Last post for the course

Well its been a great semester and I couldn’t have asked for a better hands on learning experience than this. I love the lab intensive set up and I can see myself using many of the tools I learned in the course throughout my career. Going into this class I really didn’t know very much about design at all but that has changed completely now. I learned that design allows us to make deep and lasting connections with our public and if done right can form lifelong mutually beneficial relationships. I really would like to see more classes done like this. The hands on aspect of this course made the environment so much better for learning and I think I retained so much more this way.

Throughout this course I got to implement everything I learned about designing. I learned more about segmenting publics and the importance of designing for your public in a way that will connect with them. I got a good grasp on InDesign and am able to design stylish and emotional proactive pieces now. I will take what I learned in this course and implement it the rest of my life.

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

The whole Donald Sterling thing


I have always had an interest in sports and have followed most of the popular ones pretty closely. When the whole Donald Sterling fiasco happened earlier this week it caught my eye. On the one hand it shocked me how someone so privileged and hard working could be so ignorant. On the other hand it got me thinking from a PR stand point. The fact that I think about things from a public relations stand point means that I am putting my education to good use and I am grateful for that. Looking at this situation from a public relations standpoint there doesn’t seem to be a good way out for Mr. Sterling. It will be very hard to save face and he is most likely going to be known for not all of his abundant accomplishments but for the racist comments that went public that one year. If I was his public relations representative I would make sure the public knows that he really doesn’t think that way. Mr. Sterling has to be put back into a good light for people to start looking favorably about him again. The goal should be for him to make the public aware of all the good he actually does for the community in hopes they believe his remarks were a mistake.

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

Designing for Emotion Chapter 7

This chapter summed everything up perfectly for me. It got the overall message that was book is trying to convey summarized down into a couple pages to reiterate the main points. Like anything else in life there are risks when people design things. Some people won’t accept it and some won’t even give it the time of day. I have always thought of this as a bad thing as I think many people would. This may even lead some people to have reservations about designing something that a lot of people will see.

The chapter made me look at some people nor understanding or rejecting your design in a positive light. It makes sense really.The people that reject the design are not the people you want looking at it in the first place. A good design helps narrow the public down and helps you find out who is really interested. This book has taught me that we have to put our own personalities in the design for it to be effective. This helps the designer develop a connection with the public and accomplishes whatever it is that needs accomplishing.

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

PR Publications: A Reflection

After I publish this post, I will be done with PR Pubs, which is a weird thought.

I really wish more courses were like this one. Adam, you truly are a very good teacher. At the start of the semester, I genuinely had no experience with graphic design whatsoever and had no earthly clue on how to work InDesign, PhotoShop or anything. Now, leaving my junior year, I can genuinely say that I feel comfortable using these systems. This is because you didn’t tell us how to use them; you showed us. You actually taught us technical skills that will be of great use to us in the future, providing us with plenty of personal help and feedback along the way. Thank you for doing that.

I like writing for a public audience. I always have, even from the days of Writing for Mass Media. Being able to do this, along with design exactly how my words were conveyed to said audience was a great experience.

Alright. I’m keeping it short and sweet. And I’m sleep-deprived. This is Nick Edwards, signing off.

Originally posted at Nick Edwards

Freestyle Post: The Marvel/DC Conundrum

My inner geek will totally shine through here, and I am very okay with that. Here goes.

I am a huge comic book and superhero buff. I love them. I started collecting comics wen I was in early elementary school and I still do today. Being a fan of superheroes, I have genuinely seen every superhero movie that has been released in the past ten years (except the really bad ones *cough*Catwoman*cough*

Now, while there are many comic book studios in the business (Image Comics and Dark Horse Comics being two great publishers), there are two major players in the game. These are DC Comics and Marvel Comics. In this post, I will be addressing the on-screen presences of these two studios and the issues plaguing both.

Recently (since 2008 to be specific) Marvel has experienced massive success on the silver screen. Starting with Iron Man in 2008, Marvel has built a cinematic franchise  that has grown to be the highest-grossing franchise of all time. This cinematic universe includes the box office-smashing Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Avengers franchises, as well as other films such as The Incredible Hulk and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, the ABC television series Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D., several short films, and four upcoming series exclusive to Netflix. Marvel Studios has layed out plans for continuing their cinematic universe well over ten years away and shows no sign of slowing down. With Marvel movies featuring many A-list celebrities, top-notch production values and record-setting sales numbers, Marvel is currently the undisputed cinematic comic king.

