The role of public relations professionals has evolved greatly in the past 10 years. With job descriptions becoming more and more expansive, it is not uncommon to be asked by your supervisor or colleague to edit design pieces or even design a piece from start to finish.
As public relations professionals we wear a variety of hats. We are writers most commonly, but we are also strategists, public speakers and in our evolving field we are designer, too. It is imperative that we familiarize ourselves with the world of design and listen to our target markets when designing. This practice is very similar to the process when we write and is nothing that we should shy away from as public relations practitioners.
In these cases where we are needed to design, we must use our knowledge to come up with the best possible visualization of data and information. Unfortunately, sometimes our writing is just not enough to communicate with our target audiences, and in those cases it is beneficial to know how to use programs from the Adobe Creative Suite to help further our communication efforts along. Common programs that are used for design tasks include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere (for editing video content) and Adobe InDesign. You can never be sure when you will be asked last minute to design a flier, a brochure, an event program or even be asked to take a photograph or record a short video to accompany a press release. According to Jeff Bullas of jeffbullas.com, a press release that includes a photo or a video will increase your views by over 45%. That is a dramatic increase in viewership and readership, meaning that it is so very important to utilize these assets as public relations practitioners.
Having the skill set to creatively and concisely design a piece with programs in the Adobe Creative Suite is also a great addition to your résumé. Pieces you produce are also great additions to your portfolio to show to potential employers. It is important to have these skill sets, but to also be able to show what you have done. By having these skills, you are more attractive to employers and you make yourself more marketable in the field of public relations.
If you are interested in learning more about any of the Adobe Creative Suite programs you can go though online courses offered by Adobe or tutorials from a leading design site, Lynda.com.
Cassidy Graham is a junior public relations and digital design major pursuing a minor in marketing. She is a member of the Waynesburg University Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter. Cassidy serves an assistant firm director for Red Brick Communications, and plans to pursue a career in marketing or agency public relations post graduation.