Newhouse partners with HootSuite to offer social media certification for working professionals

By Wendy S. Loughlin

October 29, 2013

The online program is taught by Newhouse Social Media Professor William J. Ward

The Newhouse School and HootSuite today officially announced the launch of the Advanced Social Media Strategy (ASMS) Certificate.

Geared toward working professionals, the ASMS Certificate is earned online through 15 self-paced lessons on social media strategy, including the following topic areas:

  • Strategic Planning Process: Social media strategy and appropriate listening and response tactics are covered, including insights on social influence, measuring success and ROI.
  • Content Strategy: Content marketing topics including paid social, engagement, curation and real-time responsive marketing provide participants with an overview of the various strategies in use today.
  • Situation and Environment Analysis: Participants receive an introduction to the social media ecosystem, including social relationship software, campaign management and analytics.
  • Information Management and Threats: Participants learn about issues relating to privacy, protecting customer and employee data, crisis management and information security.

Newhouse Social Media Professor William J. Ward serves as the primary instructor. “Social media can be part of everyone’s job—from human resources, sales, customer service and new product development to marketing and public relations,” says Ward. “The Newhouse-HootSuite Advanced Social Media Strategy Certificate provides specialized training that helps organizations bridge the gap between digital and social media skills.” Participants interact with Ward through personalized feedback and assessments.

Early ASMS participants have included representatives from Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Coors Light, Edelman, the Florida Panthers, lululemon athletica and others.

“I work in the marketing department, building out the marketing campaigns for each of our title releases, and social media is always a big part of this mix,” says Joel Trenthowan, family product manager of Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “The ASMS Certificate provided a fantastic opportunity to enhance my industry knowledge and build my social skill set so I can be more effective at designing a social media strategy.”

As global brands, businesses and agencies expand their social efforts and look for ways to remain competitive, HootSuite and Newhouse identified a clear need to develop a certification for business professionals who want practical social media skills combined with a strategic understanding of how social media can be used across the entire organization.

“To fully unlock the value of social, organizations must ensure everyone understands the implications of social media on their businesses, so they’re on the same page and speaking the same language,” says Greg Gunn, vice president of business development at HootSuite. “The ASMS Certificate helps achieve this. A lot of businesses will benefit from having top-notch, social media experts on staff.”

HootSuite, with close to eight million global users, now has more than 500 classrooms enrolled in its Higher Education Program, which was launched with the Newhouse School in January 2012.

More information is also available at or by contacting Michael Blondé at