Archive for the ‘PRCA 3339’ Category

Indesign Help

In this class we have been exposed to the Indesign software at a fairly high level.  That being said there is still always large amounts of information that has yet to be deciphered.  One helpful technic that I have found in creating an effective publication is the ability to pull an image from either the web or the desktop and turn it into a background.  First you want to get you image.  You can obtain an image by saving it to your desktop. 

+First create a new document and select the Rectangle Frame Tool.

+Create a frame at the desired size and click on the Select Tool.

+Click on your box and go to “File” and then “Place”.

+Find your image from a file or a saved image from the web and select it.

+If you have a web image you will need to fit the content to your frame under “Fitting”.

+Click on the Text Tool and create a box to your desired size, then add your content.

+Click the Select Tool and move the text box where you want it on the image.

+Go to “Window” and select “Transparency”.

+Select the image and now you can bring the percentage down to make the text easier to see.

This is a useful technic for making an invitation or other personal publication.  Also be aware that when you are working on the GSU campus that Indesign CS3 is not available in the library.  The system there is CS, but there is a chance that they will update soon. The staff there should be able to locate any new software that may come in the future. (  http://library.georgiasouthern.edu/index.html )

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Networking: Tools and Connections

The use of those around you can be an invaluable tool for promoting an event or an organization.  Often times an event can be interesting not only to the hosting organization but to other groups as well.  I have found that events and organizations can elicit the help of other like-minded groups and that the effect is definitely a positive one.  The use of on campus departments can muster university support.  ( http://directory.georgiasouthern.edu/ ) Most professors will offer help if they believe in the cause that the group or event is based on.  Being aware of the positive college atmosphere and how to sync up with it can greatly aid in any endeavor. (   http://students.georgiasouthern.edu/registrar/calendar.htm )

Promotion of a group is the key to gaining this support.  One the most effective methods is the brochure.  This is a classic and excepted method of promotion gets an organizations information out there.  Unfortunately, it is not a full proof system, as there are certain factors that must be taken into consideration. The importance of timeliness in designing a publication is paramount.  Often when an organization decides to print off a brochure or information sheet, they will print off in bulk.  Printing in large quantities is cheaper and opens up the group to additional benefits like folding and cutting.  Unfortunately adding time sensitive details into your design can date them relatively quickly.  When I designed my brochure I left a small white block with a caption that read “This Year’s Info”, and I informed my organization that they could print in large quantities and place the current semesters information in the block with a sticker or permanent marker.  I also designed a bookmark with the same technic, and plan to contact the bookstore and ask them to place them in the next semesters theatre books.  Hopefully this will spread the word and provide that campus interaction that helps so much.

Social Networking as an Advertising Tool

Currently I am directing a student production of Bernard Pomerance’s “The Elephant Man” and I have taken on the daunting task of promoting the show.  In the past, the most simple means of advertising for a production where posters and handouts.  Designing a publication and promoting it is still a necessary process, but in this increasingly fast-moving world, the chances of catching someones eyes in the rush of the day is growing slim.  I have noticed though, that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are an invaluable source of promotion.  ( http://www.facebook.com/ ) ( http://twitter.com/ )Housing the event under a parent organization provides free advertising and an effective monitoring system. The site will send invitations to the groups members or those that are friends of the individual creating the event page. This system also allows your guests to RSVP, so you can begin to tallying a number of those attending.  This system works as effectively as the word of mouth and can provide a free and useful service. I know that Facebook will link your event to other individuals of interest if you utilize the free advertisement option.  The online presence is as effective as a flyer or half sheet.  In many was these websites work as effectively as a hardcopy publication.

With Twitter you have the option to promote the event from your own mouth to the rest of the world. Twitter is an incredibly large community and is often monitored by large businesses and organizations. If you can get someone of prominence to promote the event, it can mean big numbers.  Once again the service can provide an outcome as positive as a tangible piece of promotion. The only downside is that with the massive amounts of “tweets” being produced every second, yours might get lost in the rough. ( http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/event.php?eid=191932204736&ref=mf )

Around Town

Holidays are a crucial part of the human experience, and likewise an important component in the lives of our publics.  The understanding of how to utilize these times of year without exploiting them is very important.  If you are planning an event that can coincide with a seasonal tradition, see if you can become a part of it.  The use of community calendars is a valuable resource.  These are publications created by the town that can help you with your own work. There are community centers in most every town that can help a P.R. practitioner get their organization involved.  In Statesboro, the Averitt Center for The Arts is the community hub.  (  http://www.averittcenterforthearts.org/ ) They organize events and help promote local groups to the city.  Every first Friday of the month, the Averitt Center and the Development authority host a downtown festival that any group can participate in.  ( http://www.statesboro-chamber.org )For organizations trying to get a voice in the community, this tool is invaluable.  Not every community will have this kind of event, but most will have a development authority that can help.  The University also hosts several seasonal events that can get the word out.  Artsfest is an annual arts celebration that focus’ on the arts and welcomes any organization that is willing to help.(  http://class.georgiasouthern.edu/art/arts_fest.html ) This is a great opportunity to show off any talents or neat elements of the organizations members.  The simple act of being at one of these event can do quite a bit for the promotion of an organization.   

