By Gabrielle Gentile
PR Publications is a classes that teaches you the fundamentals of design and how design applies to PR professionals. Through this class you learn the basics of several of the Adobe programs like Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. This class is very project based, so as the class moves throughout the semester so does the intensity of each project. With each project you are able to choose a client of your choice and develop marketing materials according to project guidelines and the specific needs of your company or client. As I mentioned, the class is very project based with a few exams on design principles intertwined throughout, but don’t let a heavy project load scare you. This class is actually pretty laid back and you are given a lot of class time to work on projects.
My advice for not just surviving this class, but passing with an A:
1. Take advantage of class time
Most of your grade in this class is based off your design projects. That being said you are given a ton of time in class to work on the projects. I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t waste this time. If you take advantage of class time you will be able to complete most projects in class or at least come very close to completion. Having to spend very little time outside of class on homework and projects is always a plus in my book.
2. Take notes
Taking notes in this class is going to seriously make your life easier. If you’re anything like me entering this class, you are relatively new to design and Adobe workshop. Being able to navigate InDesign and Photoshop is vital to completing your projects. Your professor will show you how to use the programs during class, but if you take notes on how to navigate through the program you’ll have something to reference back to when you start your project. These programs are not self-intuitive. Unless you are trained on them and have a lot of experience, you are going to need your own notes on how to do the all the different functions. Plus, if you have your own notes then you cut down on the time spend waiting for the professor to come over to you. Keep this in mind because there is only one professor and 25-ish students all with little experience and lots of questions.
3. Ask questions
That being said, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your professor is highly trained in these programs and has a lot of experience developing PR materials just like the projects you’re working on. If you have a question about design or how to use the program, ask because once you leave class you are on your own.
4. Understand the benefit of this class and take it seriously
It may not seem like it now, but this class is really important for developing skills you’ll need once you graduate. More and more companies are relying on PR professionals to be comfortable with design and know how to use the programs. If you take this class seriously and put a lot of effort into your projects you are not only going to leave the class with an A, but you will have a lot of design pieces that you can add to a portfolio and show during an interview. In addition, if you put the effort into really learning Photoshop and InDesign you can put that on your resume.
Gabrielle is a senior public relations major and is PRSSA Kent's vice president of public relations. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.