Prude Ranch Summer Camp

This post is a segue from posting about stuff for my PR Publications class to posting about whatever the heck I want! This summer I will mostly be posting about my adventures as a counselor at Prude Ranch Summer Camp. Then after the summer is over I’ll write about my senior year and my transition into the professional world.

Prude Ranch Summer Camp is located in Fort Davis, Texas. It started out as a camp for boy scouts in 1951 by J.R. and Betty Prude. Before that it was a working cattle ranch and kept this dual purpose until the early 2000s. Now it just serves a historic land mark and summer camp for boys and girls ages 7-16. I was lucky enough to be a counselor last year after my two younger sisters had been campers there two years prior. I didn’t know it at the time I took the job, but working at Prude Ranch would be a life changing experience for me.


I’ll never forget my first day pulling up to the big wooden gates that you drive through to enter the ranch. I was excited and terrified all at once. I had always loved kids but I had never done anything like this before. I did not know a single person that I was about to work with nor had I ever attended this camp as an actual camper. I was in way over my head at first, but with the help of some more experienced counselors I got the hang of things real quick. I was accepted into the Prude Ranch family from the moment our summer together began and it was here that I made life changing friendships.

There’s something to be said about friendships that you make at summer camp. If you’ve ever been to any kind of summer camp then you know what I’m talking about. There’s something innately special about bonding with people in the outdoors and facing problems together. Whether it be facing fears or dealing with homesickness, the friendships you make at camp as a kid are binding. This is very true with a majority of counselors at Prude Ranch who have been friends since they were 7 and are now counselors together. Some counselors have gone to Prude Ranch every summer for 13 years. Thats more than half of our lives at this point and time.


Although I was a Prude Ranch rookie it did not take long for me to feel like an old veteran. From the minute I met this Prude Ranch family I was immediately accepted, loved, and encouraged. I’ve never met a more loving group of people in my life and that love spills out onto the amazing kids we get to spend our summer with. Our goal is to give each kid a special camp experience and send them home more independent and confident than when they came us. It was my goal to love on these awesome kids all summer. I was convinced that I would be changing lives, but what I didn’t realize is that they would also change mine. For a majority of the summer I was a counselor to the girls who were 13 and up. As a role model to my girls I realized a lot about myself. One is that I can handle 11 14 year-old girls all by myself, which trust me is not an easy task! But second is I learned a lot about the person I wanted to be. I wanted to be the confident and capable woman that my girls thought I was. They looked to me (and still do) for guidance in their lives. Whether it be which boy to go to the Thursday night dance with or talking about family issues. I am the nonjudgemental ear that these girls need at this age, because being a teenager is rough. It was this amazing growing and bonding experience that I had with these kids that made me decide I would come back another year.


So instead of taking a summer internship like most college students my age. I will be headed to Fort Davis to see my kiddos! I cannot wait to see my girls and Prude Ranch family. I also can’t wait to share this journey with you, whoever you are. So be on the look out starting this June for my Prude Ranch adventures! ADIOS Y VAYA CON DIOS!


Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course

Last post for PR Publications

Wow! I cannot believe that this semester is actually over! Seems like the first time I did an assignment for this class wasn’t all that ago. I have to say I really enjoyed taking this class. The lab intensive format was very different for me, but I got a lot out it. I learn a lot better when I can actually experience what I’m supposed to be doing instead of taking notes on it. So the fact that we actual got to do assignments and learn basic skills that way was so much better for me. I wish more classes were this way because the skills we’re supposed to learning as PR professionals will stick better with students. If we can experience things and learn from our mistakes I feel like we will be better prepared for the tasks we will have to perform when we graduate.

I became a lot more efficient in inDesign than I was before. Adam was very helpful in showing us shortcuts that I had never known before when I worked with it in High School. Although I had worked with inDesign before Adam was much more knowledgeable and easy going than the teacher I had before so he was easier to learn from. I also found that the way I worked with inDesign was a lot different. Since I had more freedom to create what I wanted I created things that were a lot different than before.

