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Branding, content, and social media

by The Ohio State University

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

“You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.” –David Meerman Scott, author
This course will help you figure out that last part – earning attention with something you publish for a strategic reason to a particular audience in the online universe. This course will be especially helpful for those currently or potentially working in small to medium-sized PR shops. You will learn to focus your energies where branding, social media, and compelling content intersect. We will explore the fundamental definitions of these three concepts, examine how they overlap and complement each other, then consider traditional communication tools -- such as audience segmentation, messaging, communication strategy, and evaluation – in this non-traditional world. Next, we’ll cover how to apply the trifecta of branding, content, and social media to event communications. Along the way, we’ll see who's doing it well and whose mistakes we can avoid.

This course is designed to be self-directed. However, I encourage you to gather a small group and take the course together. It's helpful to get feedback for some of the assignments, and you can discuss some of the issues together. It is also helpful if you select an organization to use as "yours" for some of the assignments. It could be an organization where you work, or where you volunteer, or for which you have some other affinity. By completing the assignments with a particular organization in mind, you will have the basic ingredients of a communication strategy for that organization by the time you finish this course.
Each chapter includes a power point lecture, guest interviews, and course materials such as documents, videos, web links, photos, and graphics. The lectures reference the course materials. At the end of each lecture, there is a summary of assignments for that chapter. In addition, each chapter includes a PDF with all the web links included in one document.

While the course materials come from multiple sources, many of the examples, best practices, and case studies are from higher education. All of the guest interviews are with Ohio State University experts working in communications and marketing.

This course will not include basic information, such as how to create a social network account or how to upload a video. There are plenty of video tutorials on the web for these basic how-to steps. 

This course focuses on strategy. By the end of the course you will have a basic understanding of branding, social media, and content. You will be able to plan a communications strategy that incorporates all three.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback you can provide on this course. Here is a survey that you can use:

Branding, content, and social media
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