and decided to take a shot at it. Five years later, Halbmaier can’t see herself doing anything else.
Halbmaier worked a variety of internships in college to gain experience and narrow her interests. Her first internship was in communications at Southern Power District. There, she helped facilitate and deliver newsletters and surveys to customers.
Her second internship was with the Saltdogs baseball team. She learned the ins and outs of event planning and just how fast-paced it is.
Halbmaier’s final internship, which led to her first job, was as the events manager and marketing chair in the Railyard.
“The Railyard was a good combination of being able to interact with people as well as plan events and create content for social media,” Halbmaier said.
One of her most helpful college experiences was her work on the Jacht advertising team, a student-run ad agency. There, she was in charge of social media and got a better understanding of what is considered good content and how to alter posts to fit each platform.
Professor Dane Kiambi guided her throughout her years in the journalism college and during her honors thesis. He was influential on her research paper and gave her the necessary tools to succeed on it.
Today, Halbmaier spends much of her day in meetings and creating content for the Railyard’s website, social media accounts and posters and fliers.
Editing is a huge factor for Halbmaier when writing emails and creating social media content. To ensure strong, professional relationships between her and the clients, Halbmaier’s emails have to be mistake-free and get to the point. This also applies to social media, specifically Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
“Social media is so heavily and constantly criticized these days that I always have to be strict about self-editing before posting content.”
It is easy to see if something has been plagiarized with today’s internet capabilities. Halbmaier said she has to be very careful to stick to her company’s brand and tone when posting statuses and updates.
Self-editing is important to her job since she works in a smaller company and has to be self-sufficient with everyday writing tasks. However, multiple people look at bigger pieces that will reach a larger audience to catch errors.
Some of the challenges Halbmaier has faced relate back to being a part of a smaller company. Halbmaier has more job duties than during her previous internships. She has learned to prioritize those duties and do things she didn’t previously see herself doing when working on her degree.
That includes being a graphic designer, creating daily posts for social media, managing big accounts with clients and keeping up relationships between clients.
“In school, they teach you what you need to know to succeed in a job, but make it pretty specific to one job,” she said. “I had to combine what I had learned in all those classes in a matter of weeks to be able to keep on top of my responsibilities at my full time job.”
Eventually, Halbmaier wants to work for a large company that focuses on a couple events a year. She wants to be able to take small steps to perfect the event and have enough time to advertise it so it can be successful for the business and for the patrons.
Halbmaier’s best advice for students is to get internships and make them different.
“It was really important for me to be able to do a lot of different types of work over the summer to figure out what I wanted to do after I graduated and not be left without a job after college.”