This quarter in my educational career, I’ve been learning about communications is various forms. As a public relations major, I figured I will spend two years writing. I would write feature releases, internal communications and social media content. That is what my year has been so far but this quarter has been the most challenging yet. In order to give you an idea of what I’m working with, let me share my schedule with you. This quarter I am taking COM 370 Advanced PR Writing (“ok, normal”), COM 481 Central Communications Agency (“expected”), MKT 360 Principles of Marketing (“could be rationalized”), COM 321 Visual Communications (“…not quite what I thought it would be”) and IT 284 (“now this isn’t even English”).
Now besides the fact that I am taking five classes and working, this quarter has been the most challenging yet. One of the most important concepts I have learned this quarter is symbolism in communication. This obstacle is not necessarily challenging in concept but in action. For example in COM 321, we would analyze techniques of master traditional artist or practice composition techniques to create “visually effective” photographs. Mind you, this class is in the communications department, not art, hence my genuine confusion.
The main theme of this class is to create images that “tell a story” in one frame. For me, doing this took much more self-reflection to pull off (I literally take 250+ photos each shoot). I do not understand how to tell a story using color symbolism, I can’t do it. I finally understood this concept when I learned the idea of closure, the ability to tell what happened based on the queues in a picture. This rule applies to my other PR classes because there are main points in my messages that I need to cover to tell a story. I have learned to hash out the details of my story to better tell my story.
This crazy notion to learn how to write by taking pictures has actually been a beneficial process for me. I know better how to write press releases, social media content and I know stock images are always an option for the graphically challenged.