SOS Teach Me How To Use Adobe Premiere Pro

Last week my blog post about using Canva in my Public Relations Publishing class was pretty upbeat. Luckily Canva is extremely user-friendly (even for those technically challenged like me). It was an easy week because I got to create basically whatever I wanted and use the easiest content creating program out there.

This week was a different story…

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Adobe Premiere Pro is freaking hard (I know I am a drama queen, but I am being serious). We literally only watched a Lynda video explaining how to use it and I am already overwhelmed. For those of you who do not know (me before my class on Tuesday), Adobe Premiere Pro is a video editing software.

My video skills consist of taking a video on my handy dandy iPhone and then using iMovie on my iPad to edit clips together. That is my very basic knowledge of editing videos, so I am in for a treat learning this new software.

I felt bad for our poor substitute teacher because I think I asked a question every five seconds of his presentation over Adobe Premiere Pro. He did not know what he was getting himself into. At least Croom is prepared for my millions of questions and confused antics.

Next week should be interesting when Croom tells us what kind of project we have to do on our own with Adobe Premiere Pro. I will have to prepare myself (that is a joke I will never be prepared).

Hopefully, I will come out of next week as an Adobe Premiere Pro professional (as if).

I will just have to go into next week with my usual Blair Waldorf attitude…

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Stay tuned for next weeks blog post on how hard Adobe Premiere Pro is and how many (many, many, many) questions I will be asking (I am sorry in advance Croom). It is a good think Croom seems like a pretty patient guy.

 

Reflection

This week in Public Relations Writing, we were tasked with writing our own feature story. We had a variety of options to choose from, which made this assignment seem like a real challenge and fun at the same time.

There are various types of feature stories public relations practitioners can write, but the thing I like about it is that the basic structure is always the same.

Pritch gave us a great visual that describes the structure of a feature story: feature lead, nut graph, body and the conclusion.

I was excited for this assignment because one of the options for the topic was to interview one of our favorite teachers.

I chose to interview my Global and International Public Relations professor Dr. Katerina Tsetsura. There are a ton of great public relations professors at Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma, but I love to hear about how public relations practices differ in various countries around the world. Dr. Tsetsura is originally from Russia, so it is fascinating to hear her perspective on public relations around the world.

Dr. Tsetsura is highly involved in the world of global and international public relations, specifically, she is working on a project with Ukraine right now.

I loved getting more experience with the interview process. I have had my fair share of being the interviewee, but not much as the interviewer. It is different being on the other side of things. You have to prepare questions in advance and be able to come up with questions in the moment. I had a really great time when I interviewed Dr. Tsetsura and my fellow classmates in order to get their viewpoint on her as well.

The feature story might seem intimidating to some, but my biggest advice is to just really listen to the person you are interviewing and pay attention to everything they say. You might learn something new and be inspired. You have to have fun with it, so your readers will have fun when they read your piece whether it is serious or fun.

Welcome To Canva

This week in Public Relations Publishing, we were tasked to create social media for the organization of our choice on Canva, aka the easiest design website out there. Usually I am telling you all about my struggles of learning Indesign or Photoshop, but this week I got to use Canva, which I luckily already have experience with for creating various content.

Canva is basically Indesign/Photoshop for those less technically inclined (aka me). It is straightforward and simple to use. Most of its features are free, which is great for those who just want to create content in a short time period and publish it as soon as possible. There are pre made layouts to choose from, different elements like shapes and pictures you can add, a text box feature, a way to upload your own photographs, simple ways to change colors/font/spacing and overall just easy to use.

Social media is one of the best ways to promote events in todays day and age. Almost everyone has access to social media, and usually everyone is at least on one platform or more. This allows organizations to reach a wider audience with their content. It is incredibly important for public relations practitioners to be able to create content that is relevant and popular to those who will see it. Social media is one of the best tools for a public relations practitioner.

I chose to make my social media for Spring Preview Day at the University of Oklahoma, which is a day for perspective freshman women to get their first glimpse of what greek life is all about at OU. I specifically chose to direct women to want to check out Alpha Phi, the sorority that I am a member of.

I made my content simple and to the point, but enough to make those perspective Panhellenic women want to see more about Alpha Phi.

Check out what I created this week:

instagram post

facebook event cover

social media post

Even On The Darkest Days, God Is Still Awesome

It is 12 a.m. on this lovely night of spring break, which means as I lay down my head clouds with thoughts. I should probably be sleeping, but it is the perfect time to reflect on life, what do y’all think? This might go on a little tangent, so bear with me here.

I was just thinking about God and how awesome He is. Yes, I know I probably say that quite often, but I am serious. Our God is one awesome God. I cannot even stress enough how incredibly awesome He is.

