Training Thoughts


For the past 5 years, Ive had the opportunity to teach a number of fun social media classes.

And while the audiences have varied over time from farmers to medical examiners, there are some observations that you may also find useful in your quest to find good social media training.

At this writing, there isnt necessarily a list of good social media trainers. Many of the active folks on the #SMEM hashtag on Twitter have seen a variety of speakers over time at a number of conferences and can make personal recommendations from what they have seen.

I will say that there are often differences between general social media and social media in emergency management trainers. While I have learned a lot from general social media users and trainers, if you are a public agency, it is important for your trainer to understand issues of public disclosure and records retention if you are seeking guidance on an agency-based social media implementation.

If you understand that no single person is going to teach you all you need to know in social media, youll understand that you can glean a lot of great information from a variety of speakers.

Consider what you wish to learn when seeking a social media instructor. There are some basic decision points that, if you consider these, will help you narrow down the type of instruction you are seeking.

  • Small audience or large audience?
  • Do you want a hands-on instruction course or a conversational course?
  • Will attendees have access to technology and can participate in demonstrations or exercises?
  • Would you like your training course to focus on platforms & specific tools or how to communicate, using the tools?
  • Are your audience members all from the same agency or a variety of agencies that may be in different places in their permissions or use of social media?
  • What would you like your audience members to know or understand by the end of the training? Drafting a policy? Creating Content? How to Monitor Social Media?

Just because someone uses social media doesnt mean that they will be a great educator of its use.

  • Dont be afraid to ask questions of trainers. Find out about their training experiences.
  • Seek out a reference or see if they have any presentations online. And dont be scared to ask for recommendations on social media.

The more you know about what you want, the easier it will be for a prospective trainer to tell you if they are a good match for your request. I field requests to present training classes all the time. I will tell you that when someone calls me and isnt sure what they want in a training, I will regularly say no because it takes too much of my time to determine what you want.

Think about your needs and you will receive a much better outcome. Be focused!


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