The Benefits of Graphic Design for a Public Relations Pro

Established at the beginning of 2016, the Campaign Creation Group produces compelling written and graphic content for clients and Bravo Group. For Jill Wolfe, a designer in CCG, her undergraduate experiences with public relations bring a different mindset to graphic design.

Growing up, Jill was always creative. She originally wanted to be a photojournalist, but she ended up declaring a major in public relations at Slippery Rock University. However, she didn’t want to spend all day writing and hoped to venture into something more creative.

Jill got that chance in our internship program, where she split her time between the public relations department and the creative department. “Bravo helped me realize my strengths lie in the creative field,” she said. During her internship, she assisted with the research and design of projects for clients, which allowed her to hone her skills for aligning targeted messaging with graphic design elements.

Now, as a full-time employee of the creative team, Jill uses her skill and knack for design to develop compelling and complex visuals. She designs content for print and digital platforms, develops creative copy to align with clients’ messaging needs and assists with project management.

And it’s all because of her background in public relations. As defined by the Public Relations Society of America, public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.

Communication is what helps Jill understand the thought process of the clients, the pieces they need and what they want to convey to their audiences. “I understand what the client needs from a PR perspective because that’s what my background is in,” she said. This thought process helps her to guide clients to realize what they really need to effectively communicate to their audiences.

This brings me back to when I met Jill. She launched into a story about how a client wanted a folder with several fact sheets of information to use as talking points. The creative team realized it actually needed a set of bound, color-coded note cards that was small and portable.

Going in a different direction allowed the client to easily stay organized and communicate the talking points effectively. “It’s important to know who the audience is and how the materials are going to be used,” Jill said. “The pieces we create not only need to be visually appealing but also work correctly.”

This is where the term graphic communication comes into play — it’s the best of both worlds. It combines written content with graphic elements such as lines, space, color and text to create a message that will be easily and effectively communicated to the audience.

I think it’s important for all public relations professionals to know the basics of graphic design and all graphic design professionals to know the basics of public relations. Because the two often go hand in hand, you can easily transition from one mindset to the other to create a professional and beautiful piece of content that the client will love.

Alexandra Blessing | Fall PR Bravo Group Intern, Harrisburg

Image: Shutterstock

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