When I have some down time from researching in social media and crisis, presenting at conferences, spending time with friends and family, and traveling for conferences and consulting opportunities, I have been working on crafting over the last couple of months the new Social Media and Mobile Technologies course I will be teaching in the Spring of 2013 at the University of Louisville.
Not only will this class focus on social media, but we will be discussing the integration of current mobile and emerging technologies related to strategic communications. I am very excited about the opportunity to teach this class for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Of course – one of the first things we have to do when we are crafting a syllabus is determine what book to use. One of the challenges I have found – along with some of my colleagues researching and teaching in this area – is finding a current book for students to use that will not be out of date super quickly. This is one of the greatest challenges for professors since we want to make sure we give our students the most up-to-date, innovative, creative, and strategic tools and skills they will need to be successful in the workplace.
So – I have actually done some research and came up with several books in mind. I am going to require only a couple books, but will provide students with a list I would strongly recommend to have on hand for the class. This seemed to be a format that really worked for me when I was taking Marketing classes at the University of Tennessee.
Here are the top books I looked at that I found would be useful for not only my students, but for those who are either 1) teaching social media in communication and public relations disciplines; 2) researching in this area; and 3) want to become a student of emerging technologies and is looking for books that cover the subject very effectively:
- Content Marketing by Rebecca Lieb: Students today are expected not only to know how to write, update, and discuss effectively online across social media platforms, but they have to think strategically and what better way to do this is to practice these strategies yourself to manage your own reputation. Great tips / best practices as well as highlighting some excellent examples and case studies to review. I also liked the overview she provided for each type of platform.
- Real time Marketing and PR by David M. Scott: Great insights related to not only current trends in social media, but really provides good insights into research and analytics that would be very useful for students to be aware of. Discussion of strategies and case studies are also discussed. David has several other great books you may want to check out as well that is presented on his website.
- Return on Influence by Mark Schaefer: Great insight related to the issue of influence – how it is used, specific case studies, and main characteristics and attributes we have to consider when we are looking at influence from a strategic communications perspective. I have had the pleasure of listening to webinars and presentations by Mark – and he is very generous with his insights about this area in his book. Definitely one to have on your bookshelf or in your iBook app.
- Branding Yourself by Erick Deckers and Kyle Lacy: Definitely a must have for students who are interested in establishing an online presence or manage their reputation effectively online. This should be a strongly recommended book for students who have questions about how to 1) establish a blog; 2) create and maintain their true online persona and 3) how to strategically use social media platforms to manage your online reputation consistently with various audiences.
- The Power of Infographics by Mark Smicilkas: We are seeing more students are getting involved in creative and design classes, and this has caused the rise of info graphics to visualize data into posters, images, and other files to be shared, embedded in blog posts and press releases, and uploaded in various forms (ex. presenting data from reports, resumes, visual press releases). Another good book for students who are interested in the creative aspect of social media to have. You can even order the book from their FB page.
In summary, professors have to make sure they not only have the right tools and resources to be prepared in their own research and consulting in social media, but we have to make sure to give our students these same tools for them to be successful. Books and great resources like these are going to be very valuable for students to have to reference and study from in their coursework.
These are just a few that I have listed for my students to review, but in some areas, we have to make sure we provide them with additional articles, reports, white papers, research studies, and blog posts to help them get a comprehensive overview on various topics related to social media and mobile technologies. In addition, it is key to also have a resource list that gives students online sources that they would need to follow to keep most up-to-date on the latest emerging technologies. From blogs to white papers to agencies in social media and strategic communications practice, these are just a few of the resources to share with students in social media and PR classes.
Hope you all are having a great day!