Filling knowledge gaps through training

My most recent position involved Web application management and Web content management inside the firewall: intranets, an internal WordPress blog, a MediaWiki installation, and SharePoint governance and site collection management. My previous positions were Marketing Communications positions, including writing and producing brochures, direct mail pieces, Web content, print ads, etc. and also trade show management and user group management.

The direction I’d like to go with my next job combines both – managing Web content outside the firewall, where I can leverage my marketing communication knowledge to use the Web site as an extension of a marketing program. The piece I was missing to do that was the whole area of using social media to spread the marketing message, and also search engine marketing (SEO, pay per click, etc.) I’ve been trying to fill that gap through training, and practicing those principals on this site, my business site, and my brother’s book site.

I just completed a three day course at Dakota County Technical College, the first offering for this course, called Certified Master of Social Media (CMSM). This course was a good overview of how companies can incorporate social media to build their brand and engage with customers – an important part of any PR or marketing program. At the end there was a certification exam, and there are plans to follow up with an online community and continuing education to dive deeper into specific areas of social media. It was also an excellent networking opportunity, and I learned about several groups where people involved in social media in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area meet to discuss issues around social media and interactive marketing.

Also through DCTC, I’m taking two online courses: Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. All of these concepts are so interrelated now that I think this combination of training, and practicing on the sites under my control, will enable me to offer a much more “full service” offering to a company I may work for, or to companies I may consult with if I choose to take that route.

All of this training was paid for by the Dislocated worker program (see Government Assistance for Dislocated Workers for more info on services that unemployed workers should check out).

About Pat Wolesky

I'm a renaissance woman in some ways. Professionally I do Web content management, knowledge management and communications. I also do watercolor painting, compose and perform music, do nature photography, and am the devoted slave to two cats and a moderator of the About.com Cats forum.
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