I will admit that writing for a public audience was hard. Although I am a PR major I find writing is the most difficult thing we do and we do it A LOT. Trying to choose the right words and placing it in the right place is really hard. It’s also exactly why some people pay other people to do it for them. (i.e. Why our profession exists) But I found that with the progression of the class I became more and more confident in my writing and in my designs. I definitely plan on keep up with this website and blog so I can continue to write.

Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course

Advertising Campaign

For this last assignment in my PR Publications class we were asked to make up our own assignment. I decided to make my “students” make a small advertising campaign. I decided to do this because I have recently had to make several ads for my internship and it was difficult to know where to start. So I feel like the next Publications class should at least touch on the basics and thought process behind advertisements so students have a basic knowledge.

The assignment will require students to pick an organization and decide what type of campaign to make for them. For example if a student chose a certain nonprofit they could make a campaign for their upcoming fundraising gala. The assignment will require them to make three different parts in inDesign. The first part will be a full page ad (8.5 x 11). The second will be a half page ad (8.5 x 5.5). The third will be a direct mailer that could be sent out to promote the campaign as well, also half page.

After the students make the campaign they will have to fill out a sheet that breaks down who their audience is and what influences them. Then they will write a blog post explaining how they made the campaign, the specific design elements that they used and how they feel that design will tie into their target audience.

The difficulty rating I would give this assignment is a 3, because coming up with a campaign might be a little tough. But once the student chooses an audience and a look for one ad the other two parts will not be very difficult.

Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course

Assignment 2- Mailers

This second assignment that was assigned in my PR Publications class was to make two postcards that would be sent to stakeholders. For this assignment I had to really hone in on exactly which stakeholders would receive this mailer and how the message would directly target them.

For my first mailer I decided to make a postcard for the University of Oklahoma’s Panhellenic Association Formal Recruitment that happens every fall semester. This organization oversees and monitors the 11 different sororities that are here on OU’s campus. This mailer is made specifically for women who are 17-23 that have been accepted to the university. This demographic is looking for how they can get involved when they arrive and Greek life is a great way to do that. I kept the design very colorful and fun so that is caught the eye of a woman who was in this age range. I filled the front with pictures and made the design look like a collage, almost as if it was a bulletin board that they could have in their room. I wanted these women to see these pictures and feel like they could be in them or these could be pictures that they could put up on their wall someday. With all the color on the front I kept the back very simple but repeated the use of the bright pink and orange to tie it to the design on the front. I separated the information into the who, what, when, and where about Formal Recruitment. I felt that this would be the best way to answer their questions and then refer them to the Panhellenic’s webpage to learn more, or register to take part in Formal Recruitment.

Postcard 1 Postcard 12


The second mailer I made was specifically for parents, around ages 38-50, whose daughter have registered for Formal Recruitment. Most parents are pretty clueless when it comes to being apart of a sorority or fraternity so I wanted to make a mailer that gave them a few positive statistics about it and then refer them to the Panhellenic’s webpage to learn more about what their daughter might be apart of. I made this a lot cleaner because I wanted it to look more official. I went with a crimson and white color scheme to match other mailers that parents may have received so they would feel comfortable about it being from the university. I didn’t want it to seem too busy, but I still wanted to keep the idea of having a lot of pictures that they could see their daughter possibly taking part of in the near future. The back is very simple and more a teaser with some information to get parents to start looking into the Greek system and what it is all about.



This assignment was quite a challenge for me. At first I had no clear idea how I wanted either of these mailers to look, which was the opposite in the last assignment I did. I knew that my stakeholders were very clear and wanted the same information, but different designs appealed to each demographic. I learned a lot about using the drop shadow and rotate abilities on inDesign with this assignment, which I really enjoyed. After I played around with both designs and put pictures in different places I finally ended up with two front designs that I was happy with. The back side of each mailer was really easy since I wanted to keep it simple but stay with a similar color scheme. All in all I’m very happy with the way both turned out.

Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course

Designing for Emotion- Chapter 5

Chapter 5 in Designing for Emotion is called Overcoming Obstacles. The chapter is mainly about overcoming all the reasons why people may choose to no like your brand or use your product. This chapter talked about the three reasons you have to overcome to convince people to use your product. Those reasons are emotional ties, laziness, and apathy.

