NISM Instructor Highlight – Toni Pirtle

by | Jun 27, 2014 | EduSocial Blog, Instructors, Press and Media, Uncategorized | 0 comments

In this month’s NISM Instructor Highlight we say “Hello” to  Toni Pirtle, NISM-certified Instructor and Social Media Strategist (SMS)!Toni Pirtle
Toni was one of the first NISM-certified instructors and also assisted the initial implementation team in the roll out of National Institute for Social Media curriculum at Merced College, in California.  She is a Merced College Professor and Faculty Lead with and M.S. in Business Education from Eastern Illinois University.  Toni has authored two eBooks entitled “The Social Media Plan for the Small Business” and “Social Networking for the Small Business”.  In addition to teaching, Toni works as the Coordinator of the Virtual Office Professional Certificate and the Social Media Certificate at Merced College, is an independent Social Media Consultant and enjoys speaking for a variety of business conferences. In 2010, Toni was recognized in America’s Who’s Who.  Currently, she is enjoying watching her students gain additional knowledge and skills through a Podcasting program at Merced College called MCPod.  Professionally, Ms. Pirtle looks forward to building on the the Merced College Social Media Certificate Program and greater developing Merced College’s Social Media Presence, as the Social Media Coordinator this fall.
I had the opportunity to ask Toni a few questions about her experiences in teaching with NISM.  Here are some of her thoughts:

Toni, how has becoming certified as a Social Media Strategist (SMS) helped you?

“Being certified has provided me with more credibility in my role as a Social Media Professor and Social Media Consultant”.

You have been teaching for NISM for a little over 2 years now, what do you enjoy most about the program?

“NISM is extremely professional, ethical, progressive, supportive and trustworthy.  When called on, NISM always offers solutions to any questions that I have related to social media”.

Students often ask us for advice, if you could share one piece of advice with a potential SMS certification student, what would it be?

“Call NISM and have a conversation.  Follow up the conversation by connecting with other SMS’s and definitely read the Student Handbook”. J

What about professionals not looking to take a preparation course prior to the exam, what advice would you give them?

“When talking with social media professionals, it becomes apparent just how different their roles are-they each bring different skills and strengths to the table, and they each have things that they don’t necessarily focus on-things that may not be required of them in their particular role!  The certification modules are thorough and cover the full range of skills necessary for any social media position.  With this in mind, I advise any potential candidate for the exam to ensure they read the student handbook so as to familiarize themselves with every aspect that the exam covers.   I recommend calling and connecting with NISM, have a conversation with either Jennifer or Eric – I know they will help you and I know you will be impressed!  Reach out to other certified professionals too!
You can connect with Toni Pirtle on her website at: and join her on Facebook at
What additional questions would you ask Toni? Post them in the comments below!  We want to hear from you.


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