Sarah Wilson's PR Blog

December 2, 2009

Top Ten List for Publications

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 10:12 am

During this fall 2009 semester, I have been enrolled PR publications. This class has helped me learn numerous things that I will need to know before entering the PR industry. I have created a Top Ten List of PR Publications to show a few of my favorite activites and lessons.

1. InDesign

  • Learning how to work InDesign was extremely important to me because I had never used the programe before. It is difficult to understand at first, but with more practice and the creation of more documents, I am sure to fully understand it soon!

2. Personal Business Card and Letterhead

  • I loved making my own personal business cards! They really are a good thing to have on hand, especially since I am about to graduate and begin looking for a PR entry level position. This is a good thing to hand someone so they can have quick access to your contact information. It also makes you look professional and well organized.

3. Brochure

  • Creating the brochure for Save-A-Life, Inc. of Savannah, GA was extremely helpful to me learning the ins and outs of InDesign (#1 on list). I never realized all the elements and design principles that go into creating a brochure before.

4. Fonts

  • Learning how to use different fonts was also fun for me.  I am notorious with playing around with fonts for hours, so I can get whatever I am designing to also look the message that it is presenting. It is very important to fit the image of what you are presenting.

5. Eagle Print Shop

  • Our class took a trip to the Eagle Print Shop which is located on GSU’s campus across from the University Book Store. This trip taught me numerous things, but most importantly to me…PRICES! The Eagle Print Shop prides themselves on offering the same services as OfficeMax, but for much less $money$. A student couldn’t ask for more!

6.  Best Practices Presentations

  • During the best practices presentations, I learned many different things that I did not know before about InDesign and my WordPress blog. I presented on how to convert your InDesign file into a PDF file.

7. WordPress Blogs

  • I have never had a blog before, and I honestly never thought I would have one. This blog has helped my google search rate go up. I used to type in my name and hometown since there are so many Sarah Wilsons’. I could go all the way to page 10 and find nothing on me. Last time I searched, I was number three! Thanks to twitter and my wordpress blog!


Contrast, Repitition, Alignment and Proximity

  • Learning about these elements will help anyone when they are designing.

9. Presenting to the class

  • I learned that a presenter must ALWAYS be prepared, not matter what happens. The presenter should also have full control over the audiences’ attention.

10. Designing overall…

  • This class really made me realize that more thought needs to be put into designing publications. It is not just about making things look pretty.

Link to SlideShare: PR PUBS Top Ten on SlideShare << Click to view power point.


November 30, 2009

PUBS Brochure for Save-A-Life, Inc.

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 12:05 pm

While making my brochure for Save-A-Life, Inc. of Savannah, GA, I kept in mind the brochure basics that I learned in my Publications class from the professor. She taught us the necessities and process for making a brochure and what should go in it. The following information is what I kept in mind while designing my brochure:

According to The American Heritage Dictionary, a brochure is “a small booklet or pamphlet, often containing promotional material or product information.”

I would like to correct the American Heritage Dictionary.

For one thing, brochures aren’t always small. Sometimes they’re quite large. As for brochure contents, they vary greatly depending on the situation. A brochure definitely can be more than a pamphlet or small booklet, coming in all shapes, sizes and a range of folds.

What exactly does a brochure do? Here are some basic principles that a brochure may need (depending upon business or organization):

  • Provide product and service information
  • Provide news about product, situation, company & industry
  • Build company identity
  • Educate Prospects and customers
  • What are you trying to accomplish with your brochure? Once you decide your brochure’s objectives, then you are ready to begin putting it together.

Although a brochure can do a lot, try to keep it simple. Consider the format, page size and how the brochure will fold. Decide on visuals, fonts, colors, paper stock and other design characteristics. As for copy, put a strong headline on the cover. Capture the right tone, and make sure copy has a logical flow. As a rule, keep sections short, incorporating plenty of subheads.


Best Practices – How to Turn an Indesign File into a PDF File

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 11:50 am

Here is the step-by-step process on turning an InDesign file into a PDF file.

Step 1: Make sure that your document is saved as an InDesign file in case you need to go back and make changes, because you will not be able to change it once it is in PDF.

Step 2: Go to File….Click Export under file.

Step 3: Make sure that the file type is in PDF format.

Step 4: Click Save

Step 5: Click Export

Sarah Best Practices Presentation <<<Click on this link to see a power point with images of these steps to make them easier to follow.

