InDesign: Friend or foe?

Adobe creates products that are user friendly, if one has experience in using that interface.  InDesign is no exception.

Upon having experience with Adobe products, such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro, I thought that I would adjust easily to InDesign, but my adjustment to the program was not as smooth as I hoped it would be.

  1.  InDesign vs. other programs

One of the most common interfaces InDesign is compared to is Microsoft Office Word.  Though Word has significantly less features, InDesign can prove to be bulky, as some of the features that are so user-friendly on Word are not on InDesign.

Word makes editing documents easy with its straight-forward ribbon with text categories and subcategories.  When one adds a picture, two subcategories automatically appear with shortcuts to all of Word’s photo editing tools.  InDesign has features similar to this but not in such a user-friendly manner.

If one wanted to create a border, as I wanted to, one must either look it up and watch YouTube videos or drag lines in each corner that are not guaranteed to be straight.  (I did the subsequent because the lines for my borders need to be different colors.)  In Word, however, borders are an easily accessible and doable thing that can be applied to the whole document.

  1. Unity among pages

This brings me to my next altercation with InDesign, unity among pages.  When applying the border, as I could easily do on Word, it was very challenging to do to the whole document.  I had to drag lines on each page or copy existing lines to create the look I wanted.  This was a major hassle, considering the ease I am used to on programs such as Microsoft Office Word.

I want my newsletter to look unified as it is supposed to be a fluid design and InDesign gives you the unfortunate flexibility to create whatever you want on each page.

A disjointed newsletter. Photo source:

A disjointed newsletter.
Photo source:

  1. Text box obsession

This last critique is one I have when comparing Photoshop to InDesign.  I absolutely hate that one must always create a shape in order to add text.  In Photoshop, I can simply click anywhere I would like to create text and drag it easily.  I would need to be on the text tool to edit it, otherwise it was an easily movable entity.

In InDesign, I still have the ease of moving the text, but I am constantly obligated to create boxes for said text.  This results in a bulky layout in which I can constantly click and move wrong shapes.  Photoshop has the convenience of multiple layers that keep my shapes organized that I wish InDesign had.

InDesign is a good interface for creating a newsletter, but one must be willing to dedicate an excessive amount of extra time watching YouTube videos to gain the experience level competent enough to use the interface.


Trends in the Fashion Industry

The fashion world is an ever changing universe.  It would be fitting that Public Relations in fashion would also constantly change.  In this current digital age, PR has become a digital practice.  It is only fitting that PR trends in the fashion world would also be digital.

Instagram marketing


An Instagram of a fashion blog, College Fashionista. Photo source:

Instagram is an app that has been around for five years.  It quickly gained popularity in the fashion world, because designers, models and fashionistas could showcase their style in this app.  Instagram recently unveiled a marketing feature, which could be vital for fashion companies to reach their ideal clients.

Real-time marketing

Fashion shows are a staple of the fashion world.  As little girls, every woman wants to attend Fashion Week.  What better way to promote this week celebrating the industry than real-time marketing.  With apps like Twitter, Snapchat and Periscope, designers, models and attendees can now live-tweet and video the event, giving the fashionistas unable to attend the event the ability to experience it.

Clever marketing

One of the biggest PR stunts of 2015 was the Zoolander 2 promotion at fashion week, when Ben Stiller, dressed as Derek Zoolander, took an onlookers phone to announce the return of Zoolander, as seen on Snapchat.  This stunt was a perfect example of combining relevant interests to reach the people you want to reach.  Going forward, PR needs to continue to pursue this type of marketing, because it creates consumer loyalty and generates the most press.


PR Couture– blog entirely about fashion PR

PRSSA– features articles about fashion PR

Fashion PR Confidential– workshops on Fashion PR

Diversity in public relations

A how to guide on writing stories about issues not discussed in the everyday PR world

When writing news articles and press releases, authors are challenged with writing the most important information first and most concisely.  This can make providing background information challenging and sometimes unnecessary.


Webster’s Dictionary defines the condition of having or being composed of different elements, while Public Relations has a slightly different definition.  In PR, diversity applies to your story.  The Society of Professional Journalists gives three elements to diversity in PR writing.  You want a diverse range of interviewees, meaning people from all different backgrounds.  You want a story that has diversity or one that is not told.  You also want a story that does not fall into the pitfalls of biases and prejudices commonly seen in other stories.

Building Background

Background can be essential for stories that your readers have minimal knowledge of.  When writing these stories, you want to scatter background in throughout the story, identifying terms the first time you mention them.  By doing this, the readers that have knowledge of the subject can just skim over the content, while readers who are unfamiliar get the information right away.

Proper Language

      Writing stories that tackle untold issues may include stories of different cultures.  When writing these stories, you need to be aware of the language you use.

For example, stories about people who celebrate the Muslim faith require specific wording. article-0-14B92A8F000005DC-164_468x331

Islam is the faith as a whole, while Muslims refer to individuals who participate in the faith.  Despite the high volume of stories that surround Muslims in the Middle East, the Islamic faith is celebrated worldwide and you should be respectful of its existence as a religion.

Interviewing is the key to job market

Interview is the new experience

How easy tasks can improve your job chances.

Interviews are one of the most important aspects of the job process.  Employers receive many resumes, cover letters and biographies.  The interview is a time in which employers decide who to hire and prospective employees can convince employers to hire them.

Public Relations requires many things of its students not directly taught within the major.

According to this PRSSA article, these are the top three things they look for in job candidates:

  • Research
  • Make interesting conversation
  • Be yourself

Staying informed


One of thing not taught in a classroom that is expected of Public Relations majors is news monitoring.

