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What Should Communications / Marketing Students Know? KoMarketing Advises

KoMarketing Managing Partner and Director of SEO & Social Media Strategies, Derek Edmond, spoke with Suzanne McDonald about developing a new media certificate program at URI. Edmond discussed KoMarketing, what they look for when hiring employees, and what the certificate should include.

KoMarketing and Derek Edmond

KoMarketing is a Boston-based company that helps clients improve their online marketing techniques in the B2B (business to business) space. The agency focuses on search engine marketing and social marketing, basing campaigns on quality content.

KoMarketing as of now has 14 full-time professionals and about half a dozen part-time or contracted positions, according to Edmond, who said as the company’s client base grows, so will its need for new employees.

According to Edmond, it could be arguably called “content marketing because we create content that is designed to either get our clients visibility in search engines, or allow us to engage in social media, one or the other. Or drive leads through both of those channels.”

Edmond has been working in social media marketing for 12 years, and has his MBA from Suffolk University, and a B.S. in Financial Economics from Buffalo State College in New York.

Suggestions for students seeking communications or marketing jobs

Edmond had some suggestions for learning strategies that might help engage students and help make the lessons last beyond learning platforms that will die out long before these students’ careers are over. He recommended using case studies, so students learn the techniques of how to deal with a problem more generally rather than only the tools on a specific platform.

He also recommended consulting experts in particular fields, such as one for SEO and one for third-party publishing, to help the students learn from professionals in the field, make networking connections, and learn a broad scope of techniques.

Edmond suggested students should also focuses on:

  • Branding
  • Reputation management
  • Broad communication strategies
  • Crisis management
  • Measurement

What does KoMarketing look for in potential employees?

“We bring in a lot of people who are going to be both creative and analytical, which sometimes is difficult to combine,” said Edmond. He said the company also looks for creativity, examples of work that they’ve done successfully, and applicants who are able to distinguish themselves from the hundreds of other applications they receive.

Additionally, creativity, hard work, and attention-to-detail are traits that the company looks for in its employees. “You really have to enjoy what you’re doing,” he added, because the job is more demanding on time than other jobs may be, since it requires you to keep up with the constantly changing social media platforms. “So another obvious thing is the desire to always want to learn,” he said.

Edmond added that it might be a good idea to do some pro-bono work for local organizations or friends to build an impressive resume and portfolio and stand out.

Looking to learn more from Derek Edmond? Both Derek and Suzanne are board members of Search Engine Marketing New England networking group, which meets regularly throughout New England.


Solopreneurs’ Guide to New Media


How to Efficiently and Effectively Manage Social Media and Everything Else


There’s little time for marketing for busy consultants and specialists, but it’s what keeps the cash flowing. Fast-track to efficient and effective marketing via New Media: social, blogs, email, search, and more. What works and how you can get it done efficiently.


Former Boston Globe journalist, Suzanne McDonald is founder and chief strategist of Designated Editor: Winner of the 2014 International Business Award — ‘Internet / New Media Company of the Year.’


Designated Editor teaches individuals, educators & companies how to create influential interactions & eliminate social media insanity via customized courses & strategic consulting.


You may know Suzanne already through Newport Interactive Marketers networking-learning group, which gathers 50+ attendees monthly for networking and an expert speaker.


She is currently developing the curriculum for URI’s social media certificate and previously developed and taught Social Media Strategies as well as Event Planning and New Media.


What is some of the important information you can learn from Designated Editor?

  • Keyword and hashtag tips and tools that will make your content pop off the search pages.
  • Advice on how to make your blog helpful, not boring.
  • Suggestions for other sites and tools that will help your organization and efficiency.
  • Ways to define and target your audience.
  • Once defined, we help you engage that demographic of users.
  • Decide where to post particular messages or posts to interact with the right audience.
  • Learn the ways to make email marketing low-cost, consistent and useful.
  • Coordinate and organize events while increasing the number of people who attend events.
  • Make your ad space count for the biggest ROI (return on interest).
  • Explore how in-person and traditional marketing can work cohesively with new media marketing strategies.
  • Use analytic tools to measure how effectively your outreach is working.


Learn the specifics of these crucial social media marketing strategies from the slideshow above, and sign up for a consultation with Designated Editor soon. You may also be interested in Newport Interactive Marketers to join a bigger conversation and attend informative networking events.

Designated Editor Wins International Business Award: Internet New Media Company of the Year

International Business Awards winner: Company, Innovator, & Executive of the Year

The Designated Editor team is proud to announce that it has won three globally competitive Stevie International Business Awards for 2014: Gold for Company of the Year – Internet / New Media, Silver for Innovator of the Year, and Silver for Executive of the Year – Internet / New Media.

IBA 2014 Stevie Gold Award

Designated Editor won the IBA 2014 Gold Award for Company of the Year – Internet / New Media.

The Stevie Awards are one of the highest honors in the business community, started in 2002 to “honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide,” according to its website.

Over 3,500 submissions were received by the International Business Awards this year from a wide variety of industries and from over 60 countries and territories. Entries came from for- and non-profits, from large and small businesses, and from public and private companies alike.

Judging for Stevie Awards go through two phases. In the first phase, entries are judged on a scale of 1 – 10 by five judges and those that score higher than an average of 7.0 move on to the final round of judging. Entries are then scored by another group of judges, and these scores determine who places Gold, Silver, or Bronze.

Designated Editor and its CEO Suzanne McDonald are honored to receive these particular awards as they reflect the hard work and innovation that has characterized this company since its inception. McDonald and her team work for their clients, to improve their businesses and lives, rather than for awards – but the Designated Editor team is still extremely proud to be recognized for exceptional achievements and success in the field.

