Public Relations

I’ve always had a pretty loose understanding of what the term “PR” means. I knew it meant “public relations,” but didn’t have that great of a grasp of what PR people actually do. From my understanding, public relations people are typically in charge of creating and maintaining the public image of a person, whether it be a celebrity or political figure, or any kind of organization or company. After reading Edelman’s talk, I realize that my prior understanding was in someway correct, but there’s still much more to working within PR.

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Being in PR means you should be able to grasp your audiences’/consumers attention and reel them into what you’re pitching. Whatever you do should be engaging to them, whether it be doing that through social media, advertisements, deals and offers, etc.. But what’s more is that being in PR means you have to be creative and innovative; you need to be able to predict trends before they happen, and capitalize on them as soon as possible.

The internet is constantly moving at a rapid pace; something may be trending for a day or so after it has happened, then the internet will quickly move on to the next big thing. People within marketing and PR do their best to make sure they can be a part of these trends to make sure they reach a wider audience. And most of this takes place in the digital realm within social media. It’s hard to scroll through your Facebook feed and not see one of those popular How To videos on food recipes, with Buzzfeed’s Tasty being one of the most popular examples of this.

So many companies take advantage of utilizing social media as an advertisement venue, and it can be extremely effective. They’ve ditched the traditional straight forward approach of advertisement, and adapted a more entertaining or emotional way of marketing their products. Companies with clever marketing tend to get more love from consumers. For example, the marketing team for the newly released Marvel movie Deadpool, an anti-superhero R rated movie that was marketed as a drama/love story that would make the perfect Valentine’s Day movie date. The marketing team received so much praise for their outside of the box thinking with this campaign, as can be seen from their resulting box office record.

So PR isn’t just the act of trying to get more followers or consumers for your product, it’s the way you go about doing so. Advertisements can only be so effective if they’re not engaging enough for an audience. But once you start thinking outside of the box and being more creative with the way you go about marketing something, you’ll be sure to have a significantly higher number of supporters for what you do.

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Virtual Relationships

Going to college during your freshman year can be pretty tough for some people. For many of us, this means leaving your friends that you have made throughout high school back home, depending on if you go out of state or not. When there’s a lot of distance between you and your group of friends, it can be hard keeping in touch with everyone. Thankfully, because of smartphones and laptops, that distance seems a lot smaller because of the ability to talk to them in an instant; but, despite the convenience, that doesn’t mean it’s that easy to stay in touch.

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Programs like Skype, GroupMe, and Facebook Messaging do wonders for giving you the ability to talk to any of your friends at any given moment. If you every want to stick with your old group of friends from back home, group messaging lets you keep everyone in the loop with each other, but if you want to keep in touch with each one individually, instant messaging and video chatting lets you do that as well. These things are perfect for being able to check in on everyone every once in a while to see how life is going for them.

But the problem with using technology as your primary source of communication is this: it’s not intimate. When you’re just reading text on a screen, it can be hard to miss intended emotions that the writer meant to convey, or misinterpret a comment made the wrong way. Sure you can use gifs and emojis to add something to these texts, but in the end, it does not compare to personally talking with each other face-to-face. Video calling adds that face-to-face interaction, but there’s still a slight loss of body language and the physicality of the conversation.

This is why long distance relationships can be hard for couples; the loss of physicality and intimacy is a huge negative. And if you’re someone who relies on those traits of physicality in conversation, it can be hard for just friends too. Texting is great with friends who live where you do, because it’s with people that you may see on a daily basis. But when there’s distance, it becomes a bit more difficult.

In some cases, it may not be that big of a deal. Personally for me, I have a lot of friends that I’ve met online, and stay in touch with online via a group voice chat room. It’s great touching base with them every once in a while, and I don’t find much of a need to talk to them in person, since I’ve only heard their voices in the first place. But eventually, we all used GroupMe and could stay in contact even more, which gave us the ability to share pictures with each and get to know each other more on a more personal level. But again, this may not be enough for some people.

This isn’t to say texting or video calling isn’t effective in the way you can communicate with each other, it absolutely is. It just makes staying in touch with others a bit more challenging. But, if you’re able to see these people every once in a while, that makes it all the better.

