How the MS in Communication Program Helped Me Incorporate Social Media Into My Strategic Communications Plan

Jill Wyman

Jill Wyman, Student & Alumni

Starting out as a Chief Marketing Officer in 2003, I was charged with building the brand and growing awareness in our markets.  Traditional media was the logical go to at that time; no one was really using social media as part of their strategic communication plans.  It was out there but no one really knew how to include or use it to influence their target clients; I knew little about it and was not a big user of social media, so I ignored it.   

Today social media is a core part of any strategic marketing plan and cannot be ignored.   Marketers or PR practitioners use it to create trust, influence and engagement amongst their target audiences (Lipschultz, 2015). Strong brands focus on users and their motivations, behaviors, and the networks they influence (Lipschultz, 2015).   

It became very clear to me that I needed to really understand and learn more about social media today; that is one reason I chose to get my MS in Communications from Purdue University; and it changed my perspective on social media.  Instead of something I was unsure of or stayed away from, I am now using it in a strategic way to get results.   

I am halfway through the program now and each class included information on how to use social media and the importance of using a holistic approach in strategic communication plans or campaigns.  I’ve learned the types of social media and their intended uses and benefits, along with how to use them.  I have also learned how to measure social media and what things are important to measure, not just the vanity metrics of likes and followers. I can now make a business case, just like in traditional media, for why using social media drives the brand.  I just completed a social media class, and it was amazing, I learned so much, I feel like instead of running from social media I am now running toward it!  

Lipschultz, J., (2015).  Social Media Communication, Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics, Routledge, New York, NY, chapters 1 – 2.

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Jill Wyman is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.

*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.