Most of us learn about social media from the school of hard clicks. We Stumbleupon sites…download apps…subscribe to blogs…read and bookmark cases…tweet out links…test our ideas…and gain a working knowledge along the way.
And now there are also academic courses if you’re looking to understand social media in a more formalized environment (plug alert).
This fall on September 11 (not the greatest date to begin anything) and continuing for 14 Saturdays, I’ll be at McMaster University teaching a course in social media for PR. It’s the second time I’m offering it.
The class combines communications theory with practical instruction in social media tools in order to get a strategic grounding in them. We learn by listening, sharing, tweeting, discussing, collaborating, analysing and doing.
First day starts with an overview of where we are in the social space including getting the whole class on Twitter (under the hashtag #macsocmed). I’ll also be introducing the students to the blogs of some of the more influential PR and marketing thought leaders.
The core assignment for students is creating a blog about a subject they’re passionate about and then researching, writing and editing posts, adding links, visuals and video and building and engaging a community. Last year reading and discussing the blogs, which ranged from local politics to corporate social responsibility to moving into and renovating your first house to finding a job, was one of my favourite parts of the course.
Once the students have found their blog voices, I’ll introduce them and share some of our collective learnings and observations. I’ll also be asking you for your thoughts from time to time.
Here’s where you go for more information on the class and how to sign up.
It’s Saturday morning (9 am to noon) and worth the drive to Hamilton (I hope).