Hello, Photoshop

This week in Public Relations Publications, we started the week off by learning about how to navigate through photoshop. I barely jut learned how to use InDesign, so when I heard we were learning how to use a whole other software I was a little nervous. I know it is necessary to learn multiple ways to create digital content, but it is a hard task for this perfectionist. My inner Blair Waldorf rolled her eyes when I thought about stumbling my way through another design software.

Blair Waldorf GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Luckily, Adam Croom is a good (and thankfully patient) teacher. He has to be pretty patient to put up with me and my friends who are all in the class together. It will take some time, but I am sure that I will eventually get the hang of photoshop just like I (sort of) did with InDesign.

Today, we also had the opportunity to hear first hand from the woman who creates a lot of the digital work for the University of Oklahoma’s Recruitment and Admission office.

It was incredibly interesting to hear that something as simple as changing the leading can have a huge impact on digital and print content.

It was also interesting to hear about the different tactics they use whether that be mass emails and postcards, specific cards sent out and even mass text messages sent out that still give that special feel of a personal approach.

I am nervous to dive into using photoshop for our direct mailer project, but I am also eager to learn more and grow my skills in order to become a better public relations practitioner. Stay tuned for how that process turns out in next weeks blog post.

Reflection

This week in Public Relations Writing, we learned how to write a media advisory and a media pitch. We were tasked with practicing how to write a clear and concise media advisory and media pitch for a journalist(s). All public relations professionals should know how to write these things even if they do not think it is a necessary skill. You never know when you will be asked to write one, so it is best to know how to write a media advisory and a media pitch before you are even asked.

What is a media advisory?

A media advisory is something all public relations practitioners need to learn how to write. It is different from a news release because it is short and sweet. It is an invitation sent to reports to convince them to cover your event. You want to include relevant and important information that will make the reporter want to come.

What is a media pitch?

A media pitch is also something all public relations practitioners need to learn how to write. It is an email or phone call to a specific journalist(s) that you think would be interested in your story. You really have to sell your story so that a journalist(s) will be interested in writing about it.

These two pieces of content utilized by public relations practitioners can make or break a new event, product, organization, etc. Most people do not realize that public relations practitioners need to know how to write clearly and effectively in order to get the job done, and done correctly.

 

My Interview With An Up And Coming InDesign Professional

Today’s blog post is a little different than usual because I am interviewing a pretty cool person (just kidding it is just me). This will give you a little insight into the time I spent creating this weeks Public Relations Publications assignment. I, Sierra Abbott, will be asking the creator of this project, my alter ego: Blair Waldorf, all about the ins and outs of this assignment. I hope you can follow that logic because I barely can. Let’s get started!

Blair Waldorf GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Hi, Miss Waldorf. Can you tell me about your assignment that you had to do for Public Relations Publications today?

Hi, Sierra. I certainly can tell you about the assignment I completed today for my Public Relations Publications class. Last week, we were tasked with creating a business card for the organization of our choice through InDesign. This week, we had to create a letterhead for that same organization and use elements for the business card we created.

Can you tell me about the letterhead you created?

I created a letterhead for Soonerthon. Soonerthon is a 12-hour dance marathon that students from the University of Oklahoma participate in to raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network Foundation. The letterhead I created has many elements of the business card I made last week. I kept it clean and simple. The only pop of color is the balloon, which is the logo for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Tell me about your strengths you had during this assignment.

I am extremely passionate about Soonerthon. I think that if you are passionate about something, it is easier to have fun doing work centered around that.

Tell me about your weaknesses you had during this assignment.

I am certainly not quite a professional when it comes to InDesign, but I am getting better each time I use it. InDesign is hard and it is easy to get frustrated, but I love that I can see how much easier it is to use and how much I improve each time I use it.

Do you have any advice for those who might want to try out InDesign? 

My biggest advice is to keep persevering. You will hit breaking points where you feel incapable and unintelligent, but I promise that you will get it. It takes a whole lot of practice. You have to learn how to critique your own work and step out of the box.

Thank you for your time!

Check out my final product:

Reflection

This week in Public Relations Writing (JMC 3423), we were tasked with learning and practicing how to write a news release. This is a necessary skill for all public relations practitioners because you never know when someone will ask you to create a news release for a certain organization, event, product, etc. It is best to always be prepared.

Before this lesson, I had a limited knowledge of how to write a news release. I learned a little about it through Writing For Mass Media, but that was about it.

As I worked to create news releases this week, I found myself becoming more comfortable and confident with the process and format. It is all about practice. Whoever made the saying “practice makes perfect” was not joking.

Although, my choir teacher once said that “perfect practice makes perfect,” which makes a lot more sense to me. Not everyone gets things right on the first try, but you have to put in 100 percent of effort when you are practicing something. If you do not try, then the practice will really mean nothing.

I am nowhere near being a professional when it comes to writing news releases, but I just have to practice, practice and practice again. There is always room for growth, which is why I know I will be practicing and learning for the rest of my life.

 

Love Well

In today’s society, it is easy to see all of the hate in the world and none of the love. There is an incredible amount of hate going on from things like bullying in a classroom to the things like war and inequality across the nation.

That is why is it our job as followers of Christ to love, and actually love well.

“So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11 MSG

The love we show to others is just not about quantity,  but quality. It is not just about how much we love or how many people we love, it is about how deeply and sincerely we love. As followers of Christ, it is our job to love as Christ loves us. We do this to glorify God and show the lost how fulfilling it is to be found.

We must set the example for love. In no way are we perfect, but God’s love is. It is extremely important for followers of Christ to love well. We have to treat all people how we want to be treated. We have to love all people. We are all children of God, so treat everyone like it. We do not get to pick and choose who we love because God loves everyone single one of us.

We have to stomp out the hate in the world with real, life-changing love. Love that breaks the shackles and sets people free.

When we set out to love others, we have to make sure that we also love ourselves.

“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s  reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him.” 1 John 3:18-22 MSG

We have to truly love ourselves in order to live a fruitful life that glorifies God. When we really love ourselves, it is easier to love people because we can connect with them on a deeper and spiritual level.

God knows literally every single thing about you. There is no part of your life that is hidden from him. He knows you better than you know yourself. God knows what has happened on your hardest and darkest days, yet he still loves you unconditionally. He knew your weaknesses and failures before you were even born, yet he still sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for your sins so that you could live an eternal life in heaven.  That is real love.

Do not let your self-doubt keep you from loving yourself and loving others. Love yourself so that you will be ready with arms open wide for whatever and wherever God takes you next.

God has big plans for you. He is going to use you in ways that you cannot even imagine, but you first have to love yourself.

 

New Challenges: Creating A Business Card

This week in public relations publications, we were tasked with the assignment to create a business card for any organization that we wanted.

I chose to create a business card for Soonerthon.

I am currently on exec for Soonerthon as an Ambassador. As a Soonerthon Ambassador, I am in charge of raising a lot of money (and I mean a whole lot) and keeping track of donation boxes around Norman. I wanted to create a business card for Soonerthon because it is an organization that I am extremely passionate about and actively involved in.

Soonerthon is all about raising money for the incredibly strong kids that have to spend their days at the Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City.

When I was a junior in high school, I lost one of my very best friends to cancer. She spent many of her days at the children’s hospital in Tulsa, OK. She is the reason why I participate in Soonerthon. She was an inspiration to me and so many others from my high school. Unique had a tough fight, but she fought every single day with an extreme amount of strength and a never-ending love for God.

As you may know, I am a total control freak and perfectionist. I like having strict guidelines when it comes to projects and assignments. Assignments like creating a business card for the organization of my choice is hard for me because I like concrete instructions.

I decided to create a business card for Soonerthon because it is an organization that I am a part of, one that I am passionate about and one that I strongly connect to.

When you strongly connect to a brand, it is easy to portray their message through a project. I am glad I could portray my love for Soonerthon through something as simple as learning to create a business card.

I still have a lot of things to learn when it comes to creating through Indesign, but I am finally starting to get the hang of it.

Practice, practice and more practice is all it takes. It might not be perfect yet, but here is an example of what I have learned to do through Indesign so far:

I still have a very long ways to go, but I am learning the process one day at a time.

Reflection

Unit 2.2 of public relations writing (JMC 3423) was all about writing basics: the elements of news,  the big five, the ABC’s of journalism, the inverted pyramid, ledes (or leads) and bridges, and body. All of these aspects are vital to writing.

The elements of news: Mass appeal

  • Suspense
  • Prominence
  • Immediacy
  • Conflict
  • Emotion
  • Consequence
  • Oddity
  • Proximity
  • Progress
  • Sex

The big five

The top elements of mass appeal that all public relations practitioners need to use in their writing.

  • Consequence
  • Interest
  • Timeliness
  • Proximity
  • Prominence

ABC’s of journalism

  • Accuracy
  • Brevity
  • Clarity

The inverted pyramid

The writing style of journalists.

  1.  The Lead: The most important information.
  2. The Body: The crucial information.
  3. The Tail: The extra information.

Ledes (lead) and bridges

Lede (lead) : Most important paragraph of a news story.

Bridge: A transition from the lede (lead) to the body.

The body

Body: Detailed portion of a news story.


You might think this information is only useful for journalists (I used to think that), but it is also extremely useful for public relations practitioners.

One thing that I have heard from many sucessful public relations practitioners, is that they wish students would realize the importance of knowing how to be an effective writer.

Why do public relations practitioiners need to know how to write?

To gain the trust of your stakeholders, client, organization, etc. and to build your credibility in the public relations field.

If you want to be the best of the best in the public relations sphere, you must know how to be an effective writer.

Try, Try & Try Again

If you know me at all, you know that I am a perfectionist. I like to get things right on the first try, and I automatically feel like a failure if I cannot figure something out. I am literally a real life Blair Waldorf from “Gossip Girl” when I am frustrated (well maybe not as dramatic…).

Blair Waldorf GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

That was me when I was learning how to use Indesign this week in my public relations publishing class. I got extremely frustrated with myself when I could not figure out what I was doing. There is so much to learn from how to create shapes, change colors, make a newspaper template and a whole lot more that I could not even tell you about…yet.

See that is the key word “yet.” I think that is a great life lesson for all of my fellow perfectionists out there. There is always something new to learn, there is always something that you will not be good at, but most importantly, there will ALWAYS be things you have to work at before you can be a master.

It is extremely easy to be discouraged when you do not succeed on the first attempt, but perseverance is the key. If you keep trying, you will learn more than you ever would if you got it perfect on the first try. If everyone was great at everything they tried, then the world would be a pretty boring and dull place because nobody would have unique talents.

I say that I cannot tell you about all the elements of Indesign yet because one day I will be able to tell you all about it. How will I be able to do that? Because instead of giving up due to my lack of skills at the moment, I am determined to keep working hard to learn as much about Indesign as I can. I will still get frustrated (spoiler alert: I will get frustrated a whole lot), but I will just have to try and try and try again until I finally figure it out.

With lots of hard work, you can do anything you set your mind to.

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