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Current Trends in Digital Communication

Whether you have knowledge and experience in one or more digital applications, or almost none, this course will ensure your grasp of digital media is comprehensive, solid and up to date. It will give you a broad overview of the technology, its current uses in organizations and society, and its potential and implications for the future. It will provide knowledge and skills that form a strong base for immediate application in the workplace as well as for later courses in the program.

Dates/Times: September 18, 25, October 2, 9 16, 23 (6:00 pm - 9:00 pm) AND  October 4, 18 (9:00 am - 4:00 pm)
Fee: $995.00
Alumni and Current Students Fee:  $845.75

This course is part of the Certificate in Digital Content and Community Management Program. For more information, click here.


Principles of digital communication. Overview of current uses of internet-based media (websites, blogs, social networks) in public relations, direct marketing, internal communications, fundraising, consumer relations and reputation management.  Trends and best practices in digital and social media technologies, as well as their appropriate use for different organizations and objectives. Effective online community management. Tried-and-true as well as trending uses of widely used platforms, and the shift to mobile applications. Measurement and evaluation strategies, methods and resources. The mutual influence of traditional and digital media.


30 hours in class plus approximately 15 hours for readings and assignments


At the end of this course the participants will be able to:

  • Understand the evolution of social media and its current place in the communications mix
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of those social networks which are key to the North American market
  • Implement social media tactics based on strategic considerations
  • Apply best practices to digital campaigns and community management
  • Establish key metrics and determine ROI for social media campaigns

Topics Covered

  • History and principles of digital communication. Overview of trends and best practices. Online resources and research.
  • Current uses of Internet-based media (websites, blogs, social media) in marketing communications, direct marketing, and consumer relations.
  • Current uses of Internet-based media in grassroots projects and fundraising
  • Online community management best practices.
  • Choosing the appropriate uses of digital media communications.
  • Tracking of on-line communication, replying, engaging, reporting.
  • Measurement and evaluation of digital media projects.
  • Current uses of Internet-based media in public and media relations, crisis communications and reputation management.


Michelle Sullivan has 13 years of experience as a public relations strategist. Among the country’s earliest social media adopters, she was the first PR specialist in Quebec to develop social media campaigns for her clients. Michelle has provided social media strategic insight as head of digital communications for the Montreal and Quebec City offices of Hill & Knowlton Strategies (Canada’s top-rated public affairs and public relations consultancy), as well as for Rogers Communications. Currently at the helm of Michelle Sullivan Communications, a private consultancy, Michelle is a frequent lecturer on the subjects of social media and media relations, and teaches a course on media relations at l’Université de Montréal. Her background also includes stakeholder relations, marketing communications, internal communication, spokesperson training, web marketing, speech writing, and crisis communications for sectors as varied as health, tech, food, automotive, mining, culture, beauty and non-profit. She sits on several boards, including Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education, Awesome Montreal, the Association of Personal Historians and the Laurentian Club, providing strategic communications insight to professional associations and NGOs. Michelle holds an Honours B.A. from the University of Western Ontario (gold medal winner) and a Diploma in Education from McGill University.

Contact Information

Telephone: 514-398-5454
E-mail: pd [dot] conted [at] mcgill [dot] ca