COM 427 M001
Social Media for Communicators
Monday & Wednesday 2:15 - 3:35 pm
Newhouse 1 Rm. 102
Dr. William Ward
I.A.: Shuai Wang
NH 2, 339
Office: NH1, 115
Mon. & Thur. Noon – 2 PM
Tues. 1:30 – 3:30 PM
or by appointment (Also via G+ Hangouts)
Twitter Class Hash tag #NewhouseSM4
Class Description: This course examines the strategic use of digital and social media
platforms and tools for public communications. There is an emphasis on hands-on
experience and skill. Students will analyze various digital and social media platforms
and tools for developing professional profiles, creating professional learning networks,
creating professional content, engaging and collaborating. Students will learn how to
use social media to conduct research, improve job performance, increase
communication effectiveness and efficiency, and develop strategies for integrating,
evaluating and planning social media to achieve positive results. Students will critically
assess social media and research future developments of social media in public
Course Objectives: Upon completion of this class students going into public
communications should, among other things:
Understand the history & culture of social media, the difference between personal
& professional social media engagement, social media in organizations,
industries and professions in public communications
• Learn digital literacy and social media etiquette for writing and social
media engagement with a variety of social media platforms and tools
• Develop team building and collaborations skills through the professional use and
integration of multiple social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+,
PearlTrees… and many more emerging platforms.
• Gain insight through hands-on technical experience with professional social
sharing, listening, monitoring, and analytics using Hootsuite Pro and other digital
• Evaluate internal and external social media strategy and integration from an
interdisciplinary perspective across multiple departments and industries in public
Text: Course readings and content will be delivered entirely digital and online and
mostly available for free. You will be able to access course readings and content
daily/weekly. Case studies, readings, videos, industry guest speakers, and other course
content will be delivered using numerous Digital and Social Media platforms and tools.
You will be accessing the course content with many Social Media and Digital platforms
and tools and will be learning how to use them professionally.
Social Media and Digital Platforms including RSS feeds, blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google / G+,
Facebook, Pinterest … and many more.
Grade Determination: Your final grade will be based upon the following:
In-class Social Media Participation
Outside Class Social Media Participation & Klout Score
Two Outside Events
(NewhouseGLDSM or alternative proposals)
Final Team Teaching Presentations
93 – 100%
90 – 92
87 – 89
83 – 86
80 – 82
77 – 79
73 – 76
70 – 72
67 - 69
63 - 66
60 – 62
59 or less
Skills: Students will learn by doing. Students will gain hands on experience with new
digital tools and social media platforms to understand and evaluate best practices and
strategy being used by professionals in public communications today.
Classroom Expectations: I enjoy an open and informal classroom atmosphere. You
are encouraged to share information and personal experiences, and ask questions
during lectures and discussions. The most effective learning takes place during twoway communication. Your classroom participation is encouraged inside and out of the
classroom and your grade will reflect your contributions. Digital and Social Media
participation is mandatory.
Requirements: You will be required to bring your laptop and/or tablet devices to
every class. Mobile Smartphone use is also encouraged during class but you will still
need to bring your laptop and/or tablet every time. Smartphones do not allow enough
editing and viewing capabilities to be sufficient for class purposes.
Reminder: Laptop, tablet and mobile devices are to be used for class and professional
purposes only during class, not for personal social interactions.
In-Class Social Media Participation 60 points (10%): Being present in class and
contributing to class discussions face-to-face and online will result in a higher grade.
Failure to participate in class activities and repeatedly arriving late or being absent will
lower your participation grade. Digital and Social Media participation is mandatory.
Attendance at all class meetings is expected in order to assure an even flow of
information and a minimum of disruption for both me and the other members of your
class. An absence will lower your grade, plus participation points for assignments done
in class. Special accommodation will not be made for you if you miss an assignment or
a deadline. Late assignments will not be accepted, nor made up without my prior
Outside of Class Social Media Engagement - Klout Score 60 points (10%): Klout
measures influence based on your ability to drive action on social networks, and how
you drive more engaging and relevant professional content for everyone. It is one way
that communication industry employers are evaluating your social media experience
and potential. You will learn how to use social media like a pro and your influence score
will improve on professional topics of interest throughout the semester.
Two Outside Events (NewhouseGLDSM or alternative proposals) 60 points (10%):
The Newhouse Global Leaders In Digital and Social Media Speaker series explores
innovative digital and social media engagement from around the world. Speakers
represent leadership in thought and innovation in their fields. Attending live events and
participating with social media back channels in real-time is required. Social
communication before and after an event is also required.
Note: If students are not able to attend these two events due to schedule conflicts they
are welcome to propose attending alternative outside events that emphasize social
media leadership and innovation.
Weekly Assignments – “To Do” List 180 points (30%): Students learn by doing.
Learning does not take place once a week during class but on a frequent and regular
basis. The weekly “To Do” list includes 20 daily/weekly tasks related to the topic for that
week that require class reflection outside of class to demonstrate conceptual
understanding and insight. Digital and Social Media participation require application and
use of digital and mobile tools and social media platforms for professional purposes.
Final Team Teaching Presentations 240 points (40%): Student teams will design,
implement, and present a multi-media ‘deep dive’ presentation to teach the class on
some aspect of the course subject matter. Team teaching will include 15 minute multimedia presentations followed by discussion. Examples of presentation subjects include
but are not limited to: case study of a media organization’s social media best practice,
an in-depth analysis of a particular digital tool or social media platform, a look at social
media in specific public communication industries, etc. Instructor approval is required.
