Loyola University / Communication Internships

Public Relations/Event management/Government Affairs: Maryland Wineries Association

The Maryland Wineries Association seeks interns each semester to assist in its public relations and governmental affairs efforts. The Maryland Wineries Association, a 501c(6) non-profit trade organization representing Maryland's growing wine and grape industry. The position will report to the intern coordinator.

The internship is unpaid and interns are expected to work in MWA’s Timonium office for at least 8-10 hours each week. Some duties may be performed out of the office, but interns will benefit from the collaborative work environment.

General Requirements. Successful candidates will have willingness to learn and engage in government relations and governmental affairs, and:
• Have excellent writing, editing and verbal communication skills;
• Be punctual;
• Respect deadlines;
• Be a self starter and be proactive;
• Be able to work in a goal-oriented environment;
• Thrive in a high pressure environment;
• Be a strategic and creative thinker;
• Have extreme attention to detail.

Due to the MWA’s promotion of the state’s wine industry, interns must be at least 21 years old.

Students interested in applying should send resume and cover letter via e-mail to:
Jade Ostner
Maryland Wineries Association

Public Relations Internship

Duties. Since the MWA is a small organization, interns will be involved in all aspects of public relations.
o Media Relations – Work with staff to build strong relationships with media, including:
• Developing a current press list.
• Developing news releases and alerts for to announce news and events.
• Creating new opportunities for editorial placement in local and regional publications.
• Meeting with media sales representatives to identify appropriate avenues for advertising and marketing the industry.

o Consumer Relations – Work with staff to manage consumer relations, including:
• Writing numerous monthly articles about Maryland wine, grapes and industry issues for a variety of publications.
• Developing new content for Marylandwine.com and create monthly e-newsletter distributed to 10,000+ Maryland wine fans.

o Event Management:
• Festival management – Assist in managing MWA’s weekend festivals throughout the internship.
• Special events – Assist in planning and management of special events sponsored by MWA.

Governmental Affairs Internship

Scope of Internship. While the MWA is a small organization, the legislative and regulatory issues it encounters are often high-profile, and life-threatening to the small wineries it represents. MWA is charged with protecting the interests of the wineries it represents, and thus, it must be vigilant during the state General Assembly’s legislative session every January through April.

Much planning goes into the MWA’s work for legislative sessions. Planning begins in September in most years, though some larger issues are multi-year efforts. There are some years when MWA has issues/legislation is has sponsored, and in other years MWA must simply keep watch to ensure no legislation is passed that would compromise the industry.

Maryland wineries are regulated by the State via the Office of the Comptroller, and by the liquor boards in their residing county. Maryland’s alcohol law has a reputation as being one of the worst in the country – and thus, it’s tumultuous and always under duress by special interest groups.

Intern duties will include:
o Governmental Affairs/Relations – Work with staff to manage government and public relations, including:
• Attending MWA Governmental Affairs conference calls (weekly during the legislative session).
• Developing single-issue policy statements for various audiences.
• Meeting with regulators and elected officials to further MWA issues.
• Attending legislative events to discuss issues with attendees.

o MWA Member Relations
• Assist staffr in notifying members of regulatory or legislative issues.
• Updating our “action center” if members are needed to testify in Annapolis or attend important functions.

Additional Experience the Interns May Gain
• Contract Negotiations – MWA revises event contracts annually.
• Association Management – attend MWA meetings and manage internal communications.