Connected 24/7: For Better or Worse

Technology is honestly an amazing thing. If you were alive 30 or 40 years ago, you probably would have never been able to predict what kinds of new innovative inventions we as a people came up with within those few decades; we have everything from 3D curved 4K TVs, to virtual reality headsets that place us in another world, to technology that you can wear on your wrist that acts as a watch and a phone. But one of the most owned pieces of technology that is part of everyone’s life is the phone.

In this day and age, just about everyone owns a smartphone, and frankly it’s hard to imagine life without one. It has become so vital to our everyday lives that we use it for everything. We’ve even gotten to the point where we multitask with everything we do as far as technology goes (or have we?) But at some points, it may just be too much a part of our daily lives.

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For me personally, I will always have my phone with me, no matter what. It has gotten to the point where if I don’t have it or I forget it somewhere, my heart skips a beat; I begin to think “What if someone tries to contact me?” and “What if I miss this really important email from someone?” and, of course, “How will I know what cute animal pictures have been posted on Facebook?!”

But in all seriousness, I believe addiction to technology has become a very real thing for many people, especially when it comes to their smartphones. A lot of people I know feel extremely anxious when they don’t have their phone on them or feel like they have lost it, and I honestly can’t blame them; you might go into a frenzied panic too if you thought that one little device that connects you to your friends, family, and the rest of the world was gone.

Because of this, people get very involved with their phones every waking minute of the day, and it’s sometimes hard for us to separate ourselves from the virtual world. I’ll confess that many times I have been so attached to my phone that I’ve forgotten to take a step back and enjoy living in the moments. Sometimes I’ll be too concerned about getting just the right picture for a Snapchat post to show a friend how awesome something is, or worried about how many likes my most recent post on Facebook just got, and so on.

I don’t believe that we’ll be connected to technology 24/7 in the future like Ben Huh suggests, but I do hope that we can soon all realize that we spend too much time on our phones and computers, and find a happy middle to moderate how much time we spend on the internet. But if I’m being honest, that probably won’t happen; I’m too busy sending my friends Snaps with the shrunken face filter.

A Bit About Me

My name is Ryan Lloyd, and I am a Sophomore Graphic Design Major from Waco, TX. I was born in Omaha, Nebraska and lived here for 10 years. After a bit of moving around from Omaha, to Little Rock, AR, to Texas, I was able to come back here to be able to study at Creighton University.

Like most Creighton students, I came to Nebraska seeking a Pre-Med degree. Unsurprisingly enough, that changed about halfway through the first semester after realizing it just wasn’t for me. During that year, I discovered that my passion lied within the JMC department, specifically for Graphic Design, and decided to declare my major at the end of the year.

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What I want to be!

Being a Graphic Design major, I’ve been able to explore other areas of the JMC department in the past year and a half of going here. I’ve taken two computer science classes and a journalism class already, and I’ve enjoyed all of them so far. While I knew how to code in HTML from high school, I was able to learn more and improve on my prior knowledge through the classes I’ve taken the past few semesters. I’ll be excited to learn more within the department and continue to progress in the upcoming years.

I’ve also had many chances to develop my graphic design skills through several opportunities on and off campus. During Freshmen year, I worked in the Department of Residence Life as a work study student creating posters and digital signage for important housing announcements, programs for different organizations, and anything else that needed design work. From there, I branched out into other designer positions like Executive Director of Communications in the Inter Residence Hall Government, as well as a graphic designer position in the Creative Suite. I was also able to find a graphic designer internship with a company called Viirt, who I worked with  for close to a year on many design and video projects.

I’m connected to technology about 75% of the day, whether it be browsing on my phone through Reddit for my daily news updates, or watching Netflix on my computer to catch up on my favorite shows. But if I’m not procrastinating via YouTube videos or playing video games, I’m using the computer in a more productive way through working on projects in different Adobe programs (Photoshop, InDesign, etc.).


 

In today’s day and age, technology is prominent in our everyday life, so much to the point where it’d be a challenge to avoid. We use our phones not just to keep in touch with each other, but to get our news from online newspapers or social media in an instant. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and can actually be very beneficial to us to know what is going on in the world around us. But it can be easy for the media to make mistakes when they can find something on the internet immediately and take it as fact. Despite this, we still live in a great age where this situation of obtaining instant knowledge is possible, and it’s pretty amazing.