If I could have put my working career on hold to earn to a master’s degree in communication majoring in digital media, I would have done so.
But in fall 2014, when I decided to add professional training to my interest and on-the-job experience in this field, that wasn’t feasible.
The alternative was building my own education from continuing education / professional development collections. I started with courses aimed at working journalists via Poynter’s News University. Moving beyond that, I sought out classes and workshops aimed at social media marketers.
Many of the ideas and tools I apply on a routine basis to the social media accounts I manage such as Facebook Pages to Watch, Likealyzer, ManageFlitter, Hootsuite and Canva have come from the ideas and lessons presented in these workshops.
Here’s the list of classes and tutorials I have completed since starting this effort. ~ Paula Wethington.
Aquent / Vitamin T Gymnasium
- Writing for Web and Mobile. This course has a technical writing flair, focusing on writing content for a website that is in the design or redesign phase. Completed June 2017.
Hootsuite is one of the most widely used social media scheduling and monitoring tools.
- Hootsuite Podium: The Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing. Topics include social media strategy, growing your online community and social advertising fundamentals. Completed in January 2016.
- Hootsuite Certified Professional (social media management platform), completed in May 2015. I’ve used Hootsuite ever since for scheduling / monitoring Twitter content, posting some Facebook content and posting Google + content.
Poynter Institute’s News University
GateHouse Media required most of its newsroom employees to earn specific Poynter Institute certifications during 2016. As you can see, I had started my efforts at Poynter long before that and went beyond the requirements.
- Facebook for Journalists Certificate. Completed April 2017. This Poynter-Facebook partnership was based on three Facebook Blueprint courses I had previously completed.
- Poynter-Gatehouse Leadership Certificate for Newsroom Managers. Completed in June 2016.
- Poynter-GateHouse Social Media Strategy Certificate. Required for GateHouse reporters by June 2016. Completed in January 2016.
- Poynter-GateHouse Digital Newsgathering. Required for GateHouse reporters by June 2016. Completed in January 2016.
- Social Media Certificate 2014 edition. Completed in October 2014.
The topics in the certification lists, along with other Poynter webinars and short courses I have viewed or taken and the date I completed each, are as follows:
- Challenging Conversations. June 2016.
- Leadership Advice for our Age of Disruption. June 2016.
- Coaching Writers: 7 Questions Every Editor Should Ask. June 2016.
- FTP Made Simple. February 2016.
- How News Organizations Can Make the Most of Snapchat. January 2016.
- Say No To Clickbait: How To Make (Good) Shareable Content. January 2016.
- Using Facebook as a Reporting Tool. January 2016.
- The Life Cycle of An Investigative Story: Master Class with David Barstow. January 2016.
- Writing Headlines for Digital and Mobile Media. January 2016.
- Tools for Mobile Journalism 2015. January 2016.
- Don’t Turn Them Off: How to Improve Online Comment Sections. July 2015.
- Covering Poverty in the Suburbs. May 2015.
- Leading an Online Newsroom: What You Need to Know. May 2015.
- Advertising Revenue Boosters. May 2015.
- The Six Rules of a Digital-First Newsroom. April 2015.
- Designing Your Story with Canva: A Digital Tools Tutorial. March 2015.
- Build and Monetize Reader Relationships. February 2015.
- Build and Engage Local Audienes Online. November 2014.
- New Sources of Digital Content. November 2014.
- Tumblr for Journalists: Best Practices and Strategies. October 2014.
- Facebook for Reporting and Storytelling. October 2014.
- Advanced Twitter for Journalism. October 2014.
- Social Media: Strategies and Tools for News. September 2014.
- Short Narrative Bursts: Social Media Writing. September 2014.
- Anatomy of a Multimedia News Organization. September 2014.
The Blueprint program is Facebook’s official training library for those who use the network for business purposes. These are the modules I have completed:
- Storytelling with the Carousel Format. Completed in March 2017.
- Audience Insights. Completed in November 2016.
- How Journalists Can Best Utilize Facebook and Instagram. Completed in October 2016.
- Connect and Engage with Your Audience Using Facebook Live. Completed in October 2016.
- Facebook and Instagram. Completed in October 2016.
- Ads Create Tool. Completed in May 2015.
- Introduction to Facebook Pages. Completed in May 2015.
- Creating a Facebook Page. Completed in May 2015.
- Creative Best Practices. Completed in May 2015.
- Facebook Terminology. Completed in May 2015.
- Managing Online Communities by Megan Adams. Completed October 2016.
- Social Media for Nonprofits by Olivia Uribe-Martel. Completed October 2016.
- SEO Training Course by MOZ. Completed in October 2016; completed updated series in May 2017.
- Start a Social Media Management Business hosted by SoMe Academy. Completed February 2017.
- Social Media Marketing 2017 hosted by SoMe Academy. Completed January 2017.
- Public Affairs: How to Be a Government / PIO Spokesperson by T.J. Walker. Completed in November 2016.
Kate Buck Jr.
Kate Buck Jr.’s workshops and resources are aimed at social media managers who run their own agencies or handle brand accounts.
- Social Media Manager Pro. Completed in September 2015.
- Website Pro. Completed in September 2015.
- Social Media Mangers Facebook group. Ongoing, active participant in the group discussions.
Social Marketers (Social Ms)
This is a company run by siblings Johnathan and Susanna Gebauer.
- Social Web Traffic short course, concurrently reading The Social Traffic Code, completed in December 2016.
- Canva Design School. Worked through the tutorials starting in 2015. completed the “Design Essentials” modules in February 2017.
Other continuing education:
- Twitter Flight School. Completed in June 2016.
- Corporate partner Tout training. Took both the reporter and admin webinars in May 2016.
- Kim Garst. Kim is considered one of the top experts in Twitter and also has been teaching numerous other social media tools. I completed her Kim Garst’s “Dominating Facebook’s News Feed 2.0” course in May 2016. Through that course and other training modules, books and ebooks I was introduced to and learned how to use Post Planner social media scheduling tool, Ripl animation app, Typorama text graphics app and the Canva visual app.
- Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certificate, completed in April 2015 and in May 2016.