Risk and Reward

In Chapter 7, Aarron Walter ends his book by discussing risks and rewards. Overall, I think this chapter concludes the book with the interesting topic of taking risks and sometimes gaining rewards in your job. After reading this chapter, I learned that this book truly taught me alot about public relations, that I had never realized before. For example, I learned about a few new types of social media tools. Additionally, I learned how although audience, content, and design are all different from each other, they are connected in a few ways.

I did not really disagree with anything in this chapter because I think it’s important to take risks to receive rewards in your job and throughout life. Taking risks teaches you the skills about going with your gut and opinion on what you think is right. I enjoyed the wrap up of this chapter and the conclusion of the book. I like how Walter reviews what he has talked about throughout the book and leaves us with this thought that designing with our personal style is essential. Overall, this was an interesting book and I think it should be used in years to come in PR Pubs classes.

Originally posted at Megan Young - Gaylord Student


In Chapter 6 on Forgiveness, Aarron Walter discusses the idea that in the public relations world, something might go wrong. For example, the story of the Flickr incident and how although the company looked like they were going down forever and would never be able to make it out of the slump, they’re still around today. In the past, I did a project on Flickr so I knew about the entire company. However, after researching their history, I did not realize that there was a storage failure in 2006. This was interesting to me and I’m surprised I didn’t know about this when researching it for my project.

One thing I don’t agree with in this chapter is how although Flickr reinvented itself, this made up for the storage failure. I think the reinvention definitely helped Flickr expand, but I don’t think this necessary made them a better form of social media. Sadly, Flickr is still not a very large part of social media, compared to its competitors like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. However, I do think Flickr is on the rise to becoming a more popular form of social media to use. I enjoyed this chapter because I liked reading the example about Flickr and how he connected this to forgiveness. Additionally, this chapter was short so it was easy to read.

Originally posted at Megan Young - Gaylord Student

Assignment Two – Direct Mailer

Direct Mailer One: Potential Petroleum and Geological Engineering students

Direct Mailer edited2

Direct Mailer edited

Direct Mailer Two: Potential Legacies




For this assignment, students were asked to create two direct mailers aimed at different stakeholders. I decided to appeal to the high school legacies (children or siblings of past/present students) and incoming students who had taken the Petroleum and Geological Engineering tour here on campus.

The first one I made was for incoming students who plan to be engineers. I found out that the college has a specific tour on campus for incoming freshman where the Mewbourne school explains the program and tours the building. Because this was such a defined target, I had a hard time finding pictures that would work well with the mailer. I ended up going to the college and taking a couple pictures myself. I then picked one and made it the background for the front of the mailer. I also recreated the logo found on the website and added contrast by creating white boxes for text. I conducted research on the college’s website and found a million things that I would’ve liked to mention, but because space was limited, I stuck with the simple “ranked among the top five degrees in the country.” For the back, I used one of the textures given to add more of an engineering feel and left space for an address and stamp. I also put a return address and found an animation of a rig that I made red to match our colors. The main purpose of this mailer is to thank students for taking the tour and to remind them of what the college has to offer. While potential students are trying to choose their school or major, I think it’s important to always be on their mind.

The second mailer I made was for children or siblings of past or present students. I wanted to play along with the idea of Tradition so I mentioned it on the front and back of the card. OU has a large amount of traditions and by becoming a Sooner, the family member would not only be apart of campus traditions, but also extend family traditions. I also wanted to keep it as simple as possible so I kept the phrases short. (Again, I found so many wonderful graphs and phrases, but knew I wouldn’t have the space or time.) Basically, I wanted to call these possible students to action by scheduling a tour of the campus. The back of the card took the most time, but also ended up being the side I was most proud of. Initially, I wanted to do the same kind of design as the mailer before, but for some reason, was having trouble with the textures. I played around a little and ended up making the background of the back an image at a football game tinted it red to still be able to write stuff on it. I’m actually very proud with the end result. I then recreated the logo found on the Future Sooners page and placed three different requests. (Look at us, visit us, become one of us.) I also tried to add on to the color scheme by placing dashes in the top and bottom. For the front, I tried to keep the red color going by choosing a background image that had red in it. However, first I had to doctor the image by smudging out the light post  that stuck out in the middle of the blank space. I then added the OU logo and the emblem I found on the school website that Oklahoma is one of the top university in the nation according to U.S. News.

Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke

Designing for Emotion Chapter 7: Risk & Reward

At the beginning of the chapter it discusses taking risks with who you are working for. It used the example of the CoffeeCup easter egg hunt on their website. This potentially could have been something that was a huge fail. But, the company took the risk and gained a huge profit from it. Customers spent hours on the website participating in this easter egg hunt. Their website page views grew a great amount and the company’s social media gained a profit too. Something simple and fun like this can make a huge difference to a company.

