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Digital Audiences Lab

Cronkite Digital Audiences

The Digital Audiences Lab is a first-of-its-kind professional immersion program, where students work with real clients to meaningfully grow, engage and measure their audiences. Led by Director Luis Bonilla, the Lab adopts the Cronkite School’s renowned teaching hospital model to develop student proficiency in digital strategy, social media, SEO/SEM, analytics and client relations.

What Students Do

In the Digital Audiences Lab, students work in an agency-like environment to grow and engage audiences for real clients. Working in client teams, students research audience opportunities and create data-driven growth strategies. Then, they put the strategies to work with real social campaigns, search optimization and content testing, and measure performance in real time. And using the storytelling techniques they’ve developed in their journalism curriculum, students create written, video and graphic content to propel campaigns and form valuable brand/audience relationships. Students create analytics reports and make client presentations, and ultimately are able to demonstrate and quantify true audience growth.

What Students Learn

Students learn how to mine and translate audience data, and use it to create strong digital strategies and effective content. They learn in-depth social media skills as they develop paid and organic campaigns, and become proficient in search acquisition disciplines such as SEO, PPC campaigns and keyword research. In addition to digital content skills, students also cultivate presentation skills, client relationships and collaborative innovation.

What Students Become

Those who experience the Digital Audiences Lab go on to careers in digital media strategy and beyond. Potential media and newsroom careers include social media managers, digital video and graphics specialists, content producers and analysts; reporters and editors also benefit from the program. Students also pursue work in strategic communications, driving social, digital and content marketing at agencies and in-house. Nearly every organization has a digital audience to engage, so the skills gleaned in this program are almost universally applicable; audience growth skills bolster careers in sales, technology, entrepreneurship and beyond.