Major changes are afoot in the county of Wessex. The long-established system of local government in the county, with the majority of responsibilities being dealt with by six district councils, is to be consigned to history; in future, the Wessex unitary authority will have all local issues within its remit. This switch hasn't been universally welcomed, and there's quite a lot of confusion about what the process entails.

In the hope of putting this to rights, and persuading residents of the county that it really is all for the best, the new authority have decided that they need a significant marketing campaign to herald the introduction of the new system, to promote its benefits and stymie any opposition before it has time to grow: posters through the major towns, brochures available at public buildings and online, and a leaflet through every door in the county.

Micah, in the council's PR department, needs to ensure that all these are stylish and effective in communicating the information, but is also obliged to keep the operation as efficient as possible. To fulfil both demands, the department will be using Adobe InDesign. InDesign provides Micah with a wide range of powerful and versatile tools to give the campaign the greatest chance of success.

Simple to start

All three aspects of the campaign can be easily begun from a template, and Micah can easily download the ideal templates to suit each. As he's using Adobe software, he can import pictures directly from Photoshop, and this gives him a great deal of control in ensuring that the images he uses are of the very highest quality; these images can then be simply positioned wherever on the page or poster Micah needs them to be, and at whatever size. Text can also be added within InDesign, and then positioned in just the same way - plus, the software allows Micah to divide text into columns, or to create a title that spans multiple columns, with just the touch of a button.

It's easy for Micah to align the images and text on the poster and leaflet to put the council's message across in the most effective and engaging manner. The brochure needs a slightly different approach, with far more text and a greater range of graphics, but it can still be laid out using the same simple tools.

When it comes to putting the brochure online, he can upload the entire document as a .pdf file, easily viewed from any computer. Alternatively, he can publish it as a series of web-pages - in which case, just as InDesign works with Photoshop for graphics, so he can add interactive content to the pages by exporting the work to Adobe Flash.


Micah won't be working alone, of course; the information campaign is a major project for Wessex council, and he'll be assisted by a number of colleagues from within the PR department. As a number of people will be contributing to the finished product, however, there's the risk of someone making a change to the contents that Micah might not agree with.

But with InDesign, the risk is removed: Micah can see at a glance every change that's been made, with the new and original text both highlighted. He's then presented with a simple choice to accept either (or neither).

Making the job easier

Certain elements of a page might be repeated a number of times through the brochure, or carried over from the poster to the leaflet; for instance, the positioning of images or the formatting of text might be maintained throughout, ensuring a consistent style across the board. These tasks can be automated from a keyboard shortcut using scripts - a simple piece of code automating a number of commands in sequence. This may sound daunting, but there's no need for any programming experience: InDesign comes with a selection of sample scripts to automate common processes, and a far wider range are freely available to download.

With InDesign, Micah can be confident that every aspect of his campaign will be of the very highest quality, and produced quickly and efficiently - and to get the most from all the software offers, a short training course in using the software may be highly advantageous for him and his department. Major changes are indeed afoot in the county of Wessex, and controversial changes at that, but the changes Micah and InDesign are to bring to the PR department can only bring benefits to the council.