You’ve probably never heard of William Arthur Ward, one of America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims. That’s because he wrote for magazines like Reader’s Digest and newspapers like the Fort Worth Star-Telegram a couple generations before YouTube was launched.

But, Ward wrote something that YouTube Partners and content creators should keep in mind when building a cohesive channel strategy and viewing experience.

He said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

Now, Ward’s “Pertinent Proverb” is easier said than done. I’ve learned this the hard way by teaching several executive education courses in the Mini-MBA program offered by the Rutgers Center for Management Development (CMD).

When I began teaching in 2010, I spent most of my time in both the Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing courses explaining how YouTube worked. That’s because I assumed that most of the executives who were taking the courses weren’t familiar with video marketing.

But I quickly discovered that most of the executives taking the courses worked in marketing, advertising, communications, and sales. They already knew how YouTube worked. They were looking for me to share important tips, best practices, and strategies to help them build their audiences on YouTube.

So, I started including case studies, interactive sessions, and class exercises that demonstrated how they could take their channels to the next level. As I’ve mentioned before, Ray William Johnson’s secret formula for YouTube success, tests of new products from Orabrush, and Unruly’s Social Video Scorecard have been especially popular.

In other words, my students pushed me to become a better teacher.

Then last November, Rutgers asked me to teach a new Mini-MBA course: Social Media for Non-Profit Leaders and Public Officials. This nine-module program presented a new citizen-centric communication model that engages, serves, and connects constituents through social media channels. Through case studies, interactive sessions, and class exercises, participants learned about the latest research and best practices.

Now, I was just one of the nine members of the faculty who taught this course. I covered YouTube engagement, and other instructors covered topics like social media strategies, mobile engagement, economic development, micro blogging, community engagement, emergency management, disaster preparedness and disaster recovery, user generated content, measurement and ROI tracking, and multichannel integration.

But, I realized that I had to step outside my comfort zone as an instructor in order to meet the expectations of the public and elected officials, academic leaders, and non-profit executives who were looking to embrace this opportunity with skill, digital knowledge and enthusiasm.

And I was happy when Rutgers CMD announced that it is offering a second Mini-MBA program focused on Social Media for Non-Profit Leaders and Public Officials. The one-week, accelerated program will be held Oct. 21-25, 2013, in New Brunswick, NJ.

And I was excited when one of the participants in last year’s inaugural program, a Sargent from the Atlantic City Police Department, made a testimonial video about the Rutgers Mini-MBA program.

But I was in awe by what another one of the participants in last year’s inaugural program was inspired to do. Donna Dourney York, who lost her dad to ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease), started HARK, a 501c3 non-profit organization in his honor to share the real story of ALS and to provide a network of compassionate resources for families. And she is now using a trailer to promote HARK’s Hope on the Horizon documentary.

Since completing the Rutgers program last November, Donna has made extraordinary progress with her video marketing strategy. For example, she’s embedded the 6-minute video documentary trailer on ALS right on the homepage of her new website. And she’s created a Facebook page and Twitter feed to promote the HARK website.

Hark homepage

The Hope on the Horizon documentary trailer is embedded on HARK’s homepage.

On the Hope on the Horizon page there’s another video featuring peak dedications by the HOTH Expedition Team to honor a loved one or a friend. Four hikers, including the filmmaker, set out to summit all 48 of the highest peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in a single trip on foot. