Student Graphic Designer that wants a Design Internship

Welcome to my website, where I talk about topics like website media and graphic design for social media. My website is currently being used for public relations writing and for my advertisement class, where I talk about my love for graphic design as much as I can. I am currently minoring in Advertisement and PR because I think learning about advertising on social networks will help my future graphic design career where I am hoping to design for social media and website design.

My current assignment is for my advertisement and PR class where we learn to use Google AdWord’s where we use the keyword tool. You then put in your ‘landing page’ and enter keywords that have to do with your brand. AdWords then will show keyword ideas that are recommended to your topic, location and the keywords that you enter. You can also put in negative words which are words you don’t want associated with your website when people search. For example, I put in words and phrases like “bad design” and “badly made websites.” That can really take away from your credibility if your website comes up when people search bad design.

These are the words that are Google’s recommendations after I put in my keywords:

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 4.03.57 PM.png

VerStrate, Shelby. (March, 16 2017). Keywords Planner [Screen Image Capture]. Retrieved from Google AdWords.

Average monthly searches for my keywords:

“Graphic design help”: 10-100 average monthly searches

“How to do a website”: 10-100 average monthly searches

Brand designer: 10-100 average monthly searches

“Graphic Design Work”: 10-100 average monthly searches

“how make a website”: 10-100 average monthly searches

“how design website”: 10-100 average monthly searches

“social media graphic designer”: 10-100 average monthly searches

“how to get a website”: 10-100 average monthly searches

“how make website”: 10-100 average monthly searches

“social media graphic design”: 10-100 average monthly searches


Video Assignment

The assignment for this week was to create a video and a storyboard that has to incorporate your brand. This was definitely a challenging assignment for me because I never really create videos, let alone edit them on Final Cut. You will definitely be able to tell this after watching my video. But overall, I was very glad that I was able to learn a little bit about Final Cut and it gave me a new appreciation for video editors because I had no idea it could be so confusing.

I also struggled with thinking of someway to incorporate graphic design into a video. So I decided to do a sort of tutorial video for people who are interested in becoming graphic designers and don’t know where to start. I apologize prior to me and my boyfriends acting abilities, or just speaking abilities in general.

This is my storyboard showing that someone is upset about not knowing where to go to start learning design and I come and help him get started. I actually had a lot of fun creating the storyboard, I felt it was like creating a comic.Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 6.44.46 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 5.31.56 PM.png


Photoshop is such a fun way to show creativity and is a great way to edit photos. I think it’s really nice to get experiment with Adobe Creative Cloud because it will be really useful to use in the real world. Being a Graphic Design major, we use PhotoShop for almost all our assignments so it was a nice little break to do something I was more familiar with.

I chose the cityscape because I thought it would be interesting to replace a building with a giraffe, specifically the tallest building since it kind of resembles a giraffe. So I thought it would make the picture more interesting. I also thought it would be cool to add the reflection of the giraffe in the water.

Here are the original images I chose:Hong-Kong-Cityscape.jpg

Credit: Unknown (March 2, 2017). Night Scene of Hong Kong [JPEG]. Retrieved from


Credit:EcoView/Fotolia (March 2, 2017).  Giraffe Facts and Photos. Retrieved from

This is my edited picture where I removed one of the buildings, added a giraffe and used the inverse photo filter:PhotoCap105.jpg

Creating an Infographic

I decided to stick with the Graphic Design theme because I think it would be beneficial to have different websites talking about what Graphic Design means to me and what it’s like to be a designer. And I wanted to take advantage of this assignment to talk more about my work and my experience as an Art and Design student thus far.

