Prior to the rise of the Internet, communication specialists were either traditionally employed as journalists or worked for public relations agencies. However, today’s digital world has opened up the scope of opportunities for communication experts. Communication skills are highly sought after and most businesses, large and small, employ dedicated people to handle every aspect of both internal and external communications for them. An online communication degree teaches students how to convey all kinds of information effectively. Internal communications help to educate all employees on company goals, policies, and core values. Effective external efforts are essential to market products and services and build strong relationships with the public, customers, and investors.
Skills Gained with a BA in Communication Degree
A typical curriculum consists of courses that can give students in-depth knowledge and skills in several critical aspects of communication:
- Effective writing. Written content is essential for communicating a company’s message, whether internally to the workforce, or externally to customers, investors and the public. Students may learn to master a wide array of writing styles, from AP to Chicago, while honing their writing skills.
- Branding. A company’s brand is the ideal representation of its public image in the marketplace. Companies strive to maintain consistency through all their messaging, including advertisements, web content and social media communications, to ensure all content aligns with the brand. Students learn how to identify and craft brands for companies while developing the skills to ensure consistent branding through all communications.
- Digital marketing. Digital platforms and social media have largely replaced print media for advertising and marketing. Students learn the ins and outs of digital marketing to cultivate a company’s brand. Digital communication courses provide students with invaluable training in this field to enable them to craft high-quality web content and drive advertising and marketing campaigns on social media to achieve maximum impact.
- Media intelligence. It is critical that communication experts learn how to identify competitor strengths and weaknesses, and analyze market sectors for new marketing opportunities. Communication students learn how to use media intelligence and competitive analysis tools to develop effective marketing strategies.
- Data analysis. Analysis of website performance, advertising and marketing campaigns enables companies to evaluate their return on investment and make changes where necessary. Students learn to use data analytics to determine where a company should direct its marketing efforts.
Common Courses for BA in Communication Students
These are some of the common courses offered for this degree. Though actual course titles may vary depending on the university, many communication programs offer courses that touch on the following concepts:
Writing as a Strategic Communication Tool. Students learn the basics of developing and writing persuasive and creative messages to achieve an organization’s strategic communication goals and objectives. Emphasis is placed on using research to develop strategic platforms for message production, evaluate writing and message effectiveness.
Research and Strategy Development. This type of course often focuses on developing research-based strategy and tactics for an organization’s internal and external communications to create new campaigns or solve organizational problems. Course topics include understanding the best practice models and case studies, and how to manage communication situations.
Social Media Campaigns. Designing and creating innovative social media campaigns is an essential tool for helping companies to craft a public narrative about their value in society. Students can learn to evaluate organizational social media efforts, create and design social media campaigns for various purposes, and provide recommendations about how to improve a company’s social media efforts.