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Why Reddit is Launching a Community-Driven Advertising School

Marketing

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The new advertising school program will kick off June 1st and run for 12 weeks.

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With the sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe, billions are learning from home and left wondering whether the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic. Platforms are rising to the occasion and offering resources and tools amidst the unknown future of the education market including Reddit.

In the spirit of helping those impacted boost their job skills, which could also help to facilitate more connections within the professional community, the platform is targeting younger demographics via a new online advertising school program titled, “r/Advertising School.”

A community-driven learning opportunity

Kicking off on June 1st and taking place weekly, classes of up to 50 students will gather with a teacher — director level or above — specializing in their area of expertise. The program encompasses a range of creative disciplines in the advertising space including art direction, copywriting, production, media planning, brand building, digital/social.

Each class will consist of a half-hour of lecture with actionable takeaways and 15 minutes of discussion. Following this, the instructor will issue an assignment to the group. Students who complete the assignment can submit it for review and solicit feedback and insights into their work from others in a collaborative style.

Following the sessions, video conferences will immediately be posted on Reddit at r/Advertising, so any community member will be able to participate. Community members can ask questions or inquire about the assignment and additional resources throughout the week as a follow-up.

The spearheads

The concept behind R/advertising was conceived by Joe Federer, Reddit’s former head of brand strategy, Goodby Silverstein and Partners’ Dan Greener, Neha Guria and Edward King, and Shannon Smith, a freelance art director.

Per Ad Age, Greener and Federer had been inspired after connecting at a Reddit workshop and conversations on the advertising subreddit. Federer currently moderates the r/Advertising community and recently hosted several community happy hours during which he and Greener noticed an uptick in interest in those looking to engage and learn more about advertising opportunities. “We thought it would be cool to formalize these—bring in a few pros way smarter than we are to educate the community and beyond. And then with COVID, people started losing their jobs and internship, and we thought now would be the best time to provide this sort of free resource to a community already struggling to get back on its feet,” said Greener.

Ultimately, the goal is to get students to hear perspectives from practitioners from agencies and leading companies including Gooby, Grey, Apple, Truth and Consequences, and production company Tool. From there, it is the hope they’ll be more informed before dedicating time and financial resources to portfolio school. “Maybe we could get students who wouldn’t have ordinarily considered a career in advertising into the game—or help folks who are struggling to get a leg up,” Greener added.

The future of online learning

From presentation skills to critical and creative thinking to personal branding, now more digital literacy is imperative, and added skills of digital technologies are not only needed but required in this “new normal.” With this, embracing the communication and marketing tools at your disposal are key as the definition of “marketable skills” continues to evolve. As an example, digital certification is a booming trend with Facebook’s Blueprint, Twitter Flight School, Hubspot Academy, Hootsuite, and Pinterest Academy leading in the space.

While the future of the marketing and advertising industry remains unknown, and many universities around the country celebrate graduations and new chapters for young professionals, these are the platforms lending a hand to prepare them. As they navigate emerging expectations, being able to respond and adapt quickly will be key and these educational resources will provide the practices and tip needed to advance their careers in fundamentally positive ways.

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