From my very early interest in PR and Communications every time I looked ahead to my future I always imagined myself working for a sports organization. Something like the U.S. Olympic Team or, my very favorite, the Pittsburgh Penguins. I imagined this because it seems like such a fast paced environment to work in. My love of sports has a little bit to do with this dream as well!
So of course when I found out this is what I wanted to do, I did what many teenagers do and I followed as many sport organization social media accounts along with their (if they had one) PR/Communication accounts. I also did research on the internet about sports PR and the major people in the sports PR world.
From this research (especially the social media aspect) I wanted to learn how these accounts were being run and who was running them. And many of the PR/Communication social media accounts provided a behind-the-scenes look of what these communication and PR professional were doing and their day-to-day work lives. I found out that some of these professional travel a lot and they always work with a team.
Following a lot of sport social media accounts also allowed me to see that what the industry was posting is different than what many other industries post. Most of the posting is “live” and without “campaign” planning. I’m also able to see who they are networking with on social media.
Though social media I’ve even been able to ask advice and just general questions from these PR/Communication professionals. Some even have developed into conversations! And I think something like that wouldn’t have been possible without social media.
After graduation two of my most feared and least confident skills that I know I will need in my future career are creative and technology
(techie) skills. Maybe it’s just part of being human, but doubt in yourself is something that is a constant challenge. I know that in my future career my knowledge of technology (including design software, work programs, etc.) will be tested. There are many programs as a designer and in the PR world that I have yet to experience that the people around me (competitors for the same jobs) may have more experience and more overall skill with. The same goes with creative skills.
And the true problem is figuring out how I can overcome this fear and lack of confidence. How can I make sure that I can offer future or prospective employers a candidate that has these skills? How can I be confident in the skills that I already have? Only recently have I really tip toed on the edge of learning about various creative software like design programs, video editing programs, etc.
I have about a semester or two left of school and my goal is to each month experiment with a different software or program that I think I will need in my future PR and design career. One program per month. I think this way I won’t become too overwhelmed with learning multiple programs at once, and I think that focusing on one program per month will, not necessarily by any means make me a pro, but it will give me foundational knowledge that I will need for the future.
Gaining confidence one program at a time!
In September, a PR blog called PR In Your Pajamas, that I occasionally scroll through when I can remember to, featured the post 6 Ways Women Can Thrive in the PR Industry. I chose this specific blog post to include in the final project not only because I’m a woman and it centers around PR, but also it sort of inspired some thinking on the subject of women in the industry something that I’ve never really thought about before.
The post starts out with statistics, “Anywhere from 60 to 85 percent of PR workers are women, and they hold more than half of the field’s managerial positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a huge jump since 1970, when women were just 27 percent of the PR labor force.” However after the authors share these positive facts they follow up with, “But the C-suite is still something of a boys’ club. Women comprise just 20 percent of the top leadership in PR firms…” And there is the “problem to solve” comes into play for the post. This is not a negative things just something interesting to point out.
So the problem is woman still have a ways to go to get to the top and the post gives us six ways to accomplish this task. The six include: giving the client what they need, learning past your degree education, mentoring, emotional intelligence, creativity within constraints, and communication davy. By all means these points or ways are all very good advice to give and follow, but not just for women. I think that these can easily apply to men as well.
One of the main points that sticks out to me when I read these sort of articles or posts about furthering/helping women in the job field is that many of them then to imply and encourage women to stick to each other like glue and to only learn from one another. They sort of draw the line between women and men. But in order to really gain accurate experience and truly learn “real world” work skills we need to include men into the picture as well. We need men mentoring women and women mentoring men. If women are not “thriving” in a workplace where they make up 60 to 85 percent of the field then it’s not just a woman’s problem or issue it’s also a men’s issue as well because they amount the rest of the field and they work at the same places, on the same teams, for the same clients, and for the same purposes. So if part of the ship is sinking or not running as well as it could then the whole ship has a problem
If you just didn’t understand the above title at all please go to Youtube search Beyonce Run the World (Girls), but I’ve replaced “girls” from the song with “fonts” because this is a design blog so I can do that! I also think I’m funny, but my family and co-workers definitely disagree and those are the people I spend most of my time with so there must be some truth to what they say. But only a little bit.
Anyway all jokes aside, today I want to share my favorite places to find free fonts of all varieties. Below are my top 3 font sites:
DaFont: No, I don’t just like this site because of the absolutely amazing name. This is the very first free font site that I found when my design days were still in the infant stage. It is also the first font sight I go to when I start a new project. The fonts are vast and diverse, and the site makes it super easy to find and upload the fonts you need. Note: most fonts are only free for personal NOT commercial use, but many fonts allow the option to purchase for commercial use.
1001 Free Fonts: This site is similar to Dafont and I’ve also been able to find some much needed fonts from here. Note: most fonts are only free for personal NOT commercial use, but many fonts allow the option to purchase for commercial use.