Class Schedule: The following schedule is for reference only. The dates, other than
the final exam date, are approximates. We will make every attempt to stay as close to
these target dates as possible. Topics are subject to change.
The weekly “To Do” list includes daily/weekly tasks related to the topic for that
week that require class reflection outside of class to demonstrate conceptual
understanding and insight.
Go to the class blog to find more in depth information on our class assignments,
readings, and projects.
Week 1 – January 13: Defining Social Media, The History & Culture of Social
Media – Setting up Professional Profiles on Social Media
Syllabus - COM 427 Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., Jan. 19 (Online)
Week 2 – January 20: Society and Effects of Social Media – Professional Social
Media Policies & Guidelines, Engaging Professionally on Social Media
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., Jan. 26 (Online)
Week 3 – January 27: Ownership and Changing Environment of Social Media –
Social Media Integration & Using a Social Media Management System
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., Feb. 2 (Online)
Week 4 – February 3: Social Media Monitoring & Listening
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., Feb. 9 (Online)
Week 5 – February 10: Using Social Media for Research
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., Feb. 16 (Online)
NewhouseSU COM 427 Social Media U Need 2 Know #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014
Team Teaching Presentations
TOPIC/READING ASSIGNMENT (cont.)
Week 6 – February 17: Organizational Social Media Strategy
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" List & Reading
List- Due Sun., Feb. 23 (Online)
Week 7 – February 24: Social Media Content Creation
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., Mar. 2 (Online)
Week 8 - March 3: Social Media Content Creation & Curation
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., Mar. 9 (Online)
Week 9 – March 10 – 16 Spring Break
Week 10 – March 17: Big Data, Data Analytics & Measuring ROI of Social Media
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., Mar. 23 (Online)
Week 11 – March 24: Social Media & the Law
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., Mar. 30 (Online)
Week 12 – March 31: Social Media for Journalists
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., April. 6 (Online)
Week 13 – April 7 Social Media for Advertising & PR
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., April. 13 (Online)
Week 14 – April 14 Social Media for Television, Radio & Film
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., April. 20 (Online)
Week 15 – April 21 The Future of Social Media
Social Media for Communicators #NewhouseSM4 Spring 2014 "To Do" & Reading List Due Sun., April. 27 (Online)
Week 16 – April 28 Final Exam Week
SU’s religious observances policy can be found at
http://supolicies.syr.edu/emp_ben/religious_observance.htm. SU recognizes the
diversity of faiths represented among the campus community and protects the rights of
students, faculty and staff to observe religious holy days according to their tradition.
Students will be provided an opportunity to make up any examination, study or work
requirements that may be missed due to a religious observance provided they notify the
instructor before the end of the second week of classes. Students who plan to observe a
religious holiday this term must use the online notification process on myslice. This is
only available the first two weeks of classes.
“Syracuse University sets high standards for academic integrity. Those standards are
supported and enforced by students, including those who serve as academic integrity
hearing panel members and hearing officers. The presumptive sanction for a first
offense is course failure, accompanied by the transcript notation “Violation of the
Academic Integrity Policy.” The standard sanction for a first offense by graduate
students is suspension or expulsion. Students should review the Office of Academic
Integrity online resource “Twenty Questions and Answers About the Syracuse University
Academic Integrity Policy” and confer with instructors about course-specific citation
methods, permitted collaboration (if any), and rules for examinations. The Policy also
governs the veracity of signatures on attendance sheets and other verification of
participation in class activities. Additional guidance for students can be found in the
Office of Academic Integrity resource: ‘What does academic integrity mean?’”
The Academic Integrity Policy: http://academicintegrity.syr.edu/academic-integritypolicy/
Twenty Questions and Answers about the Academic Integrity
What does academic integrity mean?: http://academicintegrity.syr.edu/what-doesacademic-integrity-mean/
Persons With Disabilities
If you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, please contact the Office
of Disability Services (ODS), disabilityservices.syr.edu, located at 804 University
Avenue, room 309 or call 315 443 4498 for an appointment to discuss your needs and
the process for requesting accommodations. ODS is responsible for coordinating
disability-related accommodations and will issue students with documented disabilities
“Accommodation Authorization Letters,” as appropriate. Since accommodations may
require early planning and generally are not provided retroactively, please contact ODS
as soon as possible.
Our community values diversity and seeks to promote meaningful access to educational
opportunities for all students. Syracuse University and the Newhouse faculty are
committed to your success and to supporting Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973 as amended and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). This means that in
general no individual who is otherwise qualified shall be excluded from participation in,
be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity,
solely by reason of having a disability.
You are also welcome to contact your professor privately to discuss your academic
needs although faculty cannot arrange for disability-related accommodations.
Use of Student Work (FERPA)
The professor will use academic work that you complete this semester for educational
purposes in this course during this semester. Your registration and continued enrollment
constitute your permission. The professor will use academic work that you complete this
semester in subsequent semesters for educational purposes. Before using your work for
that purpose, your professor is required to either get your written permission or render
the work anonymous by removing all your personal identification. Use of Social Media
constitutes your permission as search engines archive all content created for this class.