A look at advertising across industries, and why inclusive imagery is important in marketing materials

A selection of polaroid photographs sit on a table. The images include beach scenes and people.
A selection of polaroid photographs sit on a table. The images include beach scenes and people.
Photo by Rirri on Unsplash

About five years ago, I was tasked with organizing a photoshoot for work. The photos needed to reflect the diversity of our student population, as well as the profession our students would soon be entering… a profession in a city that is predominately white, and a student population that is the same.

Let the awkward emails begin.

“Good morning! We are organizing a photoshoot for a new recruiting brochure, and we are hoping you would like to take part…”

​Our students are not dumb. They knew why they received that email. Some of…


Ethos, pathos, logos

A white, reclaimed wood table, with a variety of bundled herbs, and dried herbs in simple but elegant pots.
A white, reclaimed wood table, with a variety of bundled herbs, and dried herbs in simple but elegant pots.
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

In 2008, Gwyneth Paltrow launched the goop brand to promote her lifestyle choices, and to encourage other women (because her audience is mostly women) to follow her on her journey to wellness and well-being. The first asset, a newsletter, shared recipes, detox and meditation advice, and beauty tips. Since then, the goop brand has moved into fashion, recipe books, a skin care line and fragrance, and furniture. Physical goop Labs exist in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and New York. There is a goop newsletter and fashion line for men. Media assets include a website, magazine, podcast and a wellness…


The changing face of ‘public intellectuals’, from town square to talking head

An CRT television on peg legs sits against a white industrial-looking wall.
An CRT television on peg legs sits against a white industrial-looking wall.
Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash

In 1981, The Buggles helped launch MTV and famously told us that “video killed the radio star…we can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far…

Have we gone too far? Has the advent of television, which made access to information and knowledge more readily available and current, set us back on the intellectual spectrum? I would argue that the rise of television, and in turn the World Wide Web and social media, has democratized knowledge, giving us the ability to break down and understand complex ideas, creating a more educated and informed public over all. …


DON’T DO IT

Spin is not a good thing for public relations professionals

A blue light forms circles against a black background.
A blue light forms circles against a black background.
Photo by Octavio Fossatti on Unsplash

I received an email the other day that said “Let the spin machine go into action.” While I understand the order, I’m not a fan of the sentiment. Spinning is great for turntables, spiders, and the aptly named spinning wheel. Heck, I’m even OK with Dead or Alive telling their object of affection that they spin them right round. But when it comes to public relations or marketing, spin is bad.

Let me explain.

Spin doctors (no, not the musical group)

The term spin doctor started appearing in the late 1970s and was used largely to refer to public relations professionals working in politics in the US…


Artificial Intelligence and its impact on the public relations profession

A variety of toy robots stand on a shelf.
A variety of toy robots stand on a shelf.
Photo by Mina FC on Unsplash

Originally written for GPRL 6105: Media, Culture and Society, part of Master’s of Public Relations program at Mount Saint Vincent University; April 9, 2019.

It is easy to be afraid of things we do not understand. The ocean, tigers, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. Will the ocean’s tide pull me out to sea, where I will be stranded for the rest of my life? If that tiger pounces on me, will he purr and lick my face like a house cat? Is Alexa tracking my every move and sharing it with the government? How does she know that I need…

Ali Abel

Co-owner, EH1 Design Company. Writing, research, editing and communications strategy. Certified Communications Professional.

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