November 11, 2009

Crowd Surfing – surviving and thriving in the age of consumer empowerment

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 4:31 pm

The title of the book simply explains exactly what this book is about. The authors, Martin Thomas and David Brain, have done an excellent job at describing consumer empowerment and what it means for businesses and corporations today. The book is informational because not only does it explain how the consumer has changed, it tells a business what they should do in order to reach/satisfy the customer of today. This is rarely explained in most books on this subject! They will just explain how the customer has evolved over time, but never tell you what to do, or how to go about adapting to these changes. Blogs, review sites and chat rooms, create consumer empowerment. Consumer empowerment is the term the authors use to describe how people no longer have to rely on what a company says about their products and services. They can read what others think about on what they have bought or the services they had, and make their own decisions while keeping those views in mind. The result of this is consumers knowing exactly what they want and where to go to get it.

Thomas and Brain suggest that businesses need to make themselves more tansluscent. By transluscent, they mean for companies to use social media tools to reinforce their brands and create a relationship with the customer.

More about authors:

Martin Thomas – Martin has led some award-winning media, PR and sponsorship teams and is also known to be one of the pioneers of integrated brand and communications planning. For the past 2 years, he has been a marketing consultant, trainer and writer, and works with brand owners and marketing agencies.

David Brain – David has worked in PR, corporate communications and advertising for about 26 years.  He is now based in London where he runs the European operations of Edelman, one of the top 3 PR firms in the world and the only one that remains independent, and he continues to consult with some of the world’s top companies and their brands.


Informational Interview with St. Joseph’s/Candler Special Event Coordinator

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 4:14 pm

On Monday, November 2, I had the pleasure of interviewing Menzanna Blakley, the special events coordinator for St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital of Savannah, GA. During our interview I asked a series of questions about her opinion on public relations and how to prepare for entering the public relations industry. Mrs. Blakley has a great insight about the field because she has held her position at St. Joseph’s/Candler for over 20 years. The series of questions that I asked Mrs. Blakley were:

  • How did you decide to work in this field?
  • What is a typical workday like?
  • Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.
  • How important is writing in your career?
  • How does technology affect your daily work?
  • Did your education prepare you for working in public relations? If so, how?
  • What do you do to keep current in the PR Industry?
  • How has PR changed since you entered the industry?
  • What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
  • What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

During my interview with Mrs. Blakley, I learned a great deal about the field and what to expect. She informed me that she wasn’t even prepared for the job she has today. Her major in college was criminal justice, which has no relevance to PR. She has worked for St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital for over 20 years, and was promoted to different areas of the company along the way. She finally ended up in the Marketing & PR department of the hospital. “There is no typical work day for my position” according the Mrs. Blakley. An example that Mrs. Blakley gave me of this was how one week she worked all seven days, because there was an event for the hospital that weekend. On the day of the event, Mrs. Blakley worked a solid 21 hours!

When I asked Mrs. Blakley to tell me about a particular project that she is proud of, she told me of an event that St. Joseph’s/Candler partnered up with the Savannah Morning News in the recent Paint the Town Pink campaign. The campaign was to raise awareness of the importance of getting mammograms. She also told me about how St. Joseph’s/Candler joined forces with the Hunter Army Airfield this year for an event that was recently held on Friday, October 23. That day, they had over 500 soldiers run from the Hunter Army Airfield to St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Nancy Lewis Cancer Center located on the Candler campus to support the Paint the Town in Pink campaign. Mrs. Blakley said that it was “truly heartwarming.”  

You are able to see a clip of this at

After hearing about the Paint the Town in Pink campaign, I asked Mrs. Blakley about the importance of writing in her career. She quickly informed me that there are several people in the PR department of the hospital that are solely dedicated to writing. “Luckily, I am not one of those people!”

The role of technology is not large right now for her particular position right now; however, Mrs. Blakley knows that social networking is extremely important to most companies these days, and she knows that the PR team will soon be implementing those tools; which goes on to the question on how PR has changed since she entered the field, Mrs. Blakley believes that social media/networking has turned the marketing and PR business upside down. She said PR used to be spread primarily by word of mouth. Now, one blog or tweet can spread the word to the world.

To keep current in the PR field, Mrs. Blakley uses trade publications and websites for help. She told me that they give her another perspective into the industry.

I asked Mrs. Blakley if she could give someone who is entering the PR industry any tips to aid in their success. She said:

I think one of the most important things is to know your industry.  If you are on the journalism side of the business make those contact.  Know the reporters at the TV and paper.  If you are on the event side know your vendors.  Networking is the key to success.

 I found this interview extremely insightful and helpful. I will take a lot of what I learned from Mrs. Blakley with me into the “real world” and while I job hunt in order to pick out the career that would be best. I have been considering event planning for the past month, and this interview helped confirm that it is for sure something I would enjoy doing.

October 26, 2009

Poynter NewsU course “The Language of the Image”

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 10:15 am

What I learned in taking “The Language of the Image” course from Poynter NewsU was the numerous types of photographs/photography there are. There is a lot more than you think to the the technique in photography. I never knew that there was such a large amount of thought when it comes to analyzing the pictures. While taking the quiz after reviewing all the different terms in the course, I realized that I may be able to point out an interesting picture, however, I do not have the eye for naming the different elements and techniques in the photograph.

