The rapid growth of social media popularity and consequently Social Media Marketing is creating a challenge in terms of the appropriate teaching strategy. Advances in technology are racing ahead of clear terminology. The definitions of Public Relations (PR) and Advertising are being widened to encompass more digital activities and this turf war is causing confusion within the industry, the academic world and the classroom. This paper addresses the need for more research on teaching Social Media Marketing from a strategic perspective based on IMC objectives. It explores the use of the Paid/Owned/Earned Media framework (POEM) as a form of engaged pedagogy and part of the Active Blended Learning framework. Adopting a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach, 40 student applications of the POEM framework were analyzed, and the results indicate that it enables students to identify activities within an integrated campaign and their impact on the customer journey. These results were supported by a qualitative analysis of the views of three experienced educators in this field. It is proposed that the application of classifications such as paid, owned and earned media are more useful when teaching Social Media Marketing within IMC than the classifications of Advertising and Public Relations.
- participatory action research
- social media marketing
- public relations
- integrated marketing communications