Assignment: Helping Organizations Participate in Social Media

Students are responsible for creating an e-book and podcast for a business or nonprofit audience that is interested in participating in social media.

1. E-Book

An e-book is a short electronic manual that can be downloaded from the Internet. Your e-book should be 10 – 15 pages of copy and graphics. You can create the e-book in Word, Mac iWorks Page or even PowerPoint or Keynote.

The best e-books are a resource for your target audience and help explain a concept, relate best practices or provide instruction. You’re encouraged to look at some examples online.

Best practices:

  • Have something worth reading! Be interesting and add something to the conversation. You’re not writing for me, you’re creating a resource for an organization to better understand the concepts we’re discussing.
  • Visually interesting. Not heavy on text. Notice most ebooks use a larger font, include some design elements (pictures, borders, clever fonts where appropriate). In fact, most individual pages don’t have more than 200 words. We’re not talking a term paper… this is a resource!
  • Most e-books are in landscape mode (rather than regular portrait style).

2. Podcast

A podcast is an audio file than can be downloaded from the Web or subscribed to. You can think about this podcast as an audio version of an e-book.  Your podcast should be 10 – 15 minutes in length. It must include at least one interview with a social media practitioner or consultant.

Best Practices:

  • A podcast should be conversational and natural. It should not be scripted.
  • Create a podcast around a topic worth listening to. It should be a resource, provide good information, examples and case studies.
  •  Listen to several podcasts before beginning your own. Figure out which ones work and which don’t.


This list might be a good first step to thinking about a topic. Any of these could be also be focused on for-profit, non-profit or a particular niche like healthcare or retail or HR.

  • How to be transparent.
  • Avoiding “gotcha” moments in social media. Don’t be the next bad example.
  • Building trust with employees/customers/other audience.
  • How smart companies/nonprofits/organizations can build on the Cluetrain Manifesto.
  • How blogs influence buying/behavior decisions and how you can be a part.
  • Understanding social technographics.
  • How social media is changing customer service.
  • Alligator hunting: using social media to keep your organizations out of danger.
  • How to apply the OPEN formula (tactical transparency) to your organization.
  • Take a transparency audit.
  • In the interest of full disclosure – handling inescapable facts.
  • The Internet: Your new permanent record.
  • Dear employees, we trust you. Empowering employees to use social media to build relationships with customers.
  • How leadership can set the tone around social media.
  • Using sponsored content ethically.
  • How to monitor your brand… and respond to what you hear.


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