University of Iowa Honors Theses

Thesis Title

Branding McKenzie Story: Passionate About Making Life Bright

Major Department

Journalism and Mass Communication


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2018

Honors Major Advisor

Travis Vogan

Thesis Mentor

Brian Ekdale


Over the course of the semester, I studied personal branding on digital platforms and exemplified what I learned by creating a new digital portfolio ( for myself and recreating my presence on social media.

I first studied the purposes of multiple social media platforms and evaluated my presence on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to ensure I was utilizing each platform to its fullest capability and to familiarize myself with the content I already had on each site. I then began making my presence more consistent across these platforms by making sure my profile pictures matched, my usernames and profile links were similar, and that the content (pictures, posts, articles) I had on each platform represented the tone I wanted to portray: adventurous, mature, fun-loving, and ambitious. If something on my social media channels did not align with these principles, I would hide them from the public’s view or delete it form my site. This launched my rebranding.

At this time, I began creating my website but felt I was missing some direction. By working with Dr. Lynn Manternach from MindFire Communications, I received professional advice as to how to rebrand. We came up with a plan to create a survey money questionnaire that I’d send to people close to me asking questions regarding my perceived strengths, weaknesses, and words that came to mind when they thought of me. Their responses guided me to my brand statement: “Passionate about making life bright”.

After creating a statement that would guide my portfolio creation, I worked with Professor Brian Ekdale to put my branding into action by creating a digital portfolio. We worked together to discuss the type of content I wanted on my site and to map the layout of the site for effective usability. With a guiding brand statement and a site map, I was able to smoothly incorporate my personality and professional work in a digital portfolio using

By performing research, evaluating my media platforms, and creating a professional website, I now have a portfolio that tells a story of who I am and can be used to show potential employers my best work as I look for a job to start my career.


Branding, Digital, Social Media, Portfolio, Website

Total Pages



Copyright © 2018 McKenzie Story

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