Open Letter to Universities: Teach MMC 4930 – Social Media and Mass Communication (my new course!)

To the Director of Curriculum at your University,

Today I am writing to your undergraduate curriculum department to tell you why your University needs to adopt my Social Media and Mass Communications (MMC 4930) course at your University as a part of your upper level Communications program as well as your Marketing program.  Social media is quickly becoming the most popular method of communication amongst college students and teaching a course that allows them to appreciate the relationship between social media and mass communication will allow them to engage with the content (as they are already probably users of social media) and have higher level discussions on the ways social media has changed marketing and the way we communicate as a society.

To achieve these goals, the course will show the way social media has allowed companies to create their own brand.  One of the ways social media has done this is by giving companies the option of customizing their social media profiles in a way that can be consistent and immediately recognizable by new visitors to the platform.  Please see the following Pinterest board for examples of the way this major concept in marketing will be exposed to the students.  During the course, students will be challenged to analyze brands of their own and create similar albums to display the way businesses use branding on social media to remain consistent across platforms while allowing them to have a personality of their own.  Discussions in the course will ask students questions about social media marketing and email and whether some platforms create more effective communications opportunities than others while still being branded.

In addition to branding, MMC 4930 – Social Media and Mass Communications will introduce your students to various methods of communication that are utilized on social media in order to engage with potential customers.  One of these methods includes the art of storytelling (thanks OutKast and Slick Rick), and the way this skill creates engagement and eventually new consumers.  The video camera company GoPro is an example that will be discussed and their great ability to tell a story (not necessarily about cameras), and still sell a product.  Please see the following video for an example of this type of storytelling:

Further, the course will discuss this issue in terms of communication and whether this method is truly an effective way of communicating with customers or where companies may need to “draw the line” between appropriate ways of communicating and inappropriate or obtrusive ways.

Finally, in this course we will discuss social media analytics and the ways this has changed the feedback that we get as marketers on the effectiveness of our communication plans.  As you can see from the following video,

analytics have changed the way we create communication plans and have allowed us to adapt at the speed of our consumers.  Analytics have made communications with our consumers much more of a two way street and in this course, we will discuss the way analytics have changed from the past when a communications plan was created months in advance and implemented over a long period of time to various platforms that did not typically offer feedback other than hopeful increases in sales (television and radio for example).

Communication is becoming one of the most dynamic aspects of our society with the invention of new social media platforms occurring on almost a daily basis.  Teaching MMC 4930 – Social Media and Mass Communications in your Upper Level Communication and Marketing programs will allow your students to engage with social media in a way that they never have before and allow them to discuss the ways these platforms have changed the ways we communicate as a society for better or for worse.  There is an art to branding, analytics and even storytelling; but as I said, don’t take it from me, take it from Slick Rick:

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