Although monitoring the front page is effective, subscriptions like Skimm provide an easy-to-read summary of major events.  Skimm also allows for more convenient reading being an email one could read on a phone or print out.

By staying informed, the prospective employee shows their value in the scope of today’s market.

Niches in News


By going further into depth about current events in a variety of fields, prospective employees can impress their employers even more in the interview.

One way to stay up-to-date in a variety of fields is through an RSS reader such as Feedly.  RSS readers allow for a customizable interface in which fields such as PR or business can be monitored on one screen.

By using RSS readers, prospective employees can get an in-depth understanding of certain fields and impress the employer in the interview with their extensive knowledge.


Networking to success


PR may also require prospective employees to know how to find certain individuals within a field, optimize press and searchability and monitor the success of the press campaigns.  They can do this manually or through an existing database like Cision. For a list of assets in database compilations click here.

By knowing how to navigate a database or compile a list and creating a database of contacts, prospective employees can further demonstrate their superiority and prove to be an asset to the employer in their interview.

Knowing the market is an essential part of the PR field and an essential skill that could get you the job.

Meghan Geier struggles with veganism in today’s market

224706_1546314076234_1339201_nFood for thought: A look into veganism

UMD sophomore offers perspective on being a vegan in college

Imagine a juicy, robust burger in a fresh, warm bun breaming full of ripe tomatoes, crisp lettuce, piercing cheese and a subtlety of ketchup.  Now imagine watching a video of what those cows went through to get into that cozy bun.

That is exactly what university sophomore Meghan Geier experienced when was 16.  She watched a video in health class on how animals were treated and what she was eating. This video prompted more research until she decided to become a vegan.

“It forces you to be more creative,” Meghan says of her vegan diet.  “You have to explore different food options.”  She often experiments with different food combinations, rarely using a recipe.  “It doesn’t always work out,” she says.

Meghan finds that being a vegan can be burdensome at times.  She sometimes feels annoying when she goes out to eat with her friends, because she is so limited with what she can choose from.  She often has to ask if foods are vegan friendly or ask the restaurant to make a dish differently.

Influencing others

Dana, Meghan’s roommate, shares similar experiences as a vegetarian.  She was accustomed to eating meat growing up.

“Once I got to college that changed when I began making my own diet,” Dana says. “Meghan set an example for me, showing that it was easy to be full vegan.”

The changing market

As more and more people become vegan, restaurants are beginning to cater to this niche.  College Park is expanding its horizons with the recent opening of Woodland’s Vegan Bistro, a vegan restaurant just below the Varsity, according to the Diamondback.  College Park also houses over eight restaurants that boast of versatile vegan options.  “I don’t think every campus has as many vegan-friendly options as ours does,” Meghan says of all the options in College Park.

In a market that has an expanding base of individuals who are vegan or vegetarian and individuals who want healthier options, it seems as if these health food chains are here to stay.

Potential Chemical Disposal

For Print: Sewage May Gain Chemical Waste

Is toilet water as clean as we think it is? According to Councilwoman Flaud, city council members are planning to meet tomorrow to discuss the possibility of putting a chemical plant’s waste into the city reclaimed water line. She says, “people manage to dump much more hazardous waste down the sink every day.” These 200 million gallons of water are going to mix with reclaimed water which is purified and then used for sewage. WCT: 74

Tweet: Is toilet water as clean as we think? #knowyourtoilet WCT: 10 CCT: 75

Chemical waste may enter sewage pending City Council’s vote WCT: 9 CCT: 59

Vote on Chemical Waste Disposal

For Print: Council to Vote on Waste Disposal

City officials will convene tomorrow on whether or not to dump bankrupt chemical plant’s waste water into city’s reclaimed water system.  Councilwoman Flaud said chemical plants typically pay a private waste disposal firm, but the city cannot afford that.  The 200 million pounds of water would enter the city’s reclaimed water to be purified and distributed in sewage. WCT: 58

Tweet: Chemical waste coming to your sewage? #callyourcouncilmen WCT: 8 CCT: 79

City council to vote on chemical waste entering city reclaimed water system WCT: 14 CCT: 85

News: More Immediate Than Ever

SEO: News: More Immediate Than Ever

Print: News Evermore Changing in Immediacy and Accuracy

News: Redefined

When reading a newspaper, one finds a collaboration of stories deemed to be the news, but what exactly qualifies these stories as news?  According to the Webster’s dictionary, news is defined as a report of a recent event.  Although this definition merits some truth, many events are not reported in the newspaper.  So the question becomes what is news worthy?

According to Writing and Reporting News, people care about news when it is timely, local, unusual, impactful, helpful, or entertaining.  Despite all of these qualities, one of the most important qualities that defines news is accuracy.  A story could have all the aforementioned qualities, but without accuracy, the story is a waste of the reporter and readers’ time.

A Country Designed for Honesty

At the heart of accuracy is freedom of speech.  America’s forefathers created a society where unbiased journalism could thrive.  The first amendment is vital to creating a society in which information can be exchanged freely with the means to research any information found within the news.  This opportunity to access unbiased information perpetuates the most essential quality of news.

Reader’s Role: Fact Checking

At first glance news articles may seem similar to one another in their content, but each article has certain characteristics that can assist a reader in finding its accuracy.  Articles with many sources, for example, tend to be more reliable, because the journalist has fact checked the information against many sources.  Articles from newspapers that are well-known and regularly cited generally have more credibility than a lesser known paper.  Nevertheless, to truly test if an article is trustworthy one should check the facts for oneself.

We Want It Now

The internet has caused journalist and PR specialists to reinvent how they report news.  The way in which we report news has changed to be more immediate.  The internet has also changed the style in which we report news.  Stories tend to be more concise, catering to a crowd skimming articles for information.