Social Media in Strategic Communication (undergraduate/graduate)
Course description: Developments in information technology and online social networking have posed opportunities and challenges for those who practice and research strategic communication. What are the implications of new digital communication technologies, in particular social media, for organizations’ building and managing relationships with their target audiences? How can organizations – corporate, governmental, and nonprofit – use social media to improve their image and brand? This course explores possible answers to these and other questions related to advertising, marketing, and public relations in the networked age. In doing so, we will examine significant changes in strategic communication approaches brought about by the networked information society. We will also study effective ways for organizations to identify social technographics of key audiences, create social media content, disseminate messages, and evaluate social media-based strategic communication initiatives. This course combines theoretical and hands-on approaches to issues. Students are expected to critically assess scholarly papers and develop informed perspectives on central issues. In conjunction with theoretical understandings of social media, students will study and use different social media applications throughout the semester. Students will work in groups to analyze, evaluate, and develop social media strategies for organizations chosen for their case study research.
Research Methods in Strategic Communication (undergraduate)
Course description: This course is to help students build skills for designing, conducting, interpreting, and presenting research related to marketing and strategic communications. These include basics of qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis, techniques for measuring key concepts in strategic communications, and ethical conduct of research. This course also covers how developments of information technology, such as social media, have affected ways of conducting social science research. As part of the class, students will work in groups to identify research problems, design and conduct research, and report research results relevant to the organization chosen for this class. Research is an integral part of communications planning and management, and businesses and other organizations are investing more and more resources on research in support of effective decision-making. Thus, research skills have become increasingly relevant to students’ career goals in the field of mass communications.
Advanced Public Diplomacy in Communications (graduate)
Course description: In the age of information technology and online social networking, “connectedness” is increasingly considered as a measure of power, and it is at the heart of public diplomacy in the 21st century. How can countries – whether through governmental or nongovernmental institutions – be effectively connected with global publics in this digital environment? How would this environment affect global publics’ understandings of those countries and international events? This course explores possible answers to these and other questions related to implementations and challenges of public diplomacy in the networked age. We will examine characteristics of the networked information society, various types of connectedness, the actors involved, and specific case studies related to the topics. In exploring these issues, the course combines theory, research, and practice of public diplomacy. Students are expected to critically assess scholarly papers and form their own perspectives on central issues. We will learn research methods that can be applied in implementing and evaluating network-based public diplomacy. In addition, students are expected to engage in serious discussion with seminar guest speakers who are practicing public diplomacy in government, nongovernmental organizations, and United Nations.