Something that I did not agree with the author with on how people make what we call “gut decisions” or decisions based purely on emotion. Walter first talked about how we make everyday decisions like what we are wearing just because we feel like it. He then compared this to the decision making process about the products or services we use. If something doesn’t “feel” right we tend not to use it. Although I do agree with this partial I do not think we make decisions on products solely based on emotions. For example I do not buy into a product until I read reviews on it or have read more about what I am thinking about purchasing. It is not all about making it “feel right.” You have to be selling a reliable and functional product or people’s gut feeling about your product will not last.

What I did like about this chapter is how at the end Walter talks about failure. As beginning designers it is important to know that there are times where are designs are not going to have the affect we want them to and that’s ok! What you need to do when this happens is go back, look at your brand, and make sure it is conveying the right message. You have to make sure your design is making the right emotional connection, along with being functional, and reliable.

Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course

Assignment One- Business Card and Letterhead

So here’s a new type of post for you guys. This post is about the first assignment in my PR publications class. The assignment was to create a business card and letterhead for an organization of our choice. I chose to use the organization that I am currently interning for called City Care. It is a nonprofit organization in Oklahoma City that focuses on helping the homeless and underprivileged in the area.

Business Card

Business Card Business Card2


The audience for this business card is anyone that works with City Care and that we talk with on a one-on-one basis. Since City Care is a large nonprofit with five different programs there are a lot of different people that we work with daily. It is important that they know how to reach us and let us know what is going on in our various programs. I chose a very simplistic design for the front so the audience knows who we work for and what our job is, and also how to reach us. I put a quote on the back that connects our audience with who the organization is as a brand. City Care is focused on reaching out a helping hand to people in need, no matter how small. So I felt this quote really exemplified that. I also used the skyline on the back as a repetition of the logo. I tied the colors from the logo into the rest of the design and stayed with the modern/minimalistic feel that the original logo has to keep everything cohesive.

This business card was a challenge for me at times when I was designing it. At first I knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted the card to look and feel. But after finally placing all the information and logos on it I did not like it all. I had to step away and come back to it a few different times to get the placement right. At first it looked too crowded and then I didn’t like where the information was placed. After that I changed the font like three different times. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist so even when it was done I was still afraid to turn it in thinking that it might not be as good as I hoped it would. So it was a bit of a struggle at times.



This specific letterhead was made for a thank you letter that would go out to people who had donated at City Care’s last big charity banquet in January. I incorporated the skyline from the logo again here for repetition and recognition of the brand. I put the logo along the bottom and faded it out so that it wasn’t too domineering over the rest of the document. Other than that I kept the design very simple so that it did not distract the reader from the actual content of the letter. Also so that the letterhead could be modified and used for different purposes within the organization. I tied in the name at the top with the logo by using the same color as the skyline for the text. I also put the address and phone number of the organization so that our audience knew of a way to contact us.

The letterhead was a lot easier than the business card for me because it didn’t have as much going on in the design. Once I knew I wanted to repeat the use of the skyline as a way to tie the two documents together it was easy from there. I liked using the same color scheme and keeping things very simplistic because I didn’t want to make things too overwhelming. Overall I like the way both of them turned out and I think the design is cohesive through both.

I enjoyed doing both of these documents. I had to basically relearn how to use inDesign again, since I had used it before in high school. But I was surprised to see that I remembered more than I thought I did when it came to the basics. I still had to ask my teacher about stuff just about every class period though, but thats expected when we’re learning how to do this stuff all on our own. All in all I’m happy with the results.


Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course

Designing for Emotion, Chapter 4

This chapter in Aaron Walter’s Designing for Emotion has all to do with how to engage the audience emotionally. I found this chapter very interesting because it talk about a way to think about the designs you create in a new way. In this chapter Walter talks about the emotion or surprise or delight as useful tool to make your designs more memorable for the user. When a user finds something by surprise they connect that positively to what they are using. He used the example of Photojojo’s website to show this. On this website there is a lever that says “Do not pull,” which of course makes the user want to click on it and then it shows the description of whatever product they are looking at. I found this so clever! The use of reverse psychology and creativity turned something that could have just been typed to the side of the picture into something memorable.

