My Last Blog Post for Publications…

…well kind of…I still have to do my extra credit blog posts tonight!!

Overall, I am kind of sad to be leaving this class. I feel like I have learned so many valuable skills, yet there is still so much I do not know. The time that I have spent in this class I have learned so many practical skills for not only PR practitioners, but also just people in general. Learning how to use what I consider some of the most intimidating software was challenging yet fun for me. Although I got extremely frustrated at times I can reflect and see that 1. I did learn something and 2. Hard work really does pay off.

I actually thought I was going to hate this class in the beginning. I knew I was not a creative person and that I struggled with Photoshop and Indesign. The first day, as well as the first actual assignment, was definitely a little intimidating to me. Once I got into the swing of things; however, I was no longer intimidated by the amount of creativity I was given – I was looking forward to it.

I think the hardest part of the class for me was our workdays in he computer lab. For some reason, I can never focus or be productive in those settings. It happened to me in Writing for the Mass Media as well. My brain just does not function in those types of settings. I usually spent the class time drawing out my ideas or looking up ideas/ information on the Internet that way I did not waste an hour of my day. This actually ended up paying off in the end because when I would actually sit down to work I already knew kind of what I wanted to do and I cut my production time in half.

Although I do not wish every course I had were in the same setting of a computer lab, I do wish they were all hands on like this one was. I have discovered I learn best when I am learning practical skills and when I can practice them and try them out. I think I learn and retain the most in this kind of setting because I do not spend my time cramming for tests I will forget the information on. I am learning how to actually do something.

Another aspect of the class I really enjoyed was our blogs. I have been saying for a year now that I am going to start blogging. Now that I can’t make excuses I can finally do something I have wanted to do for ages. I have not decided what I am going to turn my blog into subject wise, but I do plan to continue using it.

Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about this class. I feel like I learned everything I was suppose to, which is nice. I also believe I will be able to use this knowledge for years to come no matter what my profession.

Originally posted at OU Public Relations Publications

The Life of a Sooner Scandals Chair (Freestyle Post)

Recently, I was selected as the new chair for Campus Activities Council Sooner Scandals 2015. For those of you who don’t know Sooner Scandals, or Scandals for short, is one of the oldest most beloved traditions on campus. Scandals is a production where six acts perform 12 minute Broadway style musicals to a theme selected by the chair and executive committee. The acts compete for awards and bragging rights for the rest of the year. This past yeas Scandals theme was “And so it was said.” This theme required acts to base their stories off of famous quotes or words of wisdom.

Before you can understand why I am so excited about my new position, I should probably explain my history with Scandals. Sooner Scandals was the first event I was a part of when I came to OU. I fell in love from the moment I joined the executive committee my freshman year. I have been on Scandals exec for the past 3 years. My first year, I was on the sponsorship team so I raised money for the event. My sophomore year, I was a technical director and was responsible for the technical part of backstage during the shows. This year I was a Vice Chair where I served as the Assistant to the Chair. Being a member of exec that first year is what gave me the confidence to apply for other positions on campus and take on more leadership roles. You see, my “college experience” started with Scandals and I am so glad it is going to end with it.

As the new Scandals chair, I have already started working on next years production. My Vice Chair applications closed today, and I will pick four of the applicants to become Vice Chairs before school is out. I have also set up exit interviews with show directors. We are making a lot of changes this year with Scandals so I wanted to get the director’s opinions on what they liked and did not like about Scandals this year. So far the meetings have been extremely productive. I have also had meetings with the Student Life Advisors and other event chairs. I am also supposed to be studying for finals…but that is way less fun then planning Scandals!

This summer I will make my budget for the year, reserve classrooms, plan out the executive committee, begin think of themes, and much more with my Vice Chairs. Once we get back to school in the fall, it will be time to select our executive committee members and begin the process that is Sooner Scandals!!

If you want to follow my journey, you can keep up with everything Scandals related on this site on my blog.

In honor of Scandals 2014, I have also added a picture of my best friend and I at this years show. He performed in his fraternities show 1789.



Originally posted at OU Public Relations Publications

Assignment 5: A Night to Remember

For this blog post our instructor asked us to make up an assignment for the class. We had total creative freedom. The assignment I created is below. Let me know what you think!


