Wisdom from Former PR Pubs Students
Below is advice from former Pubsters who took time to write you a little note. If you are just about to get started in this course, it would be helpful to read through these entirely. Some comments are very practical and others are simply good life advice. Either way, it's helpful to get a perspective of one of your own!
Start. Just start somewhere. There is a creative element involved in so much of the course, that it is easy to feel stumped before you even begin. Oftentimes I would focus on what my final layout would look like without enjoying the process-- I can't tell you how harmful this was to my design. Through the process, you WILL ultimately shift the screenshot in your head so I recommend you hold a loose visual of what you're expecting it to look like; this way, you can reenergize yourself and your vision as you go step by step. Your finalized project will be better than expected.
Dear Future PR Pubs Experimenters,
When I came into this class, I didn't know what to expect. The only photoshop experience I had was one time I put D. Bo's head on a Batman body. I couldn't even figure how to create an InDesign document.
But that all changed.
I'm here to tell you that your greatest asset in this class is the time you spend inside the programs. It's amazing how much you can learn by trial and error with design projects. Trust me, there's a whole lot of trial and a whole lot of error.
It's gets better.
I am asking you to tinker, to fiddle, to experiment, to delete and start over. Because, and thank goodness, when you finally get it right, you know it. You know that your design will achieve its objectives. And that feeling is amazing. To know that you have created something out of nothing and that it is good - that is when all of your time invested becomes worth it.
So all in all, put in the time, reap the rewards.
Try and fail, try and fail, improvise, and try again. As much as you may think you can't master a project or a program, a little hard work will definitely help you succeed. Good luck, and video tutorials are your friend!
Design whatever you want to! The class gives you freedom to do your own work for your own companies so make sure you design something you are interested in or are passionate about. Your work will have more meaning and you'll care more about the class. Also, work outside of class on projects. It will advance your skills and help you in the end.
My piece of advice for future students is to be patient when taking this course. In this course you will learn a lot, but it is up to you to dedicate your time to using trial and error to perfect your designs and to become more familiar to each program we use. This is definitely one of those classes that will you will benefit from in the long run.
If an idea isn’t working, it’s okay to abandon that idea and start fresh with something new! Just play around until you find something you like. Designing is a process, you never know where it can take you. So just let ideas flow!
Do not be discouraged by the online version of this class. You will learn so much to help you become a skilled and knowledgeable PR practitioner. I definitely recommend the online version of this class!
Whether you are taking the class online or in-person, don't be afraid to ask Adam for help! He is super cool about it and he does a great job of offering suggestion without, like, hijacking the project for you. Most of the people in class don't have much experience with PhotoShop or InDesign, so there's no such thing as a bad question!
Don't be afraid to experiment with the design applications (Photoshop and InDesign). Sometimes the best ideas and work come from that exploration process. Also, look for inspiration (Pinterest, etc.) to guide your designs if you hit a creative wall.
If you're serious about design, read widely and realize everyone has something to teach you. You aren't going to summon the next killer layout, color scheme or punchy graphic through sheer willpower. You're going to borrow great ideas from smart people with way more talent than you (at least initially.) Check out sites like Smashing Magazine, siteinspire, Designer News, the Webby Awards, web creme, httpster, thebestdesigns and TypeWolf. Basically, seek out great work and soak up all you can. I remember Steve Jobs quoting some Picasso quip essentially saying, "Good artists copy, great artists steal." The point is to find exceptional work from exceptional people to borrow out-of-the-box thinking for your own stuff. Just be sure you understand why!
Welcome to PR Pubs friends,
First things first, CROOM IS AWESOME! Have no fear because you are in good hands. At first, PR Pubs can seem very overwhelming because you will be either a.) learning how to use new programs or b.) perfecting your design skills if you have used these programs before. If I had to give you all one piece of advice, I would advise you to be patient! I speak from personal experience when I say that the different assignments can provoke different emotions. I often felt overwhelmed, frustrated, confused and sometimes unsure of my designs. DO NOT OVERWHELM YOURSELF! Stay calm and do not be afraid to ask for help. Croom will always be helpful, honest and patient with you. He will answer any question you may have and he will take the time to explain everything to help you. Sometimes, the most frustrating part is not being able to implement your design vision. Remain patient and optimistic. Do not give up on your design or your vision. It will all come into light and it will get done…even if it is five minutes before the drop box closes. As long as you are patient with yourself and patient with the learning process, you will be just fine and you, too, will conquer the trials of PR Pubs! (kidding!)
