I have tried to always look to see what new programs, services, and tools I can use and integrate into my classes at the University of Louisville.

I have been thrilled with the results my students have gotten from experiencing programs like Hootsuite University. As a professor, I am very grateful for brands like Hootsuite to create these great programs for students to get real-world experiences so they can add to their professional toolkit and be prepared for their career after graduation.

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However, one program I will be using for my StratComm Writing class this spring is Cision University. This program is run by Cision, which is a great company that focuses on PR, Media, and Social Media monitoring programs and services. Here’s what the main program and dashboard for Cision University looks like in case you were interested in seeing what the program looked like.

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I had the opportunity as the professor for the class to be part of this program. I wanted to see what were some of the features, opportunities, and challenges/benefits for my students to take advantage of for my StratComm writing course. Here were some of my observations based on their strengths in the Cision University program:

  • Very good video overview and instructions: I felt the videos were short, concise, but also showed you what were some of the main features from their dashboard. Most of the videos were about 4-5 minutes at most, but it provided you with useful resources and instructions for each section of the program. The total amount of video time you have is a little over 30 minutes.
  • Good quizzes to test knowledge about the program: I do appreciate the fact you are tested after each component of the program. It does show you what you need to review from the particular lesson.
  • Getting accredited in CisionPoint: Another great feature of this program is the fact that students are able to get accredited in another software program that will be valuable for them as professionals. This would be great to has part of their resumes.
  • Opportunities for students to use experience and lessons┬áto help students in other classes: I will be using this program for my writing class in the spring, but I will have several students in my social media class taking this one as well with me. This will be helpful for them as another tool to take advantage of and possibly integrate into their social media proposal campaign.
  • Lots of resources to download and view: Cision has a lot of great resources for professors and students to download as part of the program.
  • Like Hootsuite University, the program is free for students and professors as part of their class. Another great benefit here for professors – all you need to do is to contact Cision and register your school for the program. They are very active and engaged with you via email and I was able to get everything set up and organized for my class in a matter of a few days.

Here are some things I think Cision may want to consider improving with this particular program they have. These are just a few suggestions and observations I had while participating in the Cision University program.

  • Final Exam. The final exam was a bit tougher than the quizzes and some of the questions were a little confusing. If you do assign this for your class, you do want to make sure to let them know it may take them a bit longer than expected to complete.
  • Assignments / Table resources for professors to use for assignments: I think there are a lot of great possibilities here for professors to use this program as part of their classes, but it would be great for Cision to provide examples of how other professors have integrated this program into their curriculum. This is what Hootsuite has done that has been very interesting and helpful – and I am sure many professors would be interested in seeing this.
  • Lectures and real cases shown within the program: One of the things I like about Hootsuite University is the separate section within the program with videos, lectures, and interviews with professionals using the program. This can be done with Cision – and they do have these available in their resources option, but not within the program. I think if they were able to start off with each section with how this is being used within PR, social media, etc, that would be great to see here.

Overall, I think this is a very good program to have for your classes, especially for your writing courses or media planning courses.

I have to give a special shout out to Matt Kushin for first sharing this program and assignment on one of his blog posts. This is what gave me the incentive to explore Cision University a bit more – thanks for sharing this, Matt!

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,

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