After a decade of working as a graphic designer, Chris McDoniel sought to advance his career by diving deeper into the marketing role. With this pursuit in mind, McDoniel accepted a new position at the Mable House Arts Center, part of Cobb County P.A.R.K.S Cultural Affairs Division. In this new role, he wears many different hats on the marketing team such as social media manager, marketing specialist and graphic designer.
“I feel like it has been a natural transition to want to learn more about the other aspects of marketing other than the visual side of things,” McDoniel said.
McDoniel received a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Kennesaw State University. His familiarity with KSU led him to consider the Social Media Marketing Certificate at the College of Continuing and Professional Education. McDoniel knew the program would not only help him expand his knowledge for his current position, but also give him the understanding of how to expand his company’s brand.
“I knew a lot about social media going into the course; however, I wanted to learn more about the different audiences each of the platforms caters to and how to really hone my target market,” he said.
McDoniel’s reasoning is shared among marketing professionals, small business owners and entrepreneurs.
“Brands are actively engaging with consumers through multiple online platforms,” said Doug Malcom, program manager. “Social media marketing has transformed the traditional one-way marketing communication process into a two-way dialogue. By building connections with the audience, you are expanding brand awareness, increasing exposure and boosting the bottom line.”
In the course, McDoniel learned the importance of staying up-to-date on social media trends as well as which platforms to focus the majority of his time on for the organization. He was also became of aware of some areas of the business that could be improved to help gain and engage more followers.
McDoniel knew the course would have a quality instructor but was amazed by the Tyra Burton’s experience in marketing and professional sales. Burton is an award-winning professor. She is renowned social media strategist, and a frequent workshop presenter and panelist on topics including social media, education and pop culture. McDoniel said Burton’s dedication to the program went beyond the classroom helping students even after graduating.
“The course has helped me build my confidence and knowledge in the ever-changing field,” he said.
Since completing the course, McDoniel has continued to research master’s degree programs. The confidence he gained in the program has given him a desire to continue growing as a professional. His goal is to become either a marketing or a creative director.
“After the course at CCPE, I now have a rekindled drive to continue furthering my knowledge of marketing as a whole,” he said.
Before the course, McDoniel’s favorite part of the industry used to focus on making quality art and graphics, now he has discovered his newfound appreciation for marketing as a profession that focuses “Interacting and building bonds with patrons.”