Assignment 5: A Night to Remember

Due Thursday May 1, 2014


Create a “special event’s” print and web publications. The event can be a wedding, a shower, a banquet, a gala, etc. The list of items for the event includes: invitations (both print and electronic), a program for the night of, a graphic to change social media profile pictures, a Twitter account for the event ran by you with an official hashtag and 5 Tweets posted on the account (2 leading up to the event, 2 at the event, and 1 after it is over), and a premade email to all guest reminding them of the event.

Blog Post:

Students will also write a 250 word reflection blog post for the assignment.

Did you struggle with any section of this assignment? What did you like? Dislike? What did you learn from this assignment?


  • Pick an event or an organization planning the event that you are familiar with.
  • Invitations should be 4 in. x 6 in.
  • Programs can be as small as 4 in. x 6 in. or as large as 8 in. x 11 in.
  • Graphic should be minimum 180×180 pixels


100 total points: You will be graded per publication (20 points each)

Rating: 3

Originally posted at OU Public Relations Publications

Project 2 – Direct Mailers

For our second project in my Public Relations publications class, we worked on direct mailers. Direct mailers for the sake of this assignment were postcards that would hypothetically be sent out by OU’s recruitment services to students and/or parents.

For my direct mailers I chose two different audiences. The first was high school seniors, who have not decided on a college or university that were from southeastern Oklahoma. The second mailer was targeted toward parents who have children in their senior year of high school. The purpose of my mailers was to inform students and parents about their unique opportunities at OU. For example, the parents’ mailer gave information about how they can join the OU community through the parent’s club or parents’ weekends.

I chose my first audience of southeastern Oklahoma students for two reasons. The first is that I am from southeastern Oklahoma. The second is that I wanted to highlight a unique student organization I am a part of called SEOK Ambassadors. This is a registered student organization ran by the southeastern Oklahoma recruiter for OU. We realized there was a significant problem in our recruiting from the southeast, and have set up this organization to fix the problems many students from this area face. We have think tank session as well as created a scholarship for students from the area and a mentorship program for when they get to OU. The organization is something I am very passionate about since I am from the area, and I know first hand the struggles these students face in regards to higher education.

I had a little more pressure added to this assignment. I had emailed our advisor about using our logo for the assignment, and he told me he wants to see the finished product because recruitment services might use it, and send it out to students. This is very exciting, but nerve-racking at the same time.  I have uploaded a picture of the front and back of the mailer. You can tell me what you think!

Direct mailer 1 FRONT

Direct Mailer back 1


I chose my second audience of parents because I thought it correlated with parents of the students I was targeting, as well as parents from all over the world who are sending their child off to college. When parents send their children off to college they are usually sad and wish they could just pack up and go with them. OU is unique in the fact that they kind of can. OU has multiple ways for parents to be updated on the happenings on campus. I used the front of the mailer to talk about our parents’ association and our parents’ day weekends. I used the back of the mailer to appeal to both their logical and emotional needs. I used buzzwords about the university highlighting some of the great aspects of our campus. I also used emotional language such as “your child belongs here” to really get their attention, and have them research the University of Oklahoma. I have attached the front and back of that mailer as well.

Direct mailer parents front

MaKenna parents back Final


Through this assignment I have learned a lot about targeting specific stakeholders and what appeals to them. With our design assignment we also did a segmenting stakeholder matrix. This was a chart that helped us really think about who are stakeholders were and what they wanted. I was able to use this the most with my parents direct mailer. Since I am not a parent, it can be difficult to know exactly what they would want. With the help of the chart; however, I was able to discover and tailor a message specifically to them.

Overall, I found this assignment to be very enjoyable. I am excited to give my assignment to the advisor of SEOK Ambassadors. The idea of OU actually printing my work is very exciting…keep your fingers crossed!

Originally posted at OU Public Relations Publications

Overcoming Obstacles

Chapter 5 of Designing for Emotion covers overcoming obstacles. This chapter did a great job of tying in chapter 4 – emotional engagement. I am a very logical thinker so realizing the amount of times we use emotion to make decisions in our lives was very interesting for me. I had never considered emotion to be a “tie breaker” for our decision-making process.