That brings us to DC Comics’ on-screen presence. DC has experienced some success as well, albeit to a much smaller degree. With Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy, DC managed to show that a comic book movie could be mature, and even be a contender for awards such as the Oscars. This all changed, however, the moment DC tried to follow Marvel’s path.

In 2013, Warner Brothers Studios released a Superman reboot titled Man of Steel. Response to this movie was very divided. Many fans were outraged at choices made for the character of Superman, among other issues. I personally really enjoyed the movie, but even I must acknowledge that the film had some major flaws.

Then, shortly after the release of Man of Steel, DC announced that the working title of their next movie in their cinematic universe would be Batman vs. Superman. The controversial choice to reboot the character of Batman, making him an entirely different character from that of Nolan’s critically acclaimed Batman, portrayed by Christian Bale, divided fans. This was coupled with the out-of-the blue casting of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne. Upon learning that members of the Justice League, the DC equivalent version of Marvel’s Avengers, Wonder Woman and Cyborg would be in the movie, fans speculated that this movie would be a straight up Justice League film adaption. These rumors were quelled when DC just recently announced that an actual Justice League movie would be following Batman vs. Superman.

Now that I have broken down each studio’s strategies thus far, I will take time to point out their strengths and flaws thus far.

Marvel’s biggest flaw is clearly that many of the film rights to their most iconic franchises belong to other studios. Sony Pictures own the rights to Spider-Man while 20th Century Fox own the rights to the Fantastic Four, X-Men and Wolverine. Whole these franchises range from great (X-Men, X-Men 2, X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine and Sam Raimi’s first two Spider-Man movies) to passable (The Amazing Spider-Man, a reboot) to bad (X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Spider-Man 3, Both Fantastic Four movies) in their own rights, fans have long been clamoring to see all of their favorite Marvel heroes in the same production, but due to the complex nature of film rights, it does not look as if this will ever happen. This honestly has been somewhat of a boon for Marvel studios, however. With their movies, Marvel has turned former B-list characters such as Iron Man and Thor into cultural icons.

DC is a different story altogether. Their plan is so scattered that I think even they do not know what is going on. DC experienced success with their Dark Knight trilogy, but their Green Lantern film was really just a crappy movie. Likewise, the television show Arrow is great, but fan reaction to Man of Steel is very divided. Now DC is hoping to follow in the steps of Marvel and create their own cinematic universe that is independent from both the Dark Knight trilogy, their Arrow and the (upcoming) Flash TV series and the Green Lantern movie. Is it wise to be jumping into the same pool as Marvel at such a late point in the game? I suppose fans will decide.


Originally posted at Nick Edwards

Designing for Emotion Chapter 6

This chapter really interested me because I am very intrigued by crisis management and that is pretty much what this chapter goes over. It is a short chapter but it is very concise and easy to read. Reading the first couple pages I asked myself: This seems to be about apologizing after problems happen how does design tie into this concept?

It went on the explain that the best way to handle a problem is to communicate swiftly and honestly about what is going on. That is something we have always learned as future PR practitioners and it is good to reiterate it from time to time. I knew they would eventually bring design into the equation somehow and it gave the example of Flickr. The company had a small crisis when the uploading system got backed up and people couldn’t upload photos they wanted. Well in short Flickr made the problem into a contest where members could win a free year membership of Flickr Pro. It got peoples minds of the website being partially down and it was communicated within a timely manner. This was a very interesting and pretty much brilliant way of handling things the way I see it. It is like a clever distraction while the problem gets solved in the background.

What I took away from the chapter is that things need to be communicated clearly and in a timely manner when there is a crisis. Emotional design is what keeps the customers hooked. A company can have small hick ups but as long as they have engaging design to keep its loyal customers and they respond to the problem appropriately everything will be fine. flikr

Originally posted at Spenser Hicks's Blog

Assignment Five: Design Your Own Movie Poster

I am a huge fan of film. I have written my own full-length screenplay, written and directed a comedic short film and the first season of a comedic short web series, in addition to currently working on multiple other projects.

