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  • Grace DeBoer

Tackling Web Design for the Burnham Park Association

Updated: Feb 8

As an aspiring PR professional as many of us are here at Hill Communications, it’s hard to ignore how vital knowledge of advanced technology management is becoming in our field. From artificial intelligence writing press releases in thirty seconds, to coding sequences for engagement on socials, our jobs as communicators are expanding. Web design is another skill becoming more desirable on resumes, but can appear quite intimidating to many. Although I’d love to learn more about coding, I just don’t have that experience yet, but then how on earth am I supposed to design a website for a client? 

One of the greatest things about Hill Communications is how it prepares each of us so much for the real world. In our regular public relations curriculum at the S.I. Newhouse School for Public Communications, our faculty often tell us we’re already on an elevated track to our professions. Yet, there are skills we just don’t cover in our required courses. With its wide variety of clients, there are opportunities Hill Comm provides for experiences that you simply can’t just acquire in a classroom. While working as the Account Executive this semester for the Burnham Park Association (BPA) account, my teams and I got to dive into web design utilizing Wix. 

For the PR curriculum at Newhouse, we are tasked with creating ePortfolios for ourselves, so Wix and I were no strangers. However, I have always struggled with the program, until collaborating with my team this semester. With our differing experience levels with Wix, the BPA team put our heads together to create a condensed, modernized and efficient new website for the Association, drawing content from their outdated website and communicating with our client weekly, making every little tweak to make our final product excellent. We each took on tasks to challenge ourselves and learn more about website design. While our intern, Lexi, created uniform brand guidelines for the site, I began designing the “Home” and “About” pages, Maya worked on creating a clear and updated “Trails” page as well as setting up the “Getting Involved” page, which required connecting patrons to Paypal. Yewon designed the “Gallery” page and edited all of the client-provided photos to look uniform on the site and Jamie edited the copy and wrote new content for each page. With the general guidance from our Account Supervisor Kendall and her fast-paced editing and attention to detail for the entire website, the site looked better than ever.

After another successful semester in Hill Comm, our team can confidently add the new skillset of web design as a new level of experience for our professional selves. I look forward to seeing what this exceptional org will push me to pursue next!

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