When I started out at Auburn University, I was very intimidated by graphic design. The girls in my dorm that were graphic design majors always spent the night in the studio, or would miss fun social events to work on difficult projects. I never thought that studying public relations meant you became well-versed in multiple subjects, including graphic design.

For me, design was very intimidating at first. Everything about the applications in Adobe Creative Suite scared me. I even put off taking the required PR Style and Design course until spring semester of my senior year. BOY WAS I WRONG TO DO THAT.

I entered the course feeling uncreative, uninspired and very discouraged. However, seeing examples of some AMAZING and simple design work PR professionals have created started to slowly inspire me.

During my job search process, I quickly realized that most companies require PR professionals to not just be proficient AP Style writers and quick to lead crisis controllers, but also creative designers, full of ideas for marketing and advertising. THIS is why design skills are important.

Learning how to design an identity suite, a logo, a creative resume and cover-letter that makes me unique compared to other applicants, creating a BRAND….creating something on paper that makes MY personality available to anyone seeking it with a single glance. THIS is why design skills are important.

To ease the anxiety to anyone reading this that feels overwhelmed or feels that design lingo is equivalent to learning a foreign language, THERE IS A ROSETTA STONE FOR DESIGN. This nifty tool is called Adobe Tutorials. You start by choosing your learning level: beginner or experienced.

Next, it gives you countless tutorials for every application within Adobe Creative Suite. For example, my favorite design application is Adobe InDesign. For your reference, I have chosen the most basic tutorial for this application: Get Started with InDesign. The best thing about these tutorials, is that they give you downloadable files so you can easily follow along with the provided video. It is helpful to use the split screen feature on your computer to do so.

With easy and fun tutorials on Adobe, learning design skills is basically fool proof. Although it does take practice and trial and error, I have found that design, a concept that brought me lots of stress, has now become a calming activity for me.

The first three years of my college career, my PR courses were focused on writing, press releases, public speaking, press conferences, etc. I have loved learning how graphic design enhances the story you are telling on paper and appeal to differences in how people learn. For example, visual learners vs. reading/writing. It is true that public relations is a bundle of integrated communications that build beneficial relationships between organizations and their public. Graphic design will only make bridging the gap easier.

The Importance of Design for PR Majors
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