For this fifth assignment, select any picture that you believe would be appealing to moviegoers about a feature film about your own life. The picture must have you in it and not be explicit in any way (that is, sexually explicit, violent, containing drugs or alcohol, profane, etc.) . Save your desired image in InDesign as a JPeg and then begin designing your own movie poster!

You must give your film a creative title, as well as list the “stars” of your film. These can either be the names of real people that are major parts of the story you wish to tell, or celebrities that you have “cast” as the real people in your life. You may also wish to bill yourself as the director in your film. In addition to the cast, you should probably list a studio or individual that will serve as your film’s producer. This can be an actual film producer, or you can list yourself (or even your parents, if that’s how you want to play it!).

Your poster must be visually appealing and serve as a proper print advertisement for a film, but the rest is up to you. Take any stylistic approaches you wish, and have fun!

I would probably give this assignment a one-star difficulty. I wished to create a fun assignment, not necessarily a difficult one.

Originally posted at Nick Edwards

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

Bye Bye PR Pubs!

I can’t believe that Public Relations Publications is ending. This was honestly my favorite class that I have taken while attending the University of Oklahoma. This class has expanded my knowledge on InDesign and Photoshop and I know that will help me when I enter the workplace. These skills are valuable and necessary for a public relations major and I am so glad we spent time learning these concepts and how to perfect our products.

I enjoyed having our classroom in a lab where we could work and ask questions when needed. This helped me, as a public relations practitioner, understand when to use certain concepts and when to refrain from them. I thoroughly enjoyed having a small classroom as well. I think the bond that our classroom created was helpful in my success in the class because I was not afraid to ask their opinion on my product. I wish more classes were set up this way because getting feedback on your work only helps a student. The assignments given during the semester pushed me to become better acquainted with InDesign and Photoshop. I learned how to do things on the programs that I thought only professionals could do.

I think what we learned in Public Relations Publications was very valuable for a public relations practitioner and will be used throughout our careers. Blogging every week helped me understand the importance of using a blog and I think I will continue to use my site past this class. I will direct it towards weddings I love, wedding ideas and more, just to get my name out there before I even begin my career. This class was tough at some points, but overall I think the class was by far the best class at OU, and honestly maybe the most important one. I can’t wait to put my knowledge into action during my career and continuing on with the blog that we were able to create.

Originally posted at Claire White

What Makes Claire, Claire.

In high school, I was a typical high school girl. I played volleyball for the school and on a club team, I played soccer, and I cheered on a competition team. I also competed for Miss Texas Teen after I was crowned Miss Teen Amarillo. Eventually, I realized that I was too short to play volleyball, too slow to play soccer, not limber enough to cheer, and definitely not dedicated enough to compete in pageants while in college. With college right around the corner, you can imagine how panicked I was considering all my passions were drawing to a close…

I decided to attend the University of Oklahoma to make my real dreams come true. Not volleyball, soccer, cheerleading or pageants, but my real dream. I have forever wanted to become a wedding planner. I decided to go into public relations and expand my knowledge of how to brand and convey yourself to a wide audience. Event planning isn’t as easy as it sounds. You have to be one of the most dedicated, design savvy people in the world to get a bride to hire you to plan the big extravaganza. I’ve never had problems with people, actually I have always been great with people. But public relations just seemed like a good fit.

I am probably the most spunky, outgoing and crazy girl you will ever meet. I have never met a stranger, I could make friends with a brick wall if I wanted to (but I don’t.) People make me smile. I enjoy being able to interact with happy people, sad people, fun people, boring people, and trying to make their day one thousand times better. By interacting with a variety of people, I get to hear views that I may not hear every day. This broadens my horizons and makes me realize that everyone has a voice, and it deserves to be heard. This is what drove me to want to become a wedding planner. This day is one, if not the most important day in someones life. Two hearts are combined into one, and I want to be a part of that. Everyone has different desires, dreams and expectations for their weddings and I get to be the lucky one to put those dreams into action.

I was able to intern for the lovely Parie Villyard at Parie Designs this past summer and was a part of the most amazing weddings I have ever seen in my life. parie tent

Photo courtesy of Parie Villyard. Photo taken by Davy Knapp.

piehl barn

Photo courtesy of Parie Villyard. Photo taken by Davy Knapp

Weddings have always been my passion. Making sure someone else’s day is flawless, drives me through school because I know that one day, I will be able to put a smile on someones face that I couldn’t have before.



Originally posted at Claire White