Another thing this chapter talked about was priming, which is when a person is exposed to a stimulus that in turn shapes their response to another stimulus. The example he used was when Twitter was about to launch the redesign of the “New Twitter” and how they went about changing their users perceptions of the changes. First the creative director gave a sneak peak of the new design, which in turned sparked a lot of conversation. Then when the design was released only certain users had the ability to use it first, which created even more anticipation for the users who didn’t have it yet.

I am looking forward to learning how to  incorporated both emotional engagement in my designs and how to prime my audience to be as enthusiastic about my designs as I am. I know it will take work and some failures like it says in the book. But with time I hope to be as creative and successful as the examples in this chapter.

Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course

Designing for Emotion, Chapter 3

Chapter 3 in Designing for Emotion is all about brand personality and how to portray that personality through web design. I found this chapter very interesting because even though we are bombarded with personalities everyday I never really considered a brand’s personality as a reason why I choose to use certain brands. But looking back on the websites I enjoy or brands I buy from they all have a personality that speaks to me and that I enjoy. I really liked when the author, Walter, said that web designers need to think of their designs as people with whom the audience can have a conversation with. It really makes me think of how to design things in a new way. Instead of being so focused on making sure everything is in the perfect place, we need to make sure that the personality of our brand is also showing through and that the audience can identify with that personality.

One thing I did not like in this chapter was one of the examples the author chose to use as a good example for personality branding. In the chapter he refers to a website called Carbonmade, which is a website that helps people design portfolios. The homepage he shows has unicorns and a big mountain on it. With a color scheme that makes it look like a children’s website. Although Carbonmade is a good place for portfolio building the personality they are projecting does not show that. I think its too far over to the fun side and not professional enough for what their site really is. It’s fine to make it fun but this just looks kind of childish. Although I do understand what the designers were trying to go for.

This chapter really has got me thinking about designing things in a different way. I am such a perfectionist that I always want things to look perfect. But really I need to start thinking more about a designs personality and how my audience will connect with it.

Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course

Design Blitz Scavenger Hunt

For this blog post I am going to post pictures I had to go find to complete a design scavenger hunt that my PR Publications teacher assigned. In this assignment we were required to find an example of several different design principles. The ones we had to find were color, typography, metaphor/symbol, minimalism, and form and function.









I chose this planner as an example of color because I like the use of these three colors. With the basic white and gray design and the coral accents it is simple and easy to follow the organization of the page.






I chose this sign as an example of typography because it is very clean and simple. The font is easy to read and understand.


Anchor Silhouette Take Your Picture

I chose this as an example of a metaphor or symbol because in my sorority the anchor is our symbol. For us it symbolizes the principles were we founded under and the bond we share with our sisters.



This is a good example of minimalism because it just uses the outline of Jack Sparrow and a plain background. It is a good poster for the movie Pirates of the Caribbean because anyone who has seen the movie will know that that is the silhouette of Jack Sparrow.



I chose this for form and function because the print on the buttons make it easy to know what buttons to press to work the television it goes to.


Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course

Designing for Emotion, Chapter 2

The title of the second chapter of Aaron Walter’s book is Designing for Humans. This chapter discusses what we as humans find attractive or beautiful and how we make emotional connections to things we find beautiful. One of the most interesting things that Walter talks about is how we are hardwired to find the same things visually appealing. He discusses the golden ratio and how we naturally look for things that are proportioned like ourselves. I found this very interesting because I never really considered why I personally think some designs are beautiful and some are not. That is looking at the proportions and layout rather than just the color scheme or pictures. It definitely gave me a new way to start looking at designs.

One thing that I did not really agree with in this chapter was his use of Ricardo Mestra’s web site as an example of great design. Although his approach to his portfolio was unique and organic. I found the design way too busy and hard to follow. It almost looks as if he didn’t know what he wanted to focus on for the website. There are so many colors and word bubbles that you don’t even know where to look first. It is a different approach and very creative, but I think it needs a little more organization.

I am looking forward to learning in class how to utilize the golden ratio and other concepts in my future designs. I’ve always struggled with making things turn out the way I see them in my head and I hope that this class will help me improve on that.

Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course