Fonts Squirrel: Now this site ALLOWS commercial use of fonts. Though you may not see the variety of fonts on this site as you see on DaFont and 1001 Free Fonts, most of the fonts are great when you need a universal font or a font that is easy and simple enough to read.
When I first thought of the many possibilities of brand competition with my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins, I wasn’t sure how broad to go. Should I go with another sport or should I go with another NHL team? So eventually I decided to go with THE enemy, aka. the Philadelphia Flyers.
Now I know it may not seem like their is a large competitiveness between brands, but it is a BIG deal, like the biggest deal! And I don’t think this sort of compare and contrast exercise would go well with just any NHL team from say Colorado or Canada, but because these two teams reside in the same state (and not even that big of a state) I thought that this exercise would be interesting.
The first thing I did to scout out the enemy’s camp (that’s what I’m calling their social media) was looking through their Twitter and Facebook almost immediately I spotted some differences and similarities between the Penguin’s sites and the Flyer’s sites. While Pittsburgh likes to actually add videos to their social media, Philadelphia uses links to redirect users to their main website. This is a pet peeve for me when it comes to social media because when I see a few words and then an ugly link I’m just not going to be interested enough to click on it. Maybe if their was a picture involved I might be more interested, but for the most part this is social media, I’m looking for fast content and being redirected to your website to watch a 30 second video just isn’t cutting it for me. If it’s shorter than 3 minutes, then please go ahead and post the video in the social media feed.
Some similarities I saw between the two team social media sites were “live action” tweeting of games, press conferences, and pre/post game interviews. I also saw that they both liked to shout out players social media accounts when talking about that specific player in a tweet. I think that this is a great way to get more people involved with the players and their lives. It makes fans feel like a part of the team family.
Something that I saw lacking on the Flyer’s social media were retweets or shares from outside sources like fans, sport blogs, major sport news sites, or even the actual team players. A major thing that I like about the Penguins is that they like to retweet fans and players. And I like this because, like I mentioned in the paragraph above, it makes the fans feel involved. And I think that is what makes social media successful is getting people involved and making them feel apart of something larger.
Last week a talked about designing memories. This week I wanted to write about memories creating a design. Sometime these designs can be our own response to a memory. And more specifically a telling of a story or stories through our designs. I came upon the above picture a few months after the Boston Marathon bombing. The photo is the cover of Boston Magazine’s May 2013 cover issue. Photographed by Mitch Feinberg, the image concept was created by Liz Noftle, their deputy design director.
In an article on their website, John Wolfson said, “To me the cover is about two things: perseverance and unity. By itself, each shoe in the photograph is tiny, battered, and ordinary. Together, though, they create something beautiful, powerful, and inspirational. Remove just one shoe and you begin to diminish, in some small way, the overall effect. Collectively, they are the perfect symbol for Boston, and for our response to the bombings. This staff is filled with people who feel the same way. Our home is hurting right now, and our hope, together, was to produce something that reflects the intensity of affection and pride that all of us here in the region feel for Boston.”
Sometime the only way we can share our feelings is through design. Sometimes the only way to heal ourselves and others is through our designs.
My favorite content on social media is sort of opposite of that in my daily life because I am a reader. Like a real “books are my friends” nerd! I will read no less than two books on a busy day. I know, I have a serious problem on my hands. However, when it comes to social media, I hate to read posts. I just can’t stand it. Give me an amazing picture, give me a video, give me an ad. I will more than likely pay attention to a sponsored ad with a photo than a friend’s three sentence paragraph. And that may make me somewhat of a horrible friend, but if they had posted a picture instead I wouldn’t have ignored them. So I’m just going to say that it’s partially their fault.
Anyway back to the content discussion, I think that the main reason for my preference of videos and photos is that I like my social media to be quick. It takes me less time to look at a photo. And when I’m watching a video, if it’s entertaining, I don’t care how much time I’m wasting! And I can watch a video while simultaneously doing something else. I can’t do that with words.
There are many times where the things I create are for myself. When I’m happy. When I’m sad. Whatever the reason every design means something. As designers we put effort, time, love, and even some frustration (okay sometimes ALOT of frustration) into what we create. Each design takes a part of ourselves. When we express ourselves through this art, it becomes something that will forever reflect what I felt in that moment of creation. I know this sounds so deeply profound, but it is the truth. So when we create something for others we get to share a part of us with them and in doing so because we’re creating with them in mind we capture apart of them as well.
Just this weekend my older sister asked me to create a baby shower invitation. And because I love my sister, and of course I’m like the GREATEST sister ever, I said yes! But it goes deeper than a simple question and answer. My sister has given me the privilege to create something that will be the first invitation to celebrate a new life. My nephews life. This creation will be an invitation from my sister to all those she loves to join her in this journey. This design will create excitement and love. This design will be carefully laid in little Mateo’s baby book together by his grandmother and mother. It represents a dream come to life. It is a keepsake. It is a memory. As designers sometimes we get the amazing opportunity to create something that will signify so much more than just a simple design. We create memories.