The chapter continues on to talks about obstacles that some companies and apps have to overcome in order to gain the users trust and their business. The one that hit home for me was how skeptical users can be about certain requirements of the app. The examples I liked best were how individuals were skeptical of free apps and apps that require secretive/sensitive information such as bank account information. Going back to my logical thinking preferences where I do not use emotion very often, I am also very skeptical about free apps. It is always hard to believe that an app that performs a service for you could be free just because it would like to “help make your life easier.”

I am also very skeptical about releasing secretive information such as my bank account information. I barely trust myself with this information let alone an app. With this being my thought process it was very interesting to see how companies try to persuade us and prove to us that their company or app is not sketchy. It was very interesting for me to see how the company Mint (that requires your bank account information) has convinced users that they are safe.

The two other topics I found very intriguing in this chapter were the cost to benefit ratio and the giving of awards. The cost to benefit ratio involving emotion was what I found the most interesting. I did not realize that designers followed the idea that they had to make the benefits appear to outweigh the costs to appeal to individual’s emotions. I also found the Dropbox example of using a reward at the end as a very smart idea. Many people follow the idea that if you give you should receive. So by people giving Dropbox their information and business, they want something in return – which happens to be more free space for their files.

Overall, I found this chapter to be extremely thought-provoking. I like learning about emotional decision making, and how using certain aspects in your design can influence users to trust it, stay loyal to it, and most importantly – love it!

Originally posted at OU Public Relations Publications

Project 1 – Business Card & Letterhead

For our first project in JMC 3433, we were given the task of making a business card and a letterhead. We also used our designing skills to make an electronic email through MailChimp.

I decided to create my project for the dance studio I teach at in Oklahoma City called Everything Goes Dance Studio. I have been teaching at this studio since October. I wanted to encompass the fun and exciting atmosphere the studio provides for its students while also making a professional product. This was not an easy task. The logo of Everything Goes Dance Studio is very bold and bright with lots of colors. This was easy to work with when I wanted to express how fun the dance studio was, but not so easy when I wanted to create a professional product (due to the excessive amounts of color).

My audience for the business card and letterhead is potential clients to the dance studio, or current clients. Realizing my audience is what made me personally realize that the excessive color and interesting font would fit my audience perfectly. These products would be sent to people who either want to experience what the dance studio is like, or already know the studios personality. It was at this point that I was finally able to have fun with my design and really cater to the clients needs instead of stressing about it looking extremely professional.

I used the logo in my designs because it is on all of the studio merchandise, and is the symbol of the studio. I kept the same color schemes of the logo fir the text in my design because I believed it represented the fun and exhilarating characteristics of the studio. I used fun and different fonts for the same reason, and believe it will really catch viewer’s eyes. I also created a slogan or catch phrase for the studio, “Won’t You Dance With Us?”

For MailChimp I created an email costume letter. Usually the studio prints copies of the letter and gives them to the students in hopes that they will make it to their parents. With MailChimp; however, I would be able to send the letter to all of the parent’s emails very quickly and efficiently without going through the students. I am very glad that I learned about MailChimp, and I definitely plan to use it in the future.

Overall, I learned so much about design through this process. As my first project, I was expecting for frustration to be a part of the process, and it definitely was. But I also learned about different software and applications, as well as how to cater to my audience while also pleasing the owner of a business.

Below are my final products.




Business Card Back

Back of Business Card

Business Card Front


Font of Business Card

Originally posted at OU Public Relations Publications

Emotional Engagement in Design

Designing for Emotion chapter 4 covers the topic of emotional engagement. This is when the designer evokes emotion in the user in order to keep their attention, and keep them as a returning user. The book uses the example of surprise. It talks about how when you hear your favorite song on the radio it is much more enjoyable than if you play the song yourself. That is because the element of surprise amplifies our emotional response, thus making our experience better. It’s this idea of emotional amplification that the chapter discusses as a way to engage your audience.

I found this chapter very intriguing, and am glad that the book continues to explore different aspects of emotional design. My favorite examples used for this chapter was once again MailChimp. The chapter describes how the MailChimp mascot was made to be a fun extra for users. He was not meant to explain when there was an error with the site, or tell you how to operate the site. His main purpose was to add a human element to MailChimp by making jokes or complementing the user. This design aspect had an emotional impact on the users, which in return made them loyal.

