Life Post-Grad

Graduating in less than a week is both an exhilarating and terrifying feeling. Not only does it mean that I’m done with school (for now), but it also means that I’m officially entering the real world, and with that comes major change. The amount of constant that I choose to keep in my life is purely up to me but the changes- those are debatable. As a fresh college graduate, that’s what life is going to entail: rolling with the punches and keep on swinging.

 

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Poynter’s Language of the Image

Spending most of my Saturday editing photos for Ethos Magazine’s upcoming spring issue, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on what makes a “great” image. Last week, I came across a blog post about the Language of the Image, a free online Poynter’s News University class about the quintessential visual elements that are a big component of photojournalism.

Sadly, this term is my last as photo editor at Ethos Mag and the final act of production has been a bit nostalgic for me. Thinking back to how I first instructed my staff of photographers, I started comparing it to the Language of the Image. The skill set of the magazine’s amateur photographer staff ranges from intermediate to seasoned pre-professionals so my instruction varies, but I always made sure to cover the basics.

Going into a photo assignment or shoot with an open mind is crucial, but knowing what you’re looking for and what you want out of the shoot (and having fun while doing it) are just as important. I always emphasized that a powerful and memorable photo isn’t just simply taken: there’s a lot of thought and many elements behind it.

 

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The ROI of Visual Media

After reading SocialStew101’s post about Social Media ROI, I started to really consider how ROI would be measured in relation to visual media.

According to MDG Advertising, there are four main factors to consider when measuring the ROI of Social Media:

  1. Financial: Have company costs and sales increased or decreased since implementing your social media strategy?
  2. Brand: Has your company’s brand image been enhanced since becoming more visual via social media?
  3. Risk Management: Has your company prepared to respond to potential reputation issues via social media platforms? Do you have a team that’s capable of effectively answering questions and concerns?
  4. Digital Assets: Has your company’s social media brand improved these assets and is it worth exploring new options?

After much thought, I don’t see how measuring ROI of visual media is any different. Visual media is typically distributed via social media; therefore, visual media would either be considered another aspect of a social media strategy, or an entire strategy of its own implemented through social media. Continue reading

Pinterest: Visual Media Done Right

The up-and-coming creative social media sensation that has everyone abuzz and curious these days is Pinterest.

Whether it’s a strategic tool for planning events or a daily diversion favorite, it’s generating a lot of attention from a variety of diverse audiences. In my opinion, it’s visual media done right.

Pinterest’s ingenious and talented entrepreneurial team was able to harness both social and visual media to create a generic, yet versatile, site. Because of Pinterest’s versatility, it can appeal to many audiences without altering several different aspects to adapt to the audiences’ needs. As a result, Pinterest is the new marketing, advertising, mommy blogger, DIY, and social media favorite, to list a few. Granted a majority of Pinterest’s users are female, there are plenty of male users as well. Pinterest is a perfect example of the classic communication’s Uses and Gratifications theory in relation to how and what users turn to Pinterest for. Continue reading

A Useful Visual Media Tool: Infographics

One of my favorite types of visual media is infographics. Being a visual person myself, infographics have transformed the way I learn and process lots of different types of information.

Over the past few years, the popularity of infographics has skyrocketed. Infographics have transformed otherwise bland information into creative and visually stimulating information; making it simpler to both digest and read.

Doing additional research and reading on infographics, I came across a post from SpyreStudios about the Anatomy of An Infographic that was absolutely fascinating. They point out that a powerful and creative infographic is comprised of skeletons and flowcharts, a color scheme, graphics, research and data, and knowledge. SpyreStudios also says that a “good infographic will not confuse you and make you feel like an idiot;” and if it did, then something went terribly wrong either with the designer or the data itself. Continue reading

PR: Slowly Shifting From Strategic to Creative?

Stumbling through blogs and websites, I was suddenly hit by an epiphany: Has there been a lack of visual media use within the public relations field because of a shortage of individuals with the experience with software and creative mindset? My mind went off in a million different directions and tangents that I barely knew where to start picking the thought apart.

More often than not, those in the PR field are more prone to think strategically rather than creatively. A Career Cast survey from 2011 revealed that PR is the number two most stressful profession in America (fun video below); thus potentially being a reason why strategic, wordy thinking is default for members of the profession. Creativity takes time, and PR is a fast-paced industry where time is of the essence and cannot be wasted. Continue reading