“For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth.” Psalm 47:2

It is incredibly easy to get caught up on the things that go wrong in our lives. We might be going through a storm in our life whether that be something as “big” as the death of a loved one to something as “small” (relatively speaking, I think everything is equally challenging) as struggling with school. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in the bad, that we forget to remember how great our God really is. We did nothing, absolutely nothing, to deserve God’s blessings, yet He loves us so much that He blesses our lives in great and unexpected ways.

We tend to forget about how awesome God is during those hard times. Through my twenty years of life on this earth, I have realized that there is always something to be thankful for, even on the darkest of days. You just have to be willing to look for that goodness.

“The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” Psalm 145:9

Here is a little glimpse at some of the little things and moments that reminded me of how awesome God is tonight (just tonight, there are new things I think of every day because He is that awesome).

Tonight I got to spend some quality time with my two precious cousins and their sweet momma. I had to just sit there for a moment and thank God for giving me them. I do not thank God enough for putting them in my life. They have given me the purest love and joy I can experience on this Earth. I seriously did not know it was possible to love so much. Like the fact that I got chosen to be their RaRa, their sweet name for me,  amazes me. I am blessed beyond words. God is so awesome for blessing me with them.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Lately, I have been feeling like I am not being the light that God wants me to be. I have been struggling with that. I want to glorify Him in everything I do, but sometimes it feels impossible, especially going to school at the University of Oklahoma away from my family and my childhood friends. I do not always understand where he places me, but I finally got some confirmation that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. That was a great reminder for me to constantly be showing God’s love wherever I am at because I never know how He is going to use me. It is usually when I least expect it.

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transfered us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of  sins.” Colossians 1:9-14

Finally, in a couple of days my sweet friend in heaven will turn twenty. This day hits me pretty hard. It is hard for me to comprehend how I got to turn twenty a couple weeks ago, but Unique is not here to turn twenty. I honestly just do not get it, but you know what? That is okay. We do not always have to understand what is going on. What I do know for sure is that Unique will be in heaven celebrating her special day with God. I am sure it will be a huge party filled with singing, purple decorations and lots of “Cheetah Girls” songs. I cannot wait for the day I get to see her radiant smile and give her a big hug again. That is why God is so awesome. He sent His son to the Earth to die on the cross for our sins, so we could have the chance to spend an eternity in heaven with Him. I get to see Unique again because of that. How awesome is God for loving us that much?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Take some time today to remind yourself how awesome God is. I promise you that you can find something to thank God for.

 

Enough

We go through life with a smile on our face, even if it is not a real one. There is so much going on in our heads that nobody even knows about. We doubt ourselves. We do not believe in ourselves. We just want to be enough, but we are not always sure how to get there.

 

Am I enough? What do I have to do to make my life enough? Will I ever be good enough? Am I doing enough?  Is Jesus enough?

If you were to be honest with yourself, how many times would you say that you ask yourself those questions? To be honest with you, those are thoughts that I have all the time.

When those thoughts cloud my mind and make me doubt myself I turn to the truth. I turn to God and His word through prayer and the Bible.

I want to let you in on a little secret…you are enough and Jesus will always be enough for you.

Who makes you think you are not enough? That all comes from the lies of Satan. At your lowest of lows and your highest of highs, he wants to bring you down to his level. He wants to make you feel worthless, unloved, small, not enough.

“God knew we would never be enough. So He became enough for us. Jesus is our enough.”

I have some great news for you. We are not enough on our own, but luckily God loves us so much that he sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins in order to be our enough. He rescued us and became our enough because of His everlasting love for us. Let that sink in for a minute….God thinks enough of us to send a way for you and for me to have eternal life in heaven right by His side.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

We cannot be enough on our own. The world will tell us we are enough on our own, but we are not. We have to choose Jesus. We have to choose Him to be our enough. We have to step back from ourselves and realize that we need something more, we need Jesus. The best part is that we do not have to be on our own because Jesus wants to be in our life. He wants us to accept Him as our Lord and Savior. All we have to do is admit, believe and confess.

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” John 1:4

Jesus is enough. Jesus is so worth it. Yes, surrendering your life to Jesus and declaring to follow Him for all of your days is not easy. It will take sacrifice. You will have to give up the things of this world. Not to be cliche, but whoever said nothing in life that is worthwhile comes easy was so right. I promise you, Jesus is so worth it.

“We are not defined by our worst or our best; we are defined by our God.”

I love that quote. We are not defined by what we do or not do. We are not defined by our past, present, or future. We are not defined by our victories. We are not defined by our mistakes. We are not defined by our family. We are not defined by our friends. We are not defined by our jobs. We are not defined by how much money we have. We are not defined by our appearance. We are not defined by where we live. We are defined by our God.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

You are enough and you will always be enough with Jesus by your side. You are unstoppable with Jesus in your heart, mind and soul.

Reflection

This week in Public Relations Writing, we were tasked with creating a position paper. I had to create a paper that would lead people to believe that Tipton’s Children Home is a more viable option for children without active parents than the Oklahoma DHS Foster System.

