Digital Advertising & Social Media Storytelling at Cal Poly

From video commercials, content marketing social media advertising, influencer marketing and more!

Program Highlights

Learn about the Marketplace of Attention and the ubiquity and impact of modern mass media, and the power and limitation of the Internet compared to traditional media.
Gain experience creating Stakeholder Relationships and learn about the nature of relationship and responsibility of an organization with its consumers, employees, community, and other stakeholders.
Explore Branding Psychology theories and concepts of influence and building a persona.
Perform Market and Consumer Analysis to identify key audiences, market segmentation, and the makeup of target personas.
Discover the role of Campaign Channels and Tracking in broadcast, direct, and socially orchestrated through marketing communications campaigns.
Develop Effective Visual Storytelling skills using the principles of visual design, character development, tone, coherence, and messaging as told through media such as graphic design, photography, video, and audio production.
Learn about the Roles and Production of real-world jobs and careers in the field that use strategic communication skills through hands-on experiences.

Residential Tuition:


Session 1:
June 30, 2024 July 12, 2024


Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo
Cal Poly SLO - San Luis Obispo, CA

Course Overview

Are you interested in the impact and design of digital public relations and advertising storytelling? From video commercials, content marketing, social media advertising, influencer marketing, to billboards and sponsorships — advertising and public relations messages are everywhere! This course is designed to provide students with an understanding about the marketplace of attention and create effective narratives of their own creation. Students will be exposed to higher level thinking as media consumers and have the opportunity to test their theories by designing and producing a strategic communications campaign, a video commercial, and social media content for a fictional client.

Meet your instructor

Dr. Casey McDonald-Liu

Digital Advertising & Social Media Cal Poly SLO

Dr. McDonald-Liu received her PhD from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Florida; her Master of Art and Bachelor of Science from Brigham Young University. Casey McDonald-Liu is a recent PhD graduate from the University of Florida in strategic communications specializing in how organizations communicate to publics using a tonality similar to that of humans on social media.

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Topics you'll explore

Course Structure

There are nine 3-hour class sessions over the two-week course. During week one, students have class from 9am-12pm, Monday - Friday. During the week two students have class from 9am-12pm Monday through Thursday. Wednesday afternoons are dedicated to additional academic time (excursions, speakers).

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Summer Springboard Pre-College Summer Program