We had the option of choosing to use either or to create my infographic I chose to use Piktochart because I use Indesign all the time and I found it to be similar to that and it made it much easier for me to use. I really enjoyed creating an Infographic, it was fun to change the text and add pictures that looked visually appealing. I also added some of my Graphic Design work that I made in my classes to use as a kind of portfolio reference if I ever wanted to show this to possible employers. Overall, I had a really fun time making this and it was super easy to use for someone who has never used Piktochart before.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 3.33.05 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-02-09 at 3.33.26 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-02-09 at 3.33.39 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-02-09 at 3.33.52 PM.png

Brand Yourself

Brand Yourself is a website that helps you to control and find out what comes up when others search your name. You can then go through and verify if the items that come up about you are “positive”, “negative” or “not me.” After verifying your first ten search terms that come up you get to view your score:screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-6-03-30-pm

VerStrate S, (February 2, 2017) Brand Yourself Report Card Screenshot (JPEG) Retrieved from

There was actually a lot of results that came up about me that I didn’t even know existed and was pretty pleased about, items like being on the Deans list and my Varsity tennis results. There are a couple of items that I was confused that they were marked as harmful. A lot of the results were not me but other Shelby’s or other VerStrate’s in my area which I thought was interesting to see. There was really nothing that came up that I found could hurt me to get a job which I found was really reassuring to know. I thought overall it was really helpful to know this information about yourself, and I think it will be especially useful when I apply to a job or internship and I can keep checking up on it to make sure everything that comes up about me is valid and positive.

After learning my score it then provides you with ways to improve that score and to pretty much better your brand on all social media sites. The 3 recommendations that I went through and did was: Boost your LinkedIn, Submit another link to the web and publish a brand yourself profile. I thought boosting my LinkedIn website was really helpful, because I am pretty new to LinkedIn and I was sure what qualified as a good profile so it made a lot of recommendations for me to do. I then went on and posted my LinkedIn link to the web so hopefully it will be one of the first items that comes up when possible employers are searching me. I also posted Brand Yourself to my Twitter. I thought this website was very helpful and it made me aware of things that I wouldn’t have thought to do.

About Me




my name is Shelby VerStrate and I am a Junior at Grand Valley and I am majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Advertisement and Public Relations. I am apart of the AIGA club at GVSU which I’m hoping can help me to find more intern opportunities and learn new skills from other students in the field. My dream job would to work for a magazine and design layouts for them.
My biggest gofullsizerenderal in the future is to own a French Bulldog, along with many other dogs. I also have a huge interest in making jewelry with metals, I would love to do that as a side job in the future. I would also like to get a job somewhere far away from Michigan so I don’t have to experience these harsh winters anymore. I would like to do a lot of traveling to figure out where that destination will be.


PR Reflection:

This was the first class that I had taken that had anything to do with public relations, which was pretty scary when stepping into this class. I really didn’t understand what a PR person did besides from what I saw on TV which is pretty sad. When I read my first blog post I realized that I thought that PR people just handled scandals that celebrities caused and pretty much fixed mess ups that people caused. This is partially true, but I now realize that there is a lot more to PR than just handling problems. I also didn’t realize how much work it is to be a PR person. However, I did have some of the ideas about PR right when I mentioned “this can also be a very rewarding career when you promote the image of an aspiring small business or help the image of a good person” which I think would be true in the PR field.

Now I have realized that PR isn’t about just making a call and fixing a big scandal. PR involves strategic advertisements, research, communication and lots and lots of writing. I have really grown to like it which is something I did not think I would be saying at the beginning of this semester and it has helped me to become a better writing and researcher which will help me tremendously in my graphic design career where research is a huge part in it. I have also loved using doing thing that would be used in the real PR world like these blog posts rather than writing research papers, it is a great way to get introduced to the PR world.

Another reason why stepping into this classroom was a little intimidating was because of the plan book. Reading the rubric on the plan book made me question if I signed up for the right class. It was pretty much scary just to look at the plan book and I tried not to stare at it as much as possible because of how much information was in it. However, after breaking down the plan book step-by-step it really made it a lot simpler and made the big picture more to the point. It also helped when we turned in each paper and at the end it pretty much turned into a plan book. I can now look back at my plan book and be proud of all the work that I put in it, I never thought this day would ever come!

