Looking at social and digital media from a PR perspective

Our most recent course on social media – our Digital Communication Certificate – has just completed so we thought it would be a good time to talk to one of the graduates about the course and how it has helped her to develop a social media strategy at work.

Charlotte Francis is Communication and PR Advisor at the Skills Funding Agency. She got a distinction for her final assignment.  I asked her about the course….

Charlotte Francis who took our social and digital media course

Charlotte Francis who took our social and digital media course

Firstly Charlotte, why did you decide to take the digital communication course?

I had been managing Apprenticeships’ social media activity for 18 months. During this time it had grown rapidly, becoming more integral to all marketing and campaigns activity. Although I had plenty of practical experience of using social media, I felt I needed the theoretical knowledge to help me to develop our social media strategy and manage our activity more effectively. In particular, as I work within the PR team in my organisation, I wanted a course that looked at digital and social media from a PR perspective, rather than from a technical / web perspective. This course ticked all the right boxes for me.

What are the top three things that you have taken away from the course?

The top three things were the key components of any social media planning: Audience, Strategy and Content! I now use these as a template to guide all new social media activity. This way I can ensure we are doing things for the right reason, giving the campaign the best possible chance of success. Too often people think about the channel first and ignore these three components.

How do you think it will help you in your role?

It is already helping me, having provided me with the theoretical knowledge to talk about social media strategy more confidently. I have recently taken on responsibility for the National Careers Service’s social media, for which there is a very different strategy and objectives. What I learnt on the course is helping me to manage this.

Do you think that social media is changing the way that you work?

Yes, social media is evolving quickly and changing the nature of communications and PR. It is increasingly important to consider the social media aspect of every campaign, whatever other platforms are being used, and any reputational risks that could be incurred. Within the civil service, which has previously been nervous about using social media and consequently has restricted staff access, confidence in these new tools is gradually being built as people become more familiar with them and awareness of their importance as a means of engaging with target audiences grows.

Have you started working differently as a result of the course?

As already mentioned, I am more confident when talking about social media strategy. I am also working more closely with colleagues with responsibility for other social media activity within the organisation and our press office to develop a way of managing and responding to reputational issues. I am also developing our evaluation framework to ensure we are tracking and measuring the right things.

Thanks Charlotte and congrats on your result!

Our next Digital Communication Certificate gets underway this week, but you can enroll anytime up until the end of the month (webinars etc are all recorded so you wont miss anything). The next course starts in February.


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