One thing that makes these events so useful is that you can test which of your publications is going to serve you best.  Trying different ones can be very helpful for creating a long-term production plan.  Being mindful or your options within the community is a great way to communicate with your publics.  People will notice what you are doing.

Photography

This past Wednesday and Friday I completed Poynter NewsU’s “The Language of the Image”. (  http://www.newsu.org/courses/course_detail.aspx?id=nu_loti04 ) This online photography course teaches users to understand the conventions of standard photography and the effects that they exude.  One of the most interesting things that I learned was that there are photographs taken that are ment to show mere information and not emotion.  This type is known as informational for obvious reasons.  These photos do not require an emotional connection, but simply set up the article or story.  Another photo type is a passive photo.  These are clearly staged photos that are taken for the purpose of showing off something or setting up a situation.  These can be effective promotional pictures but the clear fact that they are not real can hinder the credibility of the article.  The next set, and often the most effective for photojournalism, is the active shot.  This type shows a real-life event or situation as it’s unfolding.   I also learned that there are single and multiple elements to a photo type.  The ones that I found most interesting were graphic, juxtaposition and emotion.  These single elements can make a story more powerful.  The graphic is the use of clever camera work to make a real action or situation seem as if it was staged by the unbelievable quality of the image.  The juxtaposition is an amusing, but sometimes thought-provoking method of showing differences in an image.  The use of emotional imagery can be highly effective in creating an important photograph.  There are also numerous multiple elements to an image.  The rule of threes was my favorite.  This uses three image points to create a dynamic photo.  I enjoyed the course but I think that I would like to have seen more uses for the types outlined.  I felt that the approaches were effective, but I didn’t know for what.

Typography

When selecting a typeface, it is important to know what kind of emotion and context that font is expressing.  Strategic Publications by Linda P. Morton defines fonts as “a family of type styles that share the same name and distinct characteristics”, thus a font can express a wide variety of information. A good font is one that exhibits the emotion and personality of the work or organization the publication is representing.  Designers look for something unique but not distracting, lively but not unprofessional.  The type of publication can also play a large part in the selection of fonts.  You want to keep something like a business card professional.  Standard or classic fonts show that you are serious about what you do for a living.  Aften designers look for subtle yet original typefaces when creating these, as they add texture without over louding it.  Having to bold or outrageous of a style can make you seem less credible. These lessions are important unless your profession is one that requires a more relaxed expression such as a clown or comidic entertainer. That being said, the use of lively typfaces can be favorable to your publication.  The main key is to know what is appropirate with your publics. 

When making a publication such as a brochure, different typefaces should be considered. In some cases, you want a font that sells the product, attraction, event or organization to it’s selected publics.  For example, if you are creating a brochure for a water park, you want a font that flows right off the page.  Fonts that exhibit excitement and fun will make the park that much more appealing.  Fonts can remind people of the attractions that your client has to offer. Fonts can be found in your word processor or online at websites such as www.dafont.com/, www.1001freefonts.com, www.simplythebest.net/fonts/ and can downloaded easily with this link: http://www.wikihow.com/Download-Fonts-for-Windows

The Publics of Theatre South

When we look at who we are marketing to, we are often looking at a segmented public.  These groups are demographics that can be separated based off of age, career, economic background or even the region in which they live.  Knowing and understanding the values and concerns of these groups is paramount to creating an effective relationship with them.  In the case of my client, Theatre South, the public that they are trying to reach are mainly students and members of the community who are interested in theatre.  When “selling” a show, it is important to find groups that can associate themselves with the work.  If the organization was doing a Irish play festival, it would be a good idea to contact the Center for Irish Studies.  If they were producing a 10-minute play competition it would be a good idea to contact the writing department.  These groups can not only offer support to an organizations efforts but often they can become active in the events.  When Theatre South is trying to simply acquire members, they look to the student body.  This group is looking for a fun and meaningful organization that will help them make friends and build a better resume.  Our members are also those interested in the performing arts.  Breaking down the groups into areas of interest (performing, design, management, etc.) can help the organization appear more effective in providing a quality environment in which to learn.  The main thing that the college level public wants to have something that they can call their own and put their efforts towards.  Providing them that will help any organization thrive. ( http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=83455311687 )