Although I disagree that many bosses in today’s society will never allow certain changes to websites, it is always a good idea to try. Reading this book gave me great ideas for the future when approaching people above me about new ideas. I can even reference this book when in discussion.

Reading this book was very eye-opening. I am more confident when it comes to my own design ideas because this book allowed me to understand that design takes time. Not everybody can produce the perfect design in the first try. It gave great examples of design concepts that have worked out great for certain companies and I plan on taking this advice with me as I move past my college days.

Originally posted at Taylor Jurica- Gaylord Journalism Student

Designing for Emotion Chapter 6: Forgiveness

When dealing with systems shutting down on customers, this can create major impatience among users. The Flickr example at the beginning of the chapter was great. I always get SO frustrated when a site is down that I really need to get on. Flickr’s idea to keep their customers distracted with a contest was a genius solution. I have never thought about directing the users mind’s some place else.

Flickr also updated their customers as much as they could about the maintenance that was being done. Although I’m sure this calmed down some of the customers, I would argue that many of the customers were still very upset about the site being shut down. No matter how many updates or distractions you put into place, there will always be those users who will not be satisfied until they can get back to what they were working on.

Although this chapter was short, it made me think about certain aspects of design that I have never thought about before. When customers have felt betrayed or disappointed in one of your products, design is something that can reel the users back into trust. The chapter uses the example of gaining back trust with another person. You gain back trust through gut feelings.

Originally posted at Taylor Jurica- Gaylord Journalism Student

Chapter 5: Overcoming Obstacles

In Chapter 5 of Designing for Emotion written by Aarron Walter, he talked about overcoming obstacles. I love how he talks about how as designers, we have every tool to help our audience use their gut. We have all the tools for typography, contrast, color and more that lead our audience in the right direction. These tools not only help our reader use their gut, but it is easier for them to understand the information that we are throwing at them.

I never even thought about how appearance matters. Appearance is the difference between your audience trusting in your company, or not. I like how Walters uses a body guard in a pressed suit versus a guy in cutoff jean shorts and a ripped Grateful Dead shirt. This definitely put things into perception for me.

I disagree with what Dropbox did. I don’t think that bribery is ever the right thing to do. It is almost like trickery to me. I don’t support that especially since I know that as a user myself, I would not like to be bribed to stay on a site I don’t need to be staying on.

Originally posted at Claire White

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

Designing for Emotion – Chapter 5 (Overcoming Obstacles)

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This week my class had the option to read whatever chapter they wanted in Aaron  Walter’s book, Designing for Emotion, and I decided to continue where I last stopped at chapter 5. This chapter was all about overcoming obstacles that may occur when you are designing a site, app, etc. The major obstacle in most cases is trying to get people to trust in what you’re selling.  I totally agree with the author when he said that most of the things we do on a day-to-day basis is go with our gut. Gut decisions can be a good idea, but at some times it may not. I think you really have to pick and choose your battles.

One example used in this chapter was the website or app, Mint.

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Mint is a financial tracker that allows you to input information from whatever bank you are with and gives you tips on how to budget your money and even tracks your budget. I personally use this app on my iPhone one because my TFCU app kept crashing and I could never sign in and second because I heard how safe and reliable it was. I was a little skeptical at first because it said that you could sign up free all you needed to do was input all your bank information. Like the author said, trusting a website that says free with no gimmicks is incredibly tough. It helped that this site does have credible sources saying it’s a good app. Sources like the New York Times, Wall Street and I even saw that it’s a part of Intuit. The site and app also look very nice ad with me presence goes a long way so believing in this company wasn’t as hard as others are.

Another key point the author made was when he said that some companies will use bribery to get people coming to their site, but it’s not just about getting people to visit you site, it’s also about having them continue to visit and use the site. Dropbox was the example used and I think at first dropbox was something really cool, but overtime its lost it. I hate the fact that they tell you its free to sign up and you get to store things on a cloud, but they don’t tell you that you only get so  much storage, which isn’t a lot. I choose Google Drive over Dropbox now and do so because I feel like Google is more trustworthy, has a better reputation and is able to translate over a variety of devices easily.

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The last thing I took from this chapter was to continue trying if something doesn’t go as you thought. You have to continually try to make changes when you fail at something. Our gut thoughts are never always right and sometime we have to step back, ask others and go from there. Learning how to design doesn’t come overnight so it’s important to be open to change.


Originally posted at Tori Beechum - PR Pubs