This class has done a great job of making me see what working in the PR field would really be like which kind of makes me happy that graphic design is my major. However, the skills I learned in PR will be very helpful for me in the future and will help me with the promotional aspects of graphic design. This especially goes for the research aspects that is included in public relations because in graphic design research is a vital aspect when researching the client. Overall, I am very happy with how this class went and all the real world lessons that it taught me.

ROI/Evaluation Blog

Return on investment is to “measure the distribution and acceptance of messages and demonstrate a return on investment (ROI) to clients”(Watson,2013, p.2). ROI is something that can be difficult to figure out when it comes to public relations because it can often times be hard to say whether the audience purchases something because of PR, since PR a lot of times is through word of mouth, which is a communication method that can be difficult to measure. Watson says, “In reality few PR programmes can be measured in such a way because of the problems involved in putting a realistic and credible financial value to the results achieved”(2013, p.3).

For companies and clients, having employees that are exceptional PR people is a necessity to stand out amongst the rest. However, sometimes these PR efforts have to come to a halt or they may need to fire their agencies when there is not a sufficient ROI (return on investment) (Burke,2015, paragraph 1). This can result in public relations people to be less successful in getting the message out to a potential audience as well as they may have hoped. However, to improve a business’s ROI a company must choose appropriate tactics that are right for the type of business the client owns, and by choosing different strategies the business will really start seeing improvement in their return on investment (Burke,2015, paragraph 6).

Public relations and ROI go hand-in-hand because it is through PR people that we do what we do and buy what we buy, it isn’t because of looking at advertising commercials on the television but rather through word of mouth. PR strategist and blogger for The Huffington Post, Molly Borchers says, “Brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself. People say good things about you when (a) you have a great product and (b) you get people to spread the word about it”(2014, paragraph 3).

Return on investment is a factor in PR that can become difficult to really measure, to help better the understanding of this, Borchers lists what experts have said are their best practices on PR measurement (2014).

In the beginning, ask “Why?”: Shonali Burke says, “Ultimately, your PR efforts should support your business objectives, so don’t stop asking, “Why?” until you get there.”

Agree on measurement goals upfront: Shonali says, “her biggest challenge in measuring the ROI in PR is that some companies sometimes think of measurement as an afterthought.”

Don’t just analyze outputs: Aaron Brown says, “This approach requires analysis against key competitors within target strategic areas in a defined set of media.”

Break down the silos: Deirdre Breakenridge said,”When you break down the silos you can show a more accurate picture of ROI.”

Use social media for a two-way dialogue: Jennifer Dulles says, “When brands need to measure sentiment or gauge whether opinions changed, they can simply ask.”

Give it time: “Julie Wright said the best measurement tool she ever had was a line out the door at her client’s store after an article hit on their product.”

The above expert advice can help to measure the ROI in relations to PR in ways that are simple, efficient and to the point. It can sometimes be a very difficult task but when done right, it will be worth the time and effort.




Borchers, M. (2014, March 26). Measuring the ROI of Public Relations: Five Experts Weigh In. In The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from

Burke, L. (2015, June 30). Is Your PR Campaign Resulting in the ROI You’re Looking For?. In Did It. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from

Watson, T. (2013, March 7). ROI or evidence-based PR: The language of public relations evaluation. PRism, 3(1). Retrieved November 23, 2015, from

PR and Social Media

Public relations and social media really go together hand-in-hand, and it allows companies to instantly connect to their audience. Social media has made connecting to an audience faster than ever before.

Social media has really played a huge role in changing the way that people see and understand public relations. Public relations is all about communicating to a target audience, and with social media, communicating to them has really never been easier and more convenient. In the past PR people would have to always find ways to interact with their audience that would usually have to be face to face but with social media it can all be through a companies website. In a blog written by Dave Folkens, on ways that social media is changing public relations says, “Human connections made possible by listening and replying via social media bring the audience closer to a brand and softens the barrier that exists when people feel as if they’re talking to a company that views them strictly as a potential sale”(N.D, para. 3).

