Monday, April 02, 2007

The online module for a PR degree

I am pondering what we really need in a PR first degree course now.

At present the online module includes a syllabus that is primarily based round online strategy: how the online landscape is changing for organisations and how to assess the change (the Internet is ever evolving); Online demographics and segmentation (is segmentation now in the hands of the user?); the significance of value systems online (marketing speak served up as values lays organisations wide open to dissonance); development of aims and objectives (but this time aimed at the online communities of which there are many); strategy development (the mix and match of multi-touch communication and related effects); risk management (is a management function that is essential); tactical use of social media from YouTube to web widgets, wikis to blogs. We also have to develop strategies for graduates to keep up to date with online communication developments.

Students should provide case studies of social media to see how social media is being used and how. Must they must have their own blogs (even if it is an existing Bebo or MySpace account)? Is it ethical to force anyone and expose student experimentation to future employers - forever?

There is no substitute for work on a brief for an organisation (presented in a wiki - with all the background reserach) and they should use and apply web widgets, search, monitoring and evaluation tools and strategy software. They have to deal with legal, copyright and ethical issues and there is a case for the development of a video blog.

Add this to writing and semiotic skills on top of what theory remains (after the digital tsunami has wiped out 'the media' as we have known it for 50 years) and symmetrical relationship building and we have a start.

Oh... they must get that RSS feed going on week one otherwise they are as out of date as Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (June 7, 1757 – March 30, 1806) buying votes with kisses.

Its a lot to handle.

But what have I missed out.....