This course has been a real pleasure to be a part of.
Of the four courses I signed up for in Algonquin’s part-time online social media certificate program, this is the one that I felt I had the greatest opportunity to excel in. I’ve always considered my communication skills an essential part of my personality and as an essential talent that has managed to transcend both my education and my work. In particular, I’ve always felt like I had a finger on the pulse of digital communication and the diverse ways and platforms through which people choose to interact with each other on the vast landscape of the Internet.
In this course, I’ve learned the value of telling a story. I’ve not only learned to tell my own story, but I’ve been able to look at real organization and businesses and look at the stories they’ve been telling. I’ve learned to be critical of these stories and have managed to identify the things that work and don’t work in the storytelling that some of my favourite brands partake in – or even fail to partake in!
At a theoretical level, one of my favourite takeaways from this course is engaging in the discourse of authenticity in the digital world. What is authenticity and can it really exist? Have “real stories” become extinct on social media when very rarely is a story told without an audience in mind? Several of my blog posts and my discussion forum answers have engaged with this question and the process has allowed me to cement my own educated opinion on the topic.
I’ve realized that the stories I want to tell are honest ones; they might not always be authentic, but they certainly can be honest. I’ve also discovered my own personal style of digital communication. Humour and entertainment are two focal points of my personality and I like for that to translate into my writing. A tongue-in-cheek tone lightens up my content and (hopefully) makes it more readable – for my personal brand at least.
Ultimately I’ve learned that all content is guided by storytelling. Knowing your audience is essential in figuring out how best to communicate your brand to them. And not only that – but knowing what sort of approach is best for which sorts of audiences has always been an interest of mine and has been consolidated by the content of this course.