As a part of the Unlocking the Economic Potential of Digital Media program, the International Center for Journalists organized a six-week online course on January 15, 2015 entitled "Branding for media professionals." The online course, created especially for this program, aimed to teach the 29 participants how to use digital tools to build their "brands" or promote their enterprises by cultivating an image or reputation. The course builds upon what the fellows learned during the Professional Fellows Program and would be directly applicable to promoting the enterprises that they envisioned during the program.
The course consisted of six unites coaching participants in tactics to build their brands via digital tools. The units, which include readings and assignments, are:
- Introduction and overview, including an examination of why journalists and other media professionals should be considered about their brand.
- Google: How to craft your content to maximize how high it will be ranked in search results; and how media professionals can take advantage of free Google tools.
- Twitter, including how to attract followers; using Twitter for journalism; tools to help you use Twitter more efficiently;
- Facebook, including forms of Facebook presence beyond a Facebook page; best practices; and privacy concerns.
- Blogging and other tools: How to build your brand by maintaining a blog; adding multimedia content
The course that was taught in Arabic was developed by veteran media trainer Steve Buttery, taught by Egyptian trainer and ICFJ alumni Ahmed Esmat, and managed by media development consultant Natasha Tynes.