Master’s Bootcamp at the Newhouse School

Newhouse School Bootcamp

Last week I posted a video about the 6-week master’s bootcamp for master’s students at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications on their new Newhouse Insider blog. (The blog is a collection of post by Newhouse students organized by the Graduate Records Office about their experience here.) I made the video (below) over four months ago because I felt it would be helpful for prospective master’s student (especially those considering the M.S. in Public Relations) what the intensive six week courses here were like.

I didn’t share it then because I wasn’t satisfied with the technical quality of it. I speak too quickly and the slides change far too quickly. I always meant to go back and re-record it but then November the class workload increased and I never got around to it. Recently, however, there was another call for posts to the blog and I figured that, as Voltaire (and later President Obama) counseled, I shouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. It’s not a perfect video but neither was the blog I wrote at Mount Allison University but I know it helped people.

Anyways if I had time I’d re-shoot it, it doesn’t represent everything I’ve learned in the last four months (or what I’ll learn in my photography/videography class) but it might help some people decide whether or not to come here so I’m sharing it. Here’s to hoping you get something out it.


Newhouse “Boot Camp” for Graduate PR Students Summary

Bootcamp at the S.I. Newhouse School
Bootcamp at the S.I. Newhouse School

Bootcamp at the S.I. Newhouse School

A few weeks ago I completed the summer session of the class of 2013 M.S. in Public Relations program. It was sold as a six-week intensive introduction to the field of public relations, proper PR writing, and an interaction to graphic design/visual communication principles and practice.

Coming from the viewpoint of someone who studied a more academic-focused program (Honours in International Relations from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada) it seems like a decent introduction to the field. I began reading number of blogs (Brian Solis, Chris Brogram Dave Fleet, Ragan) in the months leading up to the program and did not find I was at all ‘behind’ my classmates who had majored in PR or a similarly non-academic major.

We had various lectures on different aspects of public relations and were given writing assignments (which served as my introduction to AP style).

However, in terms of output our major project was creating a media kit (press release, backgrounder, fact sheet, biographies, pitch letter, blog and social media posts (Twitter and Facebook) for a fictitious event/product produced with the cooperation of a corporation and non-profit organization. I ignored my knowledge about Amnesty International’s longstanding policy of not accepting donations from corporations and announced the creation of a fictitious human rights violations reporting device inspired by the real-life “internet in a suitcase” technology being developed with funding by the State Department.

After our individual kits were completed we moved onto breaking into groups to present one of the groups ideas in a mock press conference another professor said was “going by the wayside”.

I received an A for the assignment and for the course.

In GRA 617 Visual Communications Theory and Practice we learned graphic design principles and then put them into practice by creating a well-designed resume, poster (based on our PR media kit), found a “crappy” website and redesigned it, and finished our course with a 4-page interactive iPad Magazine.

While I have no intention of being a graphic designer it provided the knowledge to be able to do basic tasks with Adobe CS (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop) and to be able to express what looks good, what doesn’t, and why

Due to a few technical errors I ended up earning an A- in the course.

Here’s the Syllabi for GRA 617 Visual Communications Theory and Practice and PRL 604: Writing for News and Public Relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.


First Graphic Design Project – Resume

Geoff Campbell Resume

[Updated 02/20/13]

I just finished my first graphic design project for Darren Sanefski’s GRA 617: Visual Design Theory and Practice course at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. It’s my resume, except better. Let me know what you think. For class I posted it to the class blog, along with a fictional phone number and address (I don’t like random visitors or phone calls). Here’s the pdf. Feel free to provide feedback.

GRA 617 Visual Communications Theory and Practice with Professor Darren Sanefski

Thinking with Type - Ellen Lupton
Thinking with Type - Ellen Lupton

Thinking with Type, the required textbook for GRA 617 Visual Communication Theory and Practice at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

Today I began my first graphic design course since high school, GRA 617 Visual Communications Theory and Practice at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications taught by graphic design and photography Assistant Professor Darren Sanefski who also runs DMS Design Studio, a graphic design business with clients including Boeing, Pacificare, Syracuse University.

From the GRA 617 Visual Communication Theory & Practice syllabus:

Graphics 617 is a practical introduction to graphic design as it applies to your
Newhouse studies and to the greater professional field. The course includes visual
thinking, problem solving, typography, layout and design principles, and art
direction through type and image use. The course combines lectures, hands-on
moderated lab sections to learn the Adobe CS5 software (moving to CS6 this
summer), and class exercises including blogging. Required lectures are held for the
entire group in an auditorium setting, and labs are broken into smaller sections of
approximately 15 students headed by an Instructional Assistant (student) in a
Macintosh computer lab. Weekly projects are due every Friday starting the first full
week of the class. Weekly project critiques guide students to redo projects for
resubmission for re-grading.