Social media can also help to promote political figures and can help them to be seen as more relatable and easier to connect with when they are seen on social media outlets as well. This can also help for these figures to connect with their younger viewers in ways that weren’t possible in the past. Political figures have used social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, plus its own blog powered website that is run by the White House (Warren, 2010).

Companies are trying to find new ways to communicate with their target audience, rather then just having a website. They would like to have long term relationships with their costumers rather than a once-off sale relationship (Papasolomou, 2012). Currently, it is almost impossible to have a successful company when it’s only form of social media is a website, these companies need to go above and beyond when connecting to a potential audience for them to standout amongst the rest. When there is a creative person on the public relations team, it is now more possible to constantly share that with an audience through rapid fast social media. Papasolomou talks about how using social media in public relations can help the audience and the client to connect and states,

“Social media creates an environment that encourages a two-way conversation that corporations can capitalize on it in a way that can benefit their business and their customers” (2012, p. 325).

Overall, social media is a fantastic way to connect the audience in a way that is authentic and personal. People can now share how they feel about a client or company and that client or company can instantly respond to that or make changes from the audiences feedback.


Folkens, D. (n.d.). 3 Ways Social Media Is Changing Public Relations. In Top Rank Blog. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from

Papasolomou, I., & Melanthiou, Y. (2012). Social Media: Marketing Public Relations’ New Best Friend. Journal Of Promotion Management, 18(3), 319-328. doi:10.1080/10496491.2012.696458

Warren, C. (2010, March 16). How PR Pros Are Using Social Media for Real Results. In Mashable. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from

Social Media and Public Relations

Social media is an outlet that is constantly changing, and in public relations, they must keep up with these social media changes when communicating to the media. Social media is also one of the greatest ways for people in PR to communicate to a mass audience in a quick and accurate way. They are also able to target one particular audience, for example if they want to target children, they could put an advertisement in the APP of a child’s game. There are a majority of ways to communicate through social media which is why it’s such a popular source for PR people to use to communicate to people.

Social media continues to change and therefor public relations has to change along with it. In a book called Social Media and Public Relations written by Breakenridge, he expands on the idea of how social media is such a huge part of public relations and said, “Public relations will continue to transform, and the changes you see are monumental. For better or for worse, a career in PR means handling communications in the public spotlight because of the increasing use of social media”(2012, p.1). People in the PR field must therefor conduct research to keep up with the ever-changing social media and it also benefits if they are tech-savy so they can better communicate to their target audience.

In a book written by Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge is about how social media is reinventing public relations. This is because of how social networks are booming and putting social outlets like the newspaper out of business. Nothing else can communicate to a mass audience as fast as social media can. Solis and Breakenridge talk about how PR firms are always looking for experts in this area of communication, they said, “These highly sought-after New Media PR practitioners include those who blog, run a podcast or video show, communicate in popular micro-media networks such as Twitter, create profiles across several social networks and actively cultivate their social graph, customize pages with an understanding of “lite” HTML, and participate in the communities that are important to them (whether professionally or personally)”(2009, p. 2). With social media constantly changing, this means people in the public relations field need to change how they think or even hire people that have better experience with the examples listed because social media is changing before their eyes.

Public relations and social media are almost the same thing except social media is used online and public relations isn’t always used online. In a blog post written by Falls he talks about the important of social media on public relations and says, “To be effective in social media, whether as a marketer or just an ordinary participant, you must, first and foremost, communicate well”(2008, 3). This blog really focuses on how social media and public relations depends on one another.

PR and social media really go hand-in-hand, and communication to a particular audience usually isn’t successful without the other. By social media being one of the greatest communication tools, it is imperative for public relations specialists are comfortable with using social media to deliver a message to people.


Breakenridge, D. K. (2012). Social Media and Public Relations (p. 1). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc. Retrieved from

Falls, J. (2008, July 18). Social Media is the Responsibility of Public Relations. In Social Media Explorer. Retrieved November 2, 2015, from

Solis, B., & Breakenridge, D. K. (2009). Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR (p. 2). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc. Retrieved from