The awards reception at the Westin Paris – Vendôme Hotel in Paris, France, was amazing on October 10.

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Should Technology Skills Be Taught in Schools?

Binary split among even tech-savvy Rhode Islanders about how much technology should be in schools

Initial results of Digital City Rhode Island’s Education and Technology poll were released at the Rhode Island Department of Education’s Innovation Powered by Technology Conference on Saturday, Oct. 25.

The conference session, titled “RI’s Digital Education Aptitude: Understanding Rhode Islanders’ Concept of 21st Century Education Poll Results & Panel Discussion,” was highly interactive with principals, school committee members, charter school IT department heads, policy and RIDE administrative leaders participating in an interactive session, sharing ideas and reflections on insights from panelists: Rhode Island Chief Digital Officer Thom Guertin, Broadband Rhode Island Program Director Stuart Freiman, and Dr. Renee Hobbes Founding Director of Harrington School of Communication and Media.

Designated Editor’s own Suzanne McDonald moderated the panel and engaged attendees.  The results of the poll and responses of education professionals were surprising.

The 12 question poll touched on such topics as social media, access to new media,  and in-school filtering programs. Here are the results.

1. Students at all ages should have access, both in- and out-of-school, to digital / new media like websites, e-books, mobile, apps, games, and social media.

The majority of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that students of all ages should have access to digital/new media. But, many felt that younger children may not need as much access to social media and game sites. One attendee stated, “I don’t think young kids need the access. They’ll be inundated soon enough. Let them be carefree through elementary school. Computer access yes but social media not until high school.”

2. Using, analyzing, and creating digital media will not only give students skills needed for their future but will help them identify misinformation. 

Notable comments included: “It’s important to not conflate ‘digital literacy’ with ‘information literacy.’ Exposure and creation of digital media does not teach information literacy, any more than using, analyzing, and creating campaign flyers helps with skill-building or ability to identify misinformation. It’s the information literacy skill of knowing to verify that does this.”

“Technology is the factory or our time. Train them for what is useful and maybe we can actually stay a world power in the future generations.”

3. Educators need more opportunities to develop their own knowledge and skills to support students’ creating and problem-solving via digital media.

This was a hot topic during Saturday’s presentation. Many voiced their opinions.  Here are two sides of the argument:

  • “Teachers need to be ahead of the curve and use the time NOW to learn cloud based technology in preparation for the 1:1 school environment.”
  • “I don’t think that most educators are afforded paid time to develop new skills given the amount of testing, changing standards, changing processes, etc. Technology mentoring will be required for both educators and children and cannot be simply added as another accessory duty to an educators workload. Additional personnel will be required.”

4. In-school filtering policies should NOT block online resources like Google.

Of those surveyed, 75% felt that Google should NOT be blocked in schools. One poll-taker argued that, “There are settings on Google that are sufficient and do not require advanced filters.”

Another felt it was limiting students access to important materials and said ,” Just as in-school library catalogs shouldn’t filter out library materials [Google should not be blocked].”

One poll-taker suggested a possible solution, “Educators should have the ability to unblock websites, because no filtering software is perfect.”

5. Public libraries should regularly offer digital skills-building programs, such as how to use LinkedIn, to all citizens.

Over half of poll takers felt that the library was the perfect place for such skills-building programs. Many felt that such programs would be a great way for libraries to stay relevant.  An anonymous poll-taker commented: “Adult learners need a source of information, education, and skills. Public libraries are logical community gathering places for bridging the digital divide.”  

6. K -12 school policies on using cellphones and social media for learning are needed.

The majority of those polled agreed that school policies for cell phone use and social media for learning are necessary. However, there were also those who strongly opposed this idea, viewing social media and cell phones as unnecessary distraction. “K-12 should NOT be utilizing cell phones. While theoretically a positive, this will be far more of a distraction. There are enough issues with cell phones and social media in the schools now.”

7. Student project work and problem-solving should utilize a combination of language, images, sound, and digital media.

More than half of those polled agreed but this question also brought up an important point. “Not every family can be in position to do so. Not every family has access to internet/devices or a library,” said one poll-taker.

8. Digital media education should be incorporated into the statewide Common Core standards and assessments.

As the below picture shows, the majority of those surveyed agreed that digital media education should be incorporated into Rhode Island’s Common Core standards and assessments. However, there were those who felt common core should remain based on core studies

“No, kids will learn this anyway, one way or another. Get Common Core to support reading, writing, reasoning, math,” said an anonymous poll taker.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 5.19.23 PM 

9. K-12 students should learn coding and software-development skills.

Of those surveyed, 60% agreed that students K-12 should learn coding and software development. Many noted that it should be offered strictly as a high school elective.

10. Students should be able to take for-credit online courses to supplement their education.

The larger portion of those polled felt that online courses should be offered. There were, however, those that vehemently disagreed. Reasons for this included:

  • Online classes are no substitute for a classroom experience.
  • In-school classes are essential for socialization and growth.
  • Teacher student interaction is vital in early education.

11. A blend of face-to-face instruction and online learning offers many advantages to students in grades K- 12.

The general agreement was that a blend of these two media would be best for students. One  poll-taker pointed out that online learning could help students with different learning styles.

“It especially offers help to students with alternative learning styles. There’s lots of research on flipped classrooms — and online materials can be a robust way to build a flipped classroom. Watching a lecture, with the ability to, say, pause the lecture to take notes, is going to be much more effective for slow note-takers than a face-to-face lecture, for example,” said one poll taker.

Do you agree with these results? Share your opinion at  bit.ly/RI2014digitaledpoll


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