Over the past 3 weeks I had the chance to show my work and gain invaluable insight from Ruxandra Isai, Scott Weisgerber, Mark Samuels, Theron Moore, Duy Nguyen, Heather Parlato, Cate Roman, Jonathan Maxwell Deiss, Derrick Schultz, Aldo Puicon, Mike Neal, and Lynda Weinman. After reviews from these 12 professionals spanning from Orange County to Los Angeles I have great notes on how to improve this portfolio and I look forward to spending the next couple months doing just that.
Its technically all at one business, but that doesn’t mean its not varied…just take a look.
At Prehistoric Pets my responsibilities have continually evolved as new skills and needs have developed. In 2002, I spent the summer focused on data entry to build the company’s database of previous customers to be used for a promotional mailer. The next two summers were spent with Prehistoric Pets working with customers in retail as well as promotions for the company at the Orange County Fair.
In 2005, I began my official part-time employment for Prehistoric Pets managing a secondary business sector, Jurassic Parties. Jurassic Parties, a service oriented entertainment source, provides educational and hands-on presentations involving reptiles from around the world. With Jurassic Parties my duties involved scheduling presentations, confirming reservations, organizing time efficient crews, and creating the maps and directions to be used by team members on the day of the event.
This focus on computer related tasks lead to expansion into online marketing of Jurassic Parties services. With the introduction and growing acceptance of local search websites, including Google, Yelp, InsiderPages, Merchant Circle, and SuperPages, I began to create an online presence for the company using these free online tools.
As part of my growing skill-set and passion I began, in 2006, assisting in the design of Prehistoric Pets and Jurassic Parties’ promotional materials. By 2007, I became the head designer for Jurassic Parties, as well as maintaining my previous responsibilities of presentation scheduling management. I had the opportunity to design monthly advertisements for OC Parenting and OC Family magazines.
As a response to the ever-changing online social media, my duties again expanded in late 2007 to include management of Prehistoric Pets’ YouTube channel and MySpace page. Management and maintenance of the company’s official channel included filming short segments, writing descriptions, titles, and search terms for each video, posting online, and maintaining comments and responses from viewers. Duties involved in Prehistoric Pets’ official MySpace page included uploading videos and photos, managing friend requests and comments, and writing blog posts for the company.
In 2008 with a company restructuring I was now responsible for the vast majority of the clerical work involved in running Prehistoric Pets and Jurassic Parties. These tasks included managing company bank accounts, scheduling and paying all invoices, maintaining and entering payroll, calculating and entering monthly sales-tax payments, and organizing files for yearly taxes.
Advances in social media, specifically the introduction of the Facebook fan page further increased my responsibilities in 2008. I created and maintained official fan pages for both Prehistoric Pets and Jurassic Parties embracing the constantly changing feel and function of the fan page in its early development.
After years of personally researching, the idea of further segmenting the Prehistoric Pets business plan to include a paid admission section of the Fountain Valley location, the decision was made in early 2009 to create The Reptile Zoo. During this process I was responsible for much of the conception of this model and all branding and collateral for the new company.
A major change in the 20 year old company’s business structure I wrote several bulletins to alert customers of the changing structure and benefits. Branding The Reptile Zoo was vital in defining the company as a new and necessary sector of Prehistoric Pets. I designed the Reptile Zoo logo and created branding guidelines for the new company including use of typography, color, and content. To carry out the model, I researched various entrance systems of similar companies, acquired pricing quotes, and purchased the required technologies. I then worked with the CEO to create a price point for admission and annual passports as well as the required tickets, “menus”, passports, and signage. I also designed a temporary website in a consistent theme showing the process and explaining details of the company restructuring. Once The Reptile Zoo was launched in early July 2009 several months were spent training employees and informing guests of the changes as well as maintaining the hands-on interaction booth for customers.
Social media as a form of online marketing expanded exponentially in 2009 and management of official Facebook fan pages, YouTube channels, Twitter accounts, and MySpace pages for each of the three business sectors quickly required the majority of my attention. I was able to delegate some clerical responsibilities including billing, payroll, and some Jurassic Parties responsibilities to another team member to focus my time on the growing opportunity of social marketing.
In 2009 The Reptile Zoo had the opportunity to film an online web series made for YouTube. Each webisode was filmed and edited professionally, then sent to myself for writing descriptions, titles, and search terms for each video, posting online, and maintaining comments and responses from viewers, much like my previous work with our short clips. Each video was then linked to each of our online profiles to increase viewership across our varied social network.
In late 2009 the reptile industry, of which Prehistoric Pets, Jurassic Parties, and The Reptile Zoo are each major constituents was threatened by purposed federal legislations HR669, S373, and a USFWS Rule Change. To combat this unfounded legislation I used our already developed online social network to gain support and raise awareness in the general community. I contacted legislators’ offices including Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Dianne Feinstein to schedule meetings to discuss the legislation. Our company was never granted personal meetings, but after weeks of contact with representatives I finally received personal responses from each Senator regarding my efforts.
Recently because of my efforts Prehistoric Pets was included in a roundtable with the Office of Advocacy of the US Small Business Administration. For this meeting I researched and prepared a PowerPoint and leave behind fact sheet for the presentation given by Prehistoric Pets’ CEO. The facts offered by this presentation and leave behind were then directly referenced in the official correspondence to Ken Salazar, secretary of U.S. Department of the Interior.