Digital Communication

Instructor:Lilia Bondareva
Updated:4 February, 2016

Course Summary

This course focuses on information design and computer-mediated technologies that support communications efforts within an organizational context. Relevant issues such as digital content development, effective planning and implementation will be addressed. The course equips students with the essential understanding of machine-assisted and digital communication principles, strategies for public relations campaigns in the digital environment, application of mobile technologies, and mechanisms of digital channel optimization.

Course Format

Hours of lectureHours of discussionHours of independent studyTotal numbers of hours

Please note that the time spent on independent study exceeds hours of lecture and discussion.

Course Content

The course will cover the following topics:

  1. Computer technologies and technical communication in the 21st century.
  2. Evolution of digital communication.
  3. Strategies of digital PR support.
  4. Digital identity of an organization.
  5. Information design.
  6. Audience segmentation and analysis.
  7. Website optimization for real-time communications.
  8. Elements of an effective corporate website.
  9. Digital content management.
  10. Planning social media content.
  11. The language of social media.
  12. Elements of an effective corporate blog.
  13. Human-machine communication in professional environment.
  14. Digital technologies for crisis communication.
  15. Application of mobile technology.
  16. Digital communication in multicultural environment.
  17. Monitoring, measuring, and efficiency evaluation of digital communication tools.
  18. Strategic PR planning in digital environment.
  19. PR support for a project in digital environment.

Reading List

Required reading:

  1. Merry Aronson, Don Spetner, Carol Ames (2007). The Public Relations Writer’s Handbook. The Digital Age. Jossey-Bass.
  2. Lawrence Ang (2014). Principles of Integrated Marketing Communications. Cambridge University Press.

Recommended reading:

  1. Rachel Spilka (2010). Digital Literacy for Technical Communication. Routledge.
  2. David Meerman Scott (2012). Real-time Marketing and PR. John Wiley&Sons, Inc.
  3. Martin Ford (2009). The Lights in the Tunnel. Acculant.
  4. Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen (2013). The New Digital Age. Alfred A Knopf.
  5. Studies in Communication Sciences. Elsevier. science/journal/14244896

Online resources:

  1. Web 2.0 Marketing Communications
  2. Websites of private, public, and nonprofit organizations.

Homework Assignments

Homework will be assigned weekly. You will be expected to study the books from the reading list and to analyze various cases. You will participate in forums on issued raised during the course, write three essays and prepare a project.


It is a pass/fail course. To get a pass, you should complete all the assignments.