This chapter was really just a big “ahh haa” moment for me because it explained the way we think about design and what appeals to us as humans the most. It made me reflect on what designs I like the most and why. I realized I do use sites that have a more human element to them, or even an element of surprise that makes me invested. Overall, I agree with the chapter that if we are emotionally engaged in the site, we will enjoy are experience more and become loyal users.

Originally posted at OU Public Relations Publications

Designing for Personality

This week, we moved on to Chapter 3 of Designing for Emotion, which discussed designing for personality. The chapter talks about how each design has a personality and is made specifically for its users personalities.

I found this chapter to be very interesting because most humans have different personalities. For instance, my personality is not the same as some of my friends and even opposite of some of my coworkers. Taking the risk and creating a designing to fit different personalities was something interesting to learn about.

What I liked most about this chapter was it went into the exact process of how they decided the personality of the design. They do this through personas. Personas are human-like characteristics that match their target audience.

For example, the book talks about a girl named Julia. The document the company had with her information showed her demographics, her interests, her expertise in various subjects, and what influences her decisions on subjects relevant to the project. All of this information helps to understand who Julia is and her personality. The catch is, Julia is not a real person, just a representative of a user group. These categories of users are based on people that designers know, but the people they create to represent different user groups are actually fictional.

Although fictional, since they are based on a real person, the designers have the ability to pick up the phone and ask the real people questions. This becomes especially helpful when they are unsure of which perception, values, and behaviors to expect of their audience. Through these fictional representatives the designers are able to work for a specific target audience based on the information (and personality type) they gather through their personas.

The next process explored in this chapter included making a design persona for a website. This section actually gave a template for the information designers use to discover the personality of their website. The template includes topics such as: personality image (an actual image of a person that embodies the traits you wish to have in your brand – or you website mascot), Brand traits (5-7 traits that best describe the brand), Voice (if your brand could talk, what would it sound like), and more. The real life example the book gives, is of MailChimp. It goes through the entire template using the MailChimp mascot – Freddie Von Chimpenheimer IV.

So far, this chapter has been my favorite. I have finally been able to see how designers use personality and human interest in their designs. Before it all seemed like a bunch of theories that I was not necessarily buying into. Now that I have seen these examples and some of the tools they use to get their information; however, I am finally sold on the fact that designers actually do think about human qualities and preferences.

Originally posted at OU Public Relations Publications

Exploring our Subconscious

Chapter 2 of Designing for Emotion was a little difficult for me to grasp. It is hard to understand how our subconscious works especially when books try to tell us. Although I found the topic to be interesting I am not 100 percent sold on the fact that I like “baby faces” or that “I can find human presence in abstract objects.” Let me explain.

In Chapter 2, the author discusses how design can be used to target human emotion through different cognitive approaches.

First, it talks about Darwin’s theory in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal. This theory states that all humans have a common emotional lexicon. It states that we are born with emotions rather than emotions being a learned behavior.

The chapter then continues to discuss the “baby-face bias.” This states that we can overlook shortcomings and in return have positive emotions when we the face of a baby. It states that the proportions of a baby’s face (i.e. large eyes, small nose, etc.) are recognized in our brains as special. The author believes that this bias is what drove organizations like Twitter, Brizzly, MailChimp, and others to design the way they do. I personally believe that the baby-face bias does not apply to everyone. I for instance do not really like babies or animated designs with over exaggerated features, therefore, these designs do not appeal to me,

The book also discusses how we as humans are accidental narcissists looking for what we know best in everything we observe – ourselves. The author suggests that we are wired to find emotion in human faces. He mentions that we don’t even need a human face to associate human characteristics – we can find them in abstract objects as well. The example he uses includes the golden ratio, which is a mathematic division of proportions found in nature repeatedly, including the human form. It suggests that we subconsciously recognize this golden ration everywhere we go, which is why we find beauty in things such as the Parthenon. This is the other topic of the chapter I was very unsure about. I do appreciate architectural beauty, but I did not believe it was because I was associating it with human characteristics.

Although I am not 100 percent sold on this topic, I do believe it is very interesting and something to consider when designing. I think with more research into how designers actually use these design theories (versus just a few examples in the chapter) I will be able to fully make up my mind about whether I believe they are true or not.



Originally posted at OU Public Relations Publications