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.

The Ever-Converging Worlds of Advertising, Public Relations, And Journalism

Just thinking about it briefly, one would likely figure that the relationship between advertising and journalism is one of opposition.

Journalism at its core focuses on the sharing of news and current events, and most associate this entity with a strong sense of honesty and integrity. Without this foundation of truth understood by the masses, journalism would simply be fiction and cease to be.

Advertising and public relations are two worlds that are used in conjunction all the time, and the general consensus is that these two are, in essence, the very opposite of journalism. Consumers tend to be wary of advertisements, as historically we’ve learned that the truth is often times expanded, contorted,  or even flat out omitted for the sake of getting someone to buy a product.

But, could these two seemingly separate fields be getting closer? Perhaps closer than we think. According to a blog post on businessesgrow.com, a shift in both fields is prevalent, and social media sites are likely the culprit.

In this day and age where everyone has a smartphone in their pocket and the world wide web at their fingertips, anyone can be a journalist, and thanks to social networking websites, almost everyone is one. Millions of stories and reports are shared every day on social media sites from the perspectives of the people directly involved. For this reason, major “big name” news sources are increasingly playing the role of advertiser. From paying to have their stories promoted onto people’s social media timelines, to using “clickbait” titles, these major news sources are competing for the most site traffic. This new dynamic leads way to the potential compromising of journalistic integrity.

On the other hand, we could also say that advertising is increasingly becoming like journalism. There is always a story happening, everywhere every day, and to be able to sell a product along with a compelling story is just the thing advertisers strive to do. For example, just look to some of the commercials that ran in this year’s Superbowl. Many took a political stance and gave commentary relevant to current events in order to sell their product.

To say that the worlds of advertising, public relations,and journalism are all connected would be an understatement. They coexist now more than ever in a way where each plays the role of the other.