Each chapter contains checklists that allow students to put what they learn into practice and create a portfolio of work. The checklists have been classroom tested in my Mobile and Social Media Journalism course.

This checklist appears in Chapter 3, Your Social Media Brand: Who Do You Want to Be?

Social media audit

Conduct a social media audit on yourself. Also, team up with one classmate to audit each other’s online presence. Discuss your findings.

Refer to the Digital Skeletons: Social Media Audit portion of Chapter 3 for tips. Be sure to analyze bios, content, frequency of posts, personality, professional interests, and journalism skills.

How would you describe your classmate’s brand?

What is your classmate doing well? What needs improvement?

After your classmate’s audit, clean up anything that doesn’t reflect who you are in a positive light.

Build your presence

Time to polish up and shine. Create a professional website. Follow the recommendations in this chapter for building a website.

Establish professionally oriented accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. Set up an account on either YouTube or Vimeo. Remember, keep your website domain and social media handles as close to your name as possible. Invite people to like your professional Facebook page.

Download mobile apps for each of these social networking sites.

Create a short bio for your social media profiles and a longer version for your website and LinkedIn page. Have at least one classmate give you feedback on your bios.

Ensure that your profile photo and bio are consistent across all platforms.

Choose a beat

Select a beat/niche you would like to cover this semester. Ideally, this should be an area that you plan on pursuing in your journalism career. The goal is to carry the expertise and brand you build with you when entering the workforce.

Write two blog posts per week. Share them via your social media pages.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of having the same social media account for personal and professional activity? Discuss as a class. Also, ask social media followers what they think about this. Include your class hashtag in posts—this is an easy way for you and classmates to track the online conversation.


Continue working on the mobile and social media strategy analysis that was part of Chapter 2’s checklist. Use what you learned in this chapter to analyze the social media accounts of the two reporters you selected for the assignment.

Checklist: Building Your Brand

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