Networking: Generation Grand


One benefit of getting involved in PRSSA was finding out about Generation Grand: PR in GR. This was a regional conference hosted this year by GV PRSSA, which I was fortunate enough to attend.

The conference started on a Friday, with agency tours to Truscott Rossman, Seyferth PR, and Mighty, and ended with a mixer at Lambert, Edwards & Associates. I learned so much that day about the kinds of opportunities available in Grand Rapids, and all within walking distance of each other! I had to take a selfie at Seyferth, partially because it was my favorite agency (they gave us free journals!), and partially because it was the second agency that day to have an office Keurig:


Taken by Adrienne Cooley (April 7, 2017).

Saturday was filled with various panels related to PR: Design, Crisis Management, Nonprofits, Beer City USA, Green Thinking, and more. These were all very educational, and they held my interest a lot more than I’d anticipated. After the panels and time to explore the city, everyone met up at the Waldron Public House. That was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. The food and desserts were fantastic, and I was able to spend most of the time networking with my fellow PR students.

Before the conference, I had gotten to know a few students in PRSSA, but many did not know my name, and I didn’t know many of their names either. By the end of the weekend, not only did I learn a lot and meet professionals, but many more people in PRSSA at Grand Valley knew my name. It was a busy weekend, and pretty exhausting, but entirely worth the time and money for my ticket. You will definitely be able to find me at next year’s regional conference.

Keywords for a Blog Writing Photographer


The last time I looked at the stats for my website, it had about five views. Those five views occurred the day before an assignment was due, so I knew they were from classmates. Pretty sad, right? The good news is that thanks to Google AdWords’s Keyword Tool, I can use keywords while blog writing to help my website’s Search Engine Optimization. First, I came up with some key words I thought were relevant to my personal brand. These words were writing, editing, Grand Rapids, advertising, and public relations. After I entered my website URL and these terms, Google gave me some new ones. I was able to see the global monthly search range for each term! This is what it looked like:

Google Adwords All Keywords

Cooley, A. (March 16, 2017). Screenshot of Google Adwords Keywords (JPEG). Retrieved from

Global monthly searches for new key terms:
Photo editor/editing – 1M-10M
Video editing – 1M-10M
Resume writing – 10K-100K
Blog writing – 1K-10K
Advertising photographer – 1K-10K

Global monthly searches for original key terms:
Editor – 1M-10M
PR – 100K-1M
Advertising – 100K-1M
Grand Rapids – 10K-100K
Writing – 100K-1M

I would not have thought to brand myself as an advertising photographer, but both words are used a few times in my website. The other terms Google suggested are already discussed on my website, so now I just need to remember to use them more frequently. For example, my last blog was about photo editing using Photoshop. That would be a good way to implement some keywords related to photography. Before that, I wrote a blog about my first time using Final Cut Pro, which is for video editing. I also have my resume posted to my website, and I will probably end up publishing a blog about resume writing since it seems to be a challenge for many people.

I’ve managed to use each alternative key term in this blog. It was fairly easy to find a way to throw in each term.Who knows, maybe by next week I’ll have ten views instead of five…



For the Adobe Photoshop assignment, I chose a picture I took of my dog, Moose on my DSLR. This was taken at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Lansing, MI, one of my favorite places to go for walks and bring my camera.

The original picture is the one in color. Changing the photo from color to black and white fulfilled the requirement for applying a filter, even thought it technically isn’t one. I also adjusted the brightness of colors in the black and white settings, because I wasn’t happy with the default black and white. I chose to remove two parts of the photo. The first and most obvious, is Moose’s leash. I decided it was distracting, so I removed it and filled its place in with more fur. The second part removed was a headstone in the background. It contrasted with the trees behind it, taking attention away from the subject of the photo. I also adjusted the levels and cropped the photo a bit.

Brand Infographic


Today I used to create an infographic depicting my personal brand. We had the option to use, but we saw an example of piktochart in class, and that caught my attention first.

My brand revolves around loving words and photography. I also love listening to and playing music, so I decided to add that in as well. The infographic shows the genres in which I enjoy writing, my favorite activities, and some details on those activities. It also has a picture of me.

I’m glad I made this infographic for a couple reasons. First, it was nice to be able to show my personal brand and give more information about myself. Second, it was cool to learn about infographics, how to make them, and how to use the site. If I need to create something similar in the future, I know where to go and how to do so. I think that will prove to be useful at some point.


Brand Yourself!


Creating a personal brand is pretty important for young professionals trying to get a foot in the door. It is what sets a person apart from many other people with likely very similar resumes. is one way to assist in the process of creating a personal, recognizable brand image.

After creating a free account, I was able to see Google’s search results for my name. I had to mark all of the results as “not me,” so I knew my score would be less than satisfactory. It was worse (see below).


Cooley, A. (February 2, 2017). Brand Yourself Report Card Screenshot (JPEG). Retrieved from


Alright, so clearly I have a lot of room for improvement. The first option I had on this website was to add links that I could then “boost.” I decided to add my Twitter and Linkedin pages, as well as this website. I then followed some of the recommendations for boosting my sites. For Linkedin, I added an interests section and updated my summary. For my website I made sure my name was the title of the site, and that location and education information were provided. I was able to improve my points for each site, however, it will take some time before I will have good search optimization. As an Ad & PR minor, I hope I can achieve this relatively quickly, as being searchable helps immensely in this industry.

Blog Posts


The content of future blog posts will include: material for my “Technology in Advertising and Public Relations” class, news on my academic and professional endeavors, and likely future photography.