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Digital Marketing & Public Relations Certificate

Woman writing down content strategy


Spring 2021 Dates TBD (6 Fridays)
9 am to 3:30 pm
Offered online via Zoom
Cost: $119 per workshop / $640 for entire certificate
5.5 SHRM PDC Credits

Instructors: Justin Belleme, Sarah Benoit, Betty Farmer, Caitlin Penna, and Scott Rader.

Register Online

Create an online marketing communications strategy and powerhouse digital toolbox by completing six, full-day workshops taught by expert marketing and public relations professionals from JB Media, Insight Marketing, and Farmer Communications.

Learn the new rules of marketing and PR and explore the advantages of digital communications. Gain new insights into PR & marketing strategy, branding, budgeting, online content creation, video creation and use, social media and how to effectively track marketing and PR results.

Complete as many workshops as you'd like in a semester, and you'll receive a certificate after attending all six. Workshops will be offered again in the spring. You can select the workshops you'd like to attend during the registration process. 

"Great class for someone who has not been refreshed on marketing in years. Thanks so much."

"So excited to attend more of these sessions."

"I learned a lot, It will help me in the future and increased my desire to continue on at WCU."


Marketing and Public Relations in the Digital Age -
Instructor: Betty Farmer, Farmer Communications

  • Traditional vs. Digital Marketing & PR 
  • Fundamentals of Marketing & PR 
  • Components of the Marketing Plan
  • Engagement Expectations in PR 
  • The Ideal of Integrated Communications

Social Media Listening -
Instructor: Scott Rader, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship + Center for the Study of Free Enterprise at WCU College of Business

Conversations are happening in social media about your brand, your employees and management, your products and services, your competitors, your customers, and your industry. Do you know what's being said? Social media marketing cannot effectively occur without a "situation analysis" to understand the broader discourse that is occurring at blinding speed, building up over time, and "sticking around" for all to see. Brands and organizations need to have a systematic handle on knowing their online reputation -- their "social media footprint" -- and this course will help establish and evolve that important aspect of modern marketing research.


  1. Understand how brands and organizations are (humbly) situated within the wider purview of target audiences' everyday "lifestreams"
  2. Develop and refine initial keyword "pools" to begin discovering audience conversations as it relates to your organization and its offerings
  3. Walk away with a procedural template that accomplishes both social listening and organizational action to address finding

Current & Tested Social Media Strategies for Digital Marketing -
Instructors: Sarah Benoit and Justin Belleme, JB Media

Craft your organizational or product story and learn to be more memorable and shareable:

  • Identify the right audiences for your messages
  • Learn about how social media algorithms work and the art of increasing reach and engagement
  • Enhance your media outreach and public relations with social media strategies
  • Outline plans for onsite event coverage and social media communications
  • Evaluate various account management tools
  • Learn how to develop successful marketing partnerships and connect with influencers
  • Quantify the value of social advertising campaigns for event, product, and program promotion

Intro to Content Marketing -
Instructor: Scott Rader, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship + Center for the Study of Free Enterprise at WCU College of Business

There is no market for advertisements. In the era of fast and fluid social media and brand engagement (where it is even possible), consumers are in control and rarely tolerate "promotional clutter" alongside intensely personal and personally relevant data in their social media feeds. Organizations and brands are thus faced with a challenge in the "attention economy": how to navigate in an increasingly "marketing averse" and cluttered media world. Delivering useful, shareable, free content is the new roadmap for brand awareness and customer relations management. But most organizations and even marketing agencies are ill-equipped.


  1. Analyze case studies to understand empirically "what works" in terms of content marketing
  2. Understand how to assess what your audience(s) want to "hear" in terms of content
  3. Develop an outline and structure for content, including editorial calendar and initial content outlines intended for distribution in social media channels

Best Practices for including Video in Your Content Strategy -
Morning Session - Instructor: Caitlin Penna, University Photographer at Western Carolina University

  • How to plan, shoot, and edit your own footage
  • What equipment options do I have - from simple mobile equipment to professional cameras (we will have some small overlap with this topic but from a very DIY perspective)
  • Best practices for lighting
  • Best practices for audio
  • How to generate content ideas for your video (we will have some small overlap with this topic)
  • The language of video production - common terminology, file formats, and technical tools

Afternoon Session - Instructor: Sarah Benoit, JB Media

  • Learn about the variety of DIY video production and editing tools available via social media and apps for your mobile device and desktop
  • Identify the styles and types of videos you can create to tell your company or organization story
  • Understand the value of vlogging, podcasting, live streaming, and more
  • Review the best practices for creating a You Tube Channel and now to best use other video sites like Vimeo, Daily Motion, and more
  • Compare the benefits of DIY video VS hiring a professional videographer or production team
  • Find out how video becomes an integral part of your overall content strategy
  • Learn how video content can impact SEO, social media, and advertising strategies

Analyzing the Stats and Effectiveness of a Digital Marketing Campaign -
Instructor: Sarah Benoit, JB Media

  • Analyze and evaluate SEO results
  • Review and evaluate social media data and insights
  • Find out how data can help you continuously improve your digital marketing plan
  • Learn how to adapt when your strategy is not producing the results you want
  • Create a monthly or quarterly plan for reporting on digital marketing performance

Instructor Biographies

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