InDesign: Trials and Tribulations

I know what you’re thinking…InDesign is a nightmare.  All the tools and buttons make the average student shy away from this software.  However, InDesign is one of the best applications public relations students will use beyond the classroom.  Crafting the best newsletters, fact sheets and brochures require InDesign. Mastering InDesign elevates resumes and increases your job potential in digital media.

Get Started

          Before beginning to create a new project always draw it out first.  A rough sketch helps envision the design you want to create.  Diving strait into InDesign with no vision will lead to frustration.  I tried to work on my newsletter without drawing it out first and it stalled my productivity.  Additionally, pick out a few color schemes that will fit the organization based on what different colors represent.  In example, red is not a good color to use if you are writing a fact sheet for a diaper company.


Learn the Basics First

          I practice InDesign a couple times a week and I still struggle with the basics.  However, the more I practice the better I get. Placing images, drawing text boxes and resizing images are a few things you should learn immediately.  These are basic elements that go into making most documents in InDesign.  Also, while learning the basics take good notes.  Taking good notes allows you to remember what you learned.

Here is a video of the basics !

Edit, Edit, Edit

          Lastly, edit as much as possible.  The first draft of the front cover of my newsletter was terrible.  I thought I would never figure out how to make a successful newsletter.  Once I received more feedback and researched other visually stunning newsletters, I began to get the hang of it.  Try new layout, take creative license but be able to explain why you made those choices.  The ultimate goal at the end of the day is to get published.


Sports PR Today

Sports PR Today

Overseeing the public and community relations department of the Baltimore Ravens is no easy feat, but Kevin Byrne makes it look easy.  He captured University of Maryland students attention when describing his job.  Despite the late nights and early mornings, he would not trade this job for anything.  So how can you score a job like this?  Get the client to say yes to the interview.  

 Grades are not the deciding factor when it comes to sports PR.  GPAs do not help if you have no experience applying what you learn in class.  “No one in your adult life asks you about your grades,” said Byrne.  Internships are the key to landing a great job in sports PR.  Having that experience under your belt prepares you for the big leagues.  Like any sports team, not every player wants to give an interview.  As a PR professional it is your job to get the player to say yes.  Byrne advises students to learn the power of persuasion when it comes to communication.

Communication with players also comes in handy when there is a crisis, especially when there are two sides to every story. Players need to know they can trust their representation.  Being able to handle a public scandal efficiently proves that you have the organizations best interest at heart as well as your reputation.

Want to hear from more professionals ? Watch the UVA PRSSA Sports Panel

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The New Tug-of-War: Public Relations vs. Journalism








The New Tug-of-War: Public Relations vs. Journalism


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Is Public Relations Superior ?

Public Relations practitioners have a duty to follow ethical guidelines and think beyond the now when informing the public.  They conduct research to understand how different events will effect their target publics.  According to Rosanna Fiske, a writer for the Poynter Institute, she agrees that journalist are quick writers who have a knack for crafting good stories, however they lack in client management and research.  Other PR professionals agree that journalist are the urgent side or writing while public relation practitioners cover all realms.

Here is a spoof video produced by the Public Relations Society of America’s National Capital Chapter’s 2007 Annual Thoth Awards Gala.

Commonalities they Share

Although there are many differences between journalism and public relations they do share key values in common.  Writing is important to both of these professions.  Without strong writing skills success is not guaranteed in these fields.  Many former journalist are now members of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).  They also share a need to inform various public with credible information.  According to Bowles, journalists also care about their audience, practice fairness, accuracy and completeness.  Whether a Public Relations professional or journalist, there are common attributes that they share that can me integrated into each other.

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