New VCU online course focuses on media strategy during COVID-19 pandemic

A drawing of handheld devices displaying "COVID-19" and virus images.
Digital Media Strategies for the COVID-19 Crisis is being offered by the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture in the College of Humanities and Sciences, in partnership with the VCU Office of Continuing and Professional Education. (Getty Images)

A new Virginia Commonwealth University online course designed to help businesses or institutions effectively communicate with the public during the COVID-19 pandemic is open for registration. Digital Media Strategies for the COVID-19 Crisis is being offered by the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture in the College of Humanities and Sciences in partnership with the VCU Office of Continuing and Professional Education

Jeanine Guidry.
"COVID-19 is a crisis like we have not seen in most of our lifetimes,” said Jeanine Guidry, who is teaching a new online course designed to help businesses or institutions communicate with the public during the pandemic. (Courtesy photo)

The course is being offered for academic credit as an independent study for undergraduate students, and is open to VCU and VCU Health employees. It is also being offered as a noncredit course for professionals in the community. Led by Jeanine Guidry, Ph.D., an assistant professor of public relations, students will explore digital media strategies for nonprofit messaging and campaigns. Digital Media Strategies for the COVID-19 Crisis will cover the following topics:

  • Concepts of successful digital campaigns
  • Online audience outreach through social media
  • Digital media analytics
  • Misinformation identification and targeting
  • Development of digital health campaigns in response to the COVID-19 crisis

The course was developed under the leadership of Marcus Messner, Ph.D., interim director of the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture.

"The Robertson School is proud and excited to offer this timely course to give our students, colleagues and professionals the digital tools and strategies to communicate about this crisis," Messner said. "Dr. Guidry is a national leader in digital health communication research and social media education. Course participants will be learning from one of the best researchers and educators in this field."

COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, is a major challenge for society, the health sector, and those who communicate with the public for health departments, hospitals and health-related nonprofit organizations.

Guidry is the director of the Media+Health Lab. Her work focuses on digital media and infectious diseases and has been published in journals such as Vaccine, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Public Relations Review, American Behavioral Scientist, the Journal of Social Marketing and more.

“COVID-19 is a crisis like we have not seen in most of our lifetimes,” Guidry said. “Our world has changed, but we are grateful to be able to offer a course that will provide professionals in many different fields with practical tools to help make a difference during this pandemic.”

To learn more and register, visit the Digital Media Strategies for the COVID-19 Crisis page.

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