The Best List of 40 Social PR Courses and Certifications

The Best List of Social PR Courses & Certifications

Picking the right Social PR courses and certifications can be overwhelming. As daunting it may seem, it’s also critical to stay relevant in today’s digital revolution.

The scenario: You got the diploma, crafted the perfect resume, and are ready to take on the world – but are you actually ready for a job in modern communications? Or if you managed to land a full-time gig in your field, do you still feel confident in your abilities? With the ever-evolving realm of digital marketing and communications, staying on par with industry demands is a constant struggle for both recent graduates and seasoned professionals alike. However, there is a solution to the problem at hand: continue social media learning. That’s right – through online social PR courses and certifications, you can learn the specialized knowledge that will provide you an advantage in a business world that’s full of continuous change.

Prediction: 65% of the jobs in 2020 don’t exist today.
If you’re having a hard time convincing yourself to continue your education after years of school or work experience, here are some convincing statistics on why you should consider putting in the extra effort:

  • In an independent research study, two-thirds of employers said ongoing education is “very important” for mid-level professionals
  • A CBRE report estimated that 50% of jobs would be redundant by 2025 due to technological innovation

With these statistics, there is no denying that knowledge is (professional) power. Thus, I interviewed two social media experts to find out their recommendations for social PR courses and certificate programs.

To start, I asked Lisa Buyer, editor of SocialPR Chat and author of Social PR Secrets and Dennis Yu, Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics, for suggestions on the best classes that professionals can take to bulk up their resume, credentials and expertise.

Online Marketing

Traditional marketing skills never go out of style according to Buyer. She said that understanding how to implement a marketing strategy for digital media encompasses everything from branding and public relations to SEO and web analytics.

Keeping in mind the connection of search and social, Lynda, Copyblogger, and Content Marketing Institute University all provide in-depth courses that teach the fundamentals of an online marketing strategy. With Google being a dominant influence in the digital marketing landscape, she also suggests the Google Analytics Academy and Google Online Marketing Challenge for marketers who want to learn how to use the search engine to their benefit.

Additionally, for those who are interested in a traditional program format, Udacity’s Digital Marketing Nanodegree teaches students online marketing skills specific to platforms such as MailChimp, Moz, and Facebook among others that are valued by many employers.

Social PR Musts

With an emerging need for social media specialists in the job market, it’s imperative to become equipped with a skill-set to set yourself apart. Casually practicing social media on a personal account and reading articles are old approaches that are no longer enough to stay updated in the world of social. Buyer says that to become a social media master, you need to train with the wise. Buffer’s 25-Day Email Social Media Marketing Course and the certifications offered through Hootsuite Academy are among the best sources for social media education.

More noteworthy certifications for learning how to develop a social media strategy include best-selling author Krista Neher’s Boot Camp Digital’s Online Social Media Certification. For live online training, customized social media consulting or social media certifications in less than 30 days, Boot Camp Digital is the source for companies such as Procter & Gamble, GE, General Mills as well as start-ups.

bootcampdigitalIf you are looking for certifications focused on the inbound marketing process, check out Hubspot Academy. Here you can find certifications focused on everything from inbound marketing methodology to content marketing to email marketing.

Entrepreneurs, small businesses, and corporate teams can also turn to Pam Moore’s Social Profit Factor. The online social media training course debuted this year and covers everything from Social Media 101 to Strategy to channel specific marketing including Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Social Media Channel Specific Courses

It’s a fact that each social platform has an endless amount of unique capabilities and features. To learn how to specialize marketing for a specific platform, Buyer recommends the following courses:

Marketing Masters of the Universe

Though informative, many online courses and certifications lack real-world insights. Fortunately, many of today’s top influencers offer classes to share some of their best secrets for success.

Guy Kawasaki, one of Buyer’s favorite social PR influencers, has authored classes for both Udemy and Skillshare. She recommends the below courses by Kawasaki for business-savvy professionals who want inspiration on how to jumpstart their big idea into a career:

“A good idea is about ten percent and implementation and hard work, and luck is 90 percent.” – Guy Kawasaki

For business, public relations and journalism pros, Buyer recommends entrepreneur Peter Shankman’s Master the Media, which reveals key strategies for brands to leverage media coverage. She further suggests marketing strategist David Meerman Scott’s course titled Newsjacking, which shares valuable intel on the art of generating business through breaking news.

“It’s no longer about pitching The Today Show. It’s about creating content that will attract The Today Show.” — David Meerman Scott

Are you also curious about developing a healthier mind to improve your career AND overall quality of life? Tony Robbin’s Mastery University program unveils how to master the life skills and strategies used by the world’s most distinguished and influential people. To learn how to achieve mind-body balance as well, Buyer suggests trying one of the many online courses offered by alternative medicine guru Deepak Chopra.

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” – Deepak Chopra

Would you consider furthering your social media knowledge at an internationally recognized institution? Lisa Buyer, a Social Media Management professor at The University of Florida, recommends the online master’s degree in social media offered at UF.

Digital Marketing Gems

For those interested in digging deeper into digital marketing, I asked Yu for his advice to professionals who want to expand on their abilities.

He recommends starting with the simple certifications offered natively by Google and Facebook, which are the dominant players in digital marketing.

Facebook Blueprint has over 50 mini-courses that lead to a free certification in planning or advertising, and each interactive course takes 5-15 minutes and gives you a badge at the end.

“If you are new to digital marketing, this is the quick path to apparent credibility,” Yu says. However, he warns that certifications alone are not substantial for education because they focus largely on compliance and not strategy.

Yu suggests using BlitzMetrics for specialists who want to have the necessary skills to run AdWords and Facebook campaigns. A completely free training program for young adults, Blitzmetrics for Students is ideal for individuals who want elevate their digital marketing skill-set beyond the norm.

Yu’s Favorite Resources

If you have the opportunity to hear Yu speak in person, jump on it. He is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom and you can actually catch him and Buyer speaking at Pubcon. In the meantime, here is a list of some of his favorite resources:

Social PR Ready, Set…Learn!

Are you now planning to take one of these Social PR courses or certifications? With so many easy options for courses and certifications, there’s no excuse to not continue learning.

Which Social PR course will you take now?



Image Source: Pixaby
Image Source: Hubspot Academy
Image Source: Facebook Blueprint Certificate
Image Source: Boot Camp Digital Mobile