The Importance of Design to the Public Relations Professional

2 Aug

This is a short piece I recently wrote for a wonderful summer course, and in an effort to add more PR-related topics to my blog, I would like to share it with you. Of course, I am going to continue to share my thoughts on life, society, and people in general, but I am also going to make an attempt to also include PR-related topics and good professional samples of my writing.

The old saying is: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Unfortunately, that is what often happens. This idea is exactly why design is important to the public relations professional. Whether it is a newsletter, a brochure, a website, a feature article, or whatever product written by someone in public relations, the design is what will draw the audience in. The design may include eye-catching images, colors, layout of text, and everything else that may be involved with putting a public relations piece together, with the exception of writing the actual copy.

The best written piece will go ignored if not designed properly. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to have more images than copy or a rainbow of colorful text, it just needs to be designed well, creatively, professionally, and appropriately for the intended audience. The design will determine if the company newsletter you wrote will be immediately thrown in the trash or read during an employee’s lunch break, or if the brochure you created will be chosen among a plethora of other company brochures in a hotel lobby.

The design aspect is kind of like going in for a job interview. You may have the most impressive resume in the world and indeed be the best candidate for the job, but with a sloppy first appearance, you may miss your opportunity. You can’t miss an opportunity to have your message distributed to a larger audience because you failed to spend the necessary time and effort into the design aspect of your piece.

What do you think are the most important design elements? Which PR items have you seen with great design? Which ones could use improvement?

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