This class is extremely beneficial and I wish you all the best!
The one piece of advice I would offer someone coming into this course is to not give up on your vision. If you have an idea for a project or if inspiration strikes you, stay true to your idea or inspiration. There are loads of tutorials on the internet and the Gaylord faculty is a great source of information if you should need assistance. Just have fun with the designs and the rest will come naturally.
My one piece of advice for the students of PR Pubs would be to not let the class overwhelm you in the beginning. It may look like a lot of work that needs to be completed at a first glance, but as long as you pace yourself and allow yourself the time to complete each assignment, you will definitely be successful. Best of luck!
You're going to be pissed, but let yourself be pissed and cry and stay up all night trying to learn these programs in the beginning. Trust me, coming from someone who can't even figure out how to do fancy things in a Word document, I learned so incredibly much and have survived the class. Not to mention I'm now comfortable doing work in in-Design. Let yourself get pissed, and struggle. But don't stop striving to be better and let your creative juices flow. You'll be proud in the end. Enjoy!
I would advise that you get started early. Procrastination is every students struggle but I was much happier with my designs when I gave myself significant time to rework my piece.
The best piece of advice that I can give you is to make this class a very high priority. The more time you spend working on it, the better work you can do. Don't forget to have fun, too!
Be patient and don't be too hard on yourself. Don't come into the class expecting to be a great designer automatically. Be open to suggestions and constructive criticism because there is always room for improvement.
For all you future students that are about to take PR Pubs, don't sweat it too much! This class is such a great learning experience and will be extremely helpful in your future career with Public Relations. Whenever it gets difficult, just be patient and don't be afraid to ask questions. Good luck!
You don't need to come in to the class being super worried about grading. I felt my work was always graded fairly this semester and I appreciate that Adam graded our work with our level of ability in mind.
I had to give one piece of advise to a student just starting PR Pubs, I would say not to stress! This class is about utilizing your creativity. When I first began this class I was worried about working with applications I've never used before, however, as long as you stay patient, you will be fine!
One piece of advice that I have for students coming into PR Pubs is that it is important to have an open mind and humble yourself. Everyone thinks that they are the most creative person in the class, but you can really learn from others and learn from yourself if you keep your head down and put in work.
This is one of the coolest classes I've taken here at OU and in Gaylord in specific.
Don't get too hung up on the details, they will work out! Keep the overall project goal in mind!
Schedule time everyday to work. This course takes a lot of time. The projects aren't projects you wait until the last minute to start. Designing takes time and you won't get it right the first time, so plan to work on each project LONGER than you would think.
Simply put, stay on top of your assignments. Don't put off your work until the last minute. The assignments in this class are a lot of fun, so once you start you will want to do a great job on each one, so give yourself ample time to complete everything to the best of your ability.
I would suggest that you take the time to watch all of the videos that are provided by the instructor. If you are not familiar with some of the software, the class may be kind of difficult for you and could cause you to fall behind in your work. I enjoyed taking the class over the summer but I wish that I had been able to have a whole semester to learn all of the necessary material. I feel like the time I had made it very difficult to fully learn what I needed to learn.
I would say don't be intimidated by Photoshop and In Design. I was afraid I was going to be awful at using both of the programs but it turns out they were both really fun and user friendly. You can do this!
Give yourself plenty of time to complete multiple drafts of projects and listen to your peer and instructor feedback!
Get out there and just do it! If you're not sure what you're doing, it never hurts to hit the ground running. All else fails, you have a whole class of people working alongside you as well as a cool professor who wants to help you do your best. You're gonna make it, I promise!
This may sound cliche, but pace yourself and prioritize accordingly. Also, do not feel intimated. At the beginning of this course I had NO clue what I was doing and I was so worried, but professor Croom and Lynda.com are your best friends! Those two resources are very helpful. Lynda.com is overwhelming at first, but it gets better.
If you are starting PR Pubs, there are a few things I would suggest. First...make time for your assignments! Leaving everything until last minute will NOT work out to your benefit. Designs take time, thinking, rethinking, and sometimes you will want to start from 0. This is vital to the learning process. Second...have fun with it! Its great to show your personality and gusto through design. Do what you want, as long as you dont stray too far off of the principles you learn then everything will be just fine!