What surprised me in this course was the different types of portraits. I would have never known that there were different types until this course. I wish this course was more interactive though. I did not like the overall set-up of the course. However, it was free, so that was a huge bonus.

What I would like to know more about is how the photographer sees the elements before he/she captures the moment. Does he/she even know that the picture displays all those graphics, elements or techniques? I need to know more from a photographers point of view!

September 28, 2009


Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 10:40 am

One of the major elements in brochure printing and design is the typography.  Typography is referred to as “design” and is defined as being the art of laying out copy on a page, including font selection, graphics and overall design.You need to have a good combination of font styles in your brochure so that it will work well with the style, theme, and images in your brochure. Good font combinations make the brochure more appealing to the eye for the reader/viewer.

The font type should be readable by people of any age. Some font sizes are beautiful but can be difficult to read by someone with impaired vision. The best font types are Times New Roman, Arial, Comic Sans and Bookman Old Style. These are the most popular and easiest to read.

The font size should not be too small or too large. Most fonts for headings and subheadings are size 14 (MS Word) and the rest of the text is typically size 12 or 10. A font that is too big makes your brochure gaudy and as though there was not enough information to fill the space. A font that is too small will be difficult to read.

A great website for beginners to download free fonts for designing their brochure and/or business cards is… Here are some basic directions on installing fonts onto your computer:

September 21, 2009

Segmenting Publics for Save-A-Life, Inc

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 10:23 am

Save-A-Life, Inc

In order to segment the public correctly for Save-A-Life, Inc, one must understand what Save-A-Life, Inc is about. Save-A-Life, Inc. is an all volunteer non-profit animal welfare organization. It was created to prevent overpopulation of companion animals through low cost spaying and neutering. Save-A-Life, Inc. took the leadership role in the Savannah area for this overpopulation problem by selling spay and neuter vouchers that are accepted by numerous vets throughout the Savannah and surrounding areas. Save-A-Life also provides foster care, necessary medical treatment for foster animals, and a placement assistant program to find the homeless animals a companion for a lifetime.

Segmenting for Save-A-Life can be done by demographics which refer to facts such as age, gender, race, family size, income, education, occupation, and geographic information. Almost all of these facts represent the target public for Save-A-Life. People of all ages, males and females, family sizes, incomes, etc… can be targeted by Save-A-Life. Pet owners are obviously who needs to be targeted, and there can be no dominant characteristic when trying to know the demographics of Save-A-Life’s target except the fact that Save-A-Life is dedicated to Savannah and the surrounding areas.

Some psychographics, which refer to personality and other psychological characteristics, can be illustrated for Save-A-Life’s target public. Since Save-A-Life is a non-profit organization for animals, the target is animal lovers and/ or pet owners. The typical psychographic for the animal lover and pet owner are loving and caring, sometimes single or widowed because they are lonely.

Sociographics refer to the groups that public members belong to, as well as other sociological characteristics. There are those animal lovers that just need unconditional loyalty and affection. That kind of loyalty cannot usually be found in human friends. They are those people that love animals because they see the innocence about them which is immediately appealing to almost everyone. Those types of animal lovers like the fact that animals do not have the minds to discriminate. They love their owners no matter who they are, what they do, or how they act.

My brochure design for Save-A-Life will be impacted by the target public because I am going to need to use certain design elements when it comes to creating it. The brochure needs to have a emotional feel, making people feel sympathy for the animals. It will have quotes and shocking statistics that can often be found in the ASPCA advertisements which feature Sarah McLauchlan. Those commercials brought in the most donations ever seen by a non-profit organization. Using emotional appeals is a great method for many non-profit organizations to use when designing brochures, ads, etc…



September 14, 2009

CRAP – Repetition

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 10:34 am


Repetition or consistency means that you should repeat some aspect of the design throughout the document. You can thank of repetition as the visual key that ties your piece together or unifies it. If you design particular components a certain way in one area, mantain the design you created for other areas in order to produce consistency. Consistency is an important element when creating any kind of graphic design assignments. Consistency aids the production of your design and makes it more pleasing the eye. Repetition can also control the reader’s/observer’s eyes and helps keep their attention on the piece as long as possible. Important elements to keep in mind are graphics, font style, and font size. Attempt to be consistent with those elements while producing your piece.

If there is a relation between two points, the style should repeat for a consistent feel. Repetition means keeping design for similar themes consistent, making it more cohesive and professional. Repetition can help communicate your points when people only want to skim the message that you want to communicate. It reinforces communication and ultimately helps the reader understand. Just remember to repeat things in a consistent manner and don’t overdo it. You want to make your repetition readable and effective.

Reference: Robin Williams.

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