Monday, December 17, 2012

Learn How to Use Digital Media Strategically

A few years ago, I was managing a website for a financial services company and wanted to take courses to improve my ability to use online communications effectively and strategically. I also wanted courses geared towards those managing online media, but the programs I found in the Toronto area covered mostly the technical (i.e. programming or development) or design elements.

I ended up taking the e-Business program at University of Toronto's School for Continuing Studies. At the time, it was the only such program in the Greater Toronto Area.

Although it was a good program, e-Business tends to deal mostly with the infrastructure and business processes required to have a business online.

Educational programs on digital media management are expanding, but I still find that there is not much with a marketing, communications, strategy, and operations focus.

So I was really excited to hear from a colleague, Eden Spodek, that she in conjunction with other experienced professionals will be launching a certificate program in Digital Strategy and Communications Management with the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Education in 2013.

The Digital Strategy and Communications Management certificate program aims to help professionals "make sense of the digital and social media landscape" and to learn to use new and emerging digital media for organizational goals.

Classes start January 2013 consists of three required courses taken consecutively:
  1. Foundations in Digital Communications Strategy and Social Media
  2. Social on the Inside: Internal Communications On and Offline
  3. Advanced Practices in Digital Reputation Management
Some of the learning outcomes (from their website) include:
  • Integrate digital, social and mobile platforms into a strategic approach to communications management
  • Develop and implement goal-oriented and outcome-based measurement and evaluation techniques to communications strategy and tactics
  • Use social and digital channels to strategically engage management, employees, partners and suppliers to develop and maintain relationships built on trust
  • Develop creative, measurable and relevant digital and social media plans and strategies that blend earned, owned and paid components and leverage analytics to demonstrate ROI
I asked Eden to whom the program is geared towards and she replied that it "is targeted towards anyone who recognizes the importance of creating and disseminating online content as part of their job and wants to do so strategically. Previous experience is not necessary as there will be a lot of hands-on instruction. Class participation will be encouraged and with a strong emphasis on learning by doing."

Eden adds, "We anticipate there will be a lot of two-way mentoring between students because they will have different levels of experience. For example, most digital natives will be familiar with the tools but won’t necessarily know how to develop a strategy. More seasoned practitioners may not be as comfortable with the tools yet may have a lot of experience developing communications and marketing strategies. These two groups will have a lot to learn from and share with each other."

All the courses are offerred at University of Toronto's St. George campus. But it is possible that online courses may be offerred in the future. As Eden states, “U of T's School of Continuing Studies considered an online version from the beginning and development is likely to begin following the pilot of the first course.”

1 comment:

Eden Spodek said...

Glen, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about this new Certificate program. Registration is going well and the first course is filling up quickly. I remember the old days when we launched our blogs together. Time flies.