What is a position paper?

A position paper is exactly what it sounds like, it is a paper where you take a stance on a particular argument, idea, etc.

There are four main sections of a position paper.

  1. Introduction – Includes Thesis and Summary
  2. Counter Arguments
  3. Evidence to Support your Thesis
  4. Conclusion

This assignment took extra time because you really have to research about not only your own stance but your opponents stance as well. A great public relations practitioner already is aware of what the other side is going to use as their weapon, so they go ahead and expose it before hand and explain why it is not relative anymore.

I really liked how this assignment challenged me to see the bigger picture and not have a narrow view on a topic. I think this is an extremely important lesson for all public relations practitioners to realize. We always have to look at the bigger picture in order to really understand what our client wants or to prepare for a future crisis before it even happens.

Direct Mailer: The Finished Product

My past two blog posts have led up to this moment, I finally finished creating my direct mailer in Photoshop! Thank goodness!

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In case you are not sure what I am talking about, the past couple weeks in Public Relations Publications we have been working to create a direct mailer for the University of Oklahoma‘s new Residential Colleges.

First we heard from a woman who creates direct mailers and other content for OU’s Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Then we heard from Mark Morvant, the Senior Fellow at Dunham College, which is one of the residential colleges. He gave us great insight and inspiration to create our project. Finally, we were tasked with taking a tour of a student focused apartment complex in order to get a sense of the competitors and what kind of marketing content they are using to attract students.

I did not think I would ever conquer Photoshop, but I think I finally got the hang of it (relatively speaking, I am no professional here people).

The front of my mail merger is simple, yet it gets the message across. I provided the nonprofit U.S. postal service stamp, a return address, space for the students address, their Facebook, their Twitter and quote from OU President David Boren to draw people in.

 

The first back of the mail merger I created was aimed to target current freshman at OU that are looking for a place to live after they move out of the dorms. I kept it simple, and provided information that students will want to know. My call to action was to visit the website to learn more information.

The second back of the mail merger I created was aimed to target the parents of current freshman at OU that are looking for a safe, luxurious and academic place for their student to live after they move out of the dorms. I provided more photographs of the facility as well as more information about what the residential college has to offer. I also concluded it with a call to action to visit the website to learn more information.

I think I did a pretty decent job for my first time using Photoshop. Dunham College, I hope you like the content I created for you.

Now it is time to sit back, relax and head home for Spring Break. I will (hopefully) be well rested for whatever new challenge is thrown my way when I come back.

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The First Steps To Building A Direct Mailer

This week in Public Relations Publications, we took the first steps to learning how to create a direct mailer before we were tasked to create our own.

Last week, we started off by getting some great insight through Photoshop tutorials and hearing from someone on the digital team in the office of admissions and recruitment at the University of Oklahoma.

This week, we got to hear from the client we are creating the direct mailer for. We are creating a direct mailer for OU’s new Residential Colleges. We heard from the Senior Fellow of  Dunham College, Mark Morvant. He gave us all the insight we needed to know about the new residential colleges, which sparked inspiration for the creation of the direct mailers.

Before we dove into creating the direct mailer on Photoshop, everyone in the class was tasked with visiting a student-focused apartment complex in Norman in order to learn more about it and see their promotional materials. This was a great way to get an overview of the competitor analysis for other living styles in Norman for OU students.

I went to check out The Ave.

avenorman.com
“Premier student housing with a modern twist” is their slogan. All of their promotional material is very modern and simple. 

I think the modern and simplistic look really stands out to college students. In the process of building my direct mailer, I really want to keep the design simple, yet modern to draw in freshman living in the dorms at the moment and will be sophomores next fall. That is the main target audience at the moment. 

I cannot wait to start creating (actually I can because Photoshop is really hard in case you were wondering). 

Reflection

This week in Public Relations Writing, we learned all about how to write Fact Sheets and Backgrounders. Before this week, I had honestly never heard about these two types of content. From common sense, I sort of had a sense of what they were from their names, but I actually learned a whole lot more than I expected to this week.

Both pieces of content are created for journalists, much like everything else public relations practitioners create. Public relations practitioners create fact sheets and backgrounders specifically for media kits, to accompany news releases, promotional materials and during a crisis (the one thing all public relations practitioners hope to avoid).

What is a fact sheet?

A fact sheet is a one sheet presentation of specific data for your company, product, etc. It is great to give journalists hard numbers that can use to educate the public.

What is a backgrounder?

A backgrounder is in-depth information about a specific issue, problem or aspect of your company, product, etc. that you want the journalist to address to your public. This piece of content is all about research and making the people who read it want to read more.

As I said earlier, I had never heard of these two pieces of content before. Now I can see how important it is to master these two pieces of content as a public relations practitioner. You never know when you will need to get hard facts to a journalist, especially in the midst of a crisis.