What I Learned From This Course: An Epilogue

It truly seems like it was only yesterday that I was sitting in the library setting up this blog and becoming accustomed to wordpress and its features for the first time, yet here I sit with the end of the semester approaching quicker by the day.

At the beginning, I was eager to learn how advertising and public relations were intertwined with technology, and how the use of today’s technology could help and AD/PR professional reach heightened levels of success with less struggle. Over the past 14 weeks, I’ve had some firsthand experience with how I can use various programs and outlets to my benefit when it comes to advertising.

The first, and in my opinion, most essential component of technology the class delved into was the Adobe Creative Cloud. As I covered in depth in another blog post, Adobe has a wide array of digital creative applications available for Mac and PC. With a little bit of practice, the applications can help anyone accomplish a myriad of creative tasks and walk away with a really clean and polished finished product. The Creative Cloud apps we focused on in class were Premiere, Photoshop, Audition, InDesign, and Illustrator.

Another incredibly invaluable exercise we did in class was the app design sprint. Split off into teams of 5 or 6 students, we were given 55 minutes to design the framework for a note-sharing smartphone/tablet app. Our instructor, Professor Dino explained that this was a normal happening in the world of marketing firms and said that he wanted us to have some firsthand exposure to the process. What started off as a slow bouncing of ideas quickly snowballed into a stressful rush to communicate details, finalize designs, and export files. The mounting pressure of a real-world sprint really showed through in the exercise. In the end, my team ended up being selected as the best design. (Not well deserved if you ask me, but I won’t go into detail.)

So, here as I sit at the end of the semester and reflect on what I’ve learned, I’m grateful for quite a bit. I’m grateful that I got a chance to work with like-minded students in an environment that was conducive to the subject. I’m grateful for exposure to real world situations that occur in the fields of advertising and public relations. 5849712695_1f41c8fbc2_b Finally, with the road ahead in mind, I’m grateful that amidst the chaos that a full semester of classes entails, I was able to truly learn about something and take away valuable skills from it.

Adobe Creative Programs- Present and Future Application

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Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons sourced at: https://goo.gl/ybTG7P

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about or are familiar with one or more of Adobe’s multitude of creative products. Adobe makes various software intended to give artists and professionals alike a comprehensive platform to create. From photo editing to video editing, audio editing to design conceptualization and more, Adobe has a program for most any digital creative need. This line of products that started as the Adobe Creative Suite has since evolved to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Today, Adobe creative products are more or less many industries’ standard when it comes to digital creative needs.

Within my Technology in Advertising and Public Relations class, we’ve had a chance to get some hands on exposure to a few of the creative programs Adobe has to offer. I had a decent amount of experience with one of the few we’ve used thus far and limited exposure to the rest. In the following paragraphs, I plan to detail my thoughts and experiences regarding working with the Adobe Creative Cloud in order to meet the needs of an Advertising/Public Relations professional.

The first application we dealt with was Photoshop. Photoshop is a tool used for high level tweaking and enhancing of digital photos. I had a little bit of prior knowledge of Photoshop, but not much. Fortunately for me, it was not hard to pick up at all. I’d say of all of the Creative Cloud applications, it’s probably my favorite just to mess around with.

Next, we used Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro is a video editing software that is easy to use, yet possesses the features capable of producing very professional looking videos. Admittedly, I have plenty of experience using Premiere, so this was the easiest for me to use. In our class assignment, I used the software to edit a short video about a technology trend in the AD/PR world.

Another cool Adobe Creative application we got the opportunity to use in class was Audition. Audition is a multi-layer audio editing software that can be used to edit music as well as podcasts. Though I had no prior experience using audition, I found it the easiest to pick up because I was very familiar with the timeline functions of editing from my background in video editing. I used audition to edit a podcast detailing our technology trend. Importing the recorded audio and then adding intro and outro music as well as other soundtracks was both easy and fun, and in the end I had a wonderful polished audio file.

The final Adobe application we’re getting exposure to is InDesign. InDesign is a digital image rendering app that can be used for a multitude of things, from designing a company logo to laying out the blueprints for a mobile app’s features. I had never used InDesign before, but if I had to describe my first impression of it, I would say it reminds me of a beefed-up version of good ol’ Microsoft Paint.

I think so many people favor Adobe’s creative applications because the learning curve is quick and you can create a really beautiful, professional final product. For that reason they’ve been the industry standard for quite some time, and all signs point to it staying that way in the foreseeable future.

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Ad Tech: An Exploration

How often are you scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and come across an advertisement for something? Probably pretty frequently. In fact, I’d say that everyone reading this probably encountered an advertisement on a social media site today. In today’s blog post, we’ll be taking a closer look at the wonderful world of targeted advertisements on social media apps.

First, lets have a closer look at what targeted ads are and how they’re selected.

Pretty neat, huh? I even asked a few buddies to open up their social media feeds and remark on some of the ads selected for them. Here’s what they had to say.

(copyrighted works licensed under the use of Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license)

Finally, I sat down with my brother to talk about his thoughts and experiences regarding targeted social media ads in this somewhat brief podcast. Enjoy!

Three Fabulous Ad/PR Tech Trends for the New Year

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Image Courtesy: Nick Harris (www.flickr.com/photos/nickharris1/8026290210), Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic | Flickr

Time, like most other things is relative, and with calendar year 2017 just over a month in progress it makes me think of growth and change with the passage of time. The fact that so much can change in such a relatively short amount of time will never cease to amaze me. While some might insist that because advertising has been around as long as civilization, and ad and PR trends probably won’t differ so much within short passages of time, with some light research I am able to share with readers some insight involving what I predict will be the top three technology trends for the advertising and public relations field for 2017.

 

1. Mobile Device Optimization

I know, this one might not come as that big of a surprise, but bear with me here. Ask anyone in America what they’d say is the quickest developing trend in technology in the last twenty years and I would bet you most of them would say the quick adoption and widespread use of the smartphone. I myself can say I’ve witnessed this takeoff first hand because I was there through the initial boom. Not more than six or seven years ago, very few people had a smartphone in their pocket, but over the next three years, what was once the minority quickly became the overwhelming majority. According to a reporting at thenextweb.com, in 2013, 53% of total time spent on a digital device was on a mobile platform, yet in 2016- just three short years- those same percentages grew and shrank to 65% and 35% respectively. All this being said, I think it would be a fool’s call to not claim that with the ever-increasing use of the smartphones, advertisers and PR professionals will continually and increasingly seek use to optimize their commercial intentions for the mobile web based world.

2. Focused and Personalized Video Content

In February of 2005, a new site called YouTube launched, opening a user-friendly platform for anyone with a camera and a computer to share their videos with the world. Just more than a decade later, we’ve seen the rise and rise (and rise) of the viral video, as well as the overall mega boom that has made YouTube the household name it is today. With something for everyone to watch, the mass appeal of the site makes it a favorite among web users of all generations. In the last few years, YouTube began supporting user created videos with ad content, usually a short 10-30 second ad that plays before a viewer’s selected video. Usually, we all reach for the “skip ad” button when it appears after the first five seconds, but… what if advertisers could find a way to make us resist clicking that skip button? True, the type of ads that play before a given YouTube viewer’s desired video are selected based on the types of video that the user has watched thus far, but what if advertisers could go even deeper? Creating content that is specific and aimed at resonating towards specific users and groups could maximize both exposure and potential for a consumer to buy into a product.

3. Augmented Reality Ad Campaigns

In a world with humans and digital technology so deeply intertwined, for many it’s hard to even be impressed anymore. First there was the radio, then the television, then the digital live streaming video. What could be the next big thing? Often times as new forms of digital technology become widely available, it may be a gamble for advertisers to decide what is a fad and what is worth venturing into. Of course, as new ways to consume media develop, the advertiser is constantly vigilant and looking for ways to make it viable to use as a medium.

That being said, I think AR, or Augmented Reality, is here to stay. If the first time you used your smartphone camera to view something in an AR field wasn’t enough to make you say “wow”, then let the proof be in the meteoric rise of the Pokémon Go smartphone game. With many companies already venturing into the blossoming technology that is AR -such as clothing brands allowing users to virtually “try on” an outfit before they buy it, or furniture companies letting consumers visualize a piece in their space as if it’s already there- the next step (which is probably being taken as you read this), is for advertisers and PR professionals to fully implement and utilize this technology to reach consumers.

 

In our ever-changing world, and subsequently ever-changing Ad and PR field, it’s hard to guess what the “next big thing” might be. For Ad and PR tech this year, these are my predictions, but I’d love to hear what you have to say as well, so feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think!

First Blog Post: What I Hope To Learn

blog-post-1-imageTechnology… what a subject! It’s a part of everything we humans do, and whether we’d like to admit it or not, it’s the truth. Even cultures and societies that don’t embrace monumental inventions and discoveries, such as electricity, still use technology to some extent.

 

To me, technology means any device or socially implemented idea that came about by the means of human intelligence in order to solve a problem or make living more convenient. Something as simple as the wheel to something as complex as the laptop computer on which I am typing this. With all of this interplay between humans and technology, it goes without saying that it plays a vital role in the sister fields of advertising and public relations. For me to say that technology is the driving force that prints the flyers to hang in a university’s student union building, faxes the advertisements to magazine publishers, and sends promotional emails to online shoppers would be all too simple. The use of technology in any field makes a vast difference in the quality and efficiency with which things get done, and it is the human interaction with these inventions that causes them to work so effectively.

 

 

That being said, my interests pertinent to what I would like to learn from a course detailing the relationship shared between technology and the fields of public relations and advertising are vast. I would first like to learn some of the deeper historical context that the two share. As both advertising and evolving technology have been around as long as humans beings have, I’m sure the roots are fairly deep. Another big thing I expect to learn from this course, which I expect we will cover in depth throughout the semester, is how I myself might use technology most effectively to further myself in my career. To be even more specific, first and foremost I would like to learn how to create and maintain a proper blog. So far between the instruction in class and poking around on WordPress.com, it seems as though it won’t be as difficult as I had originally anticipated. Hopefully in no time, what is now a bit confusing to me will become second nature.