Do You Have Ugly Stuff?

Do You Have Ugly Stuff?

We’ve all seen them: unappealing logos, lame business cards printed out on the home printer, and remedial PowerPoint presentations. PR consultants often focus so much energy on our content, too often we suffer from “ugly stuff” syndrome.

But design plays an important role in establishing credibility — especially important for independents. You’ve heard the expression “perception is reality?” This is actually backed up by research, with one study confirming that people expect visually appealing Web sites to contain better information than Web sites that are less appealing.

Many designers say that you shouldn’t assume you can’t afford professional services. They suggest giving a designer a call and say “I’d like to beautify this proposal, but all I have is [$150] to spend – what can you do for that?”

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Atlanta-based Rand Cabus, of Privateer Design, on first impressions, templates, and the need for PR consultants to banish ugly stuff:

What have you done to make sure you don’t have ugly stuff? Any suggestions for improving your image on a budget?

Written By Kellye Crane
Kellye Crane is the founder of Solo PR Pro, which provides the tools, education, advocacy and community resources needed for indies to succeed and grow. She's a veteran and award-winning communicator with more than 20 years of experience - 19 of them solo.


  1. It is so important to your own brand to have spiffy professional looking templates, cards etc. There are plenty of good designers out there and if you don't know one ask another PR pro for a recommendation. Presentation is almost everything!

  2. Too often we suffer like the proverbial shoemaker's children — hence, we have ugly “stuff.” One particular pet peeve of mine is using free business cards. Yes, you can get free cards from VistaPrint. But do you really want to convey that you don't want to pony up some money. For a mere $70, I got (what I consider) great business cards.

  3. Great idea to ask your fellow PR pros for recommendations – thanks, Lori.

  4. Thanks for sharing the actual dollar amount for your business cards — most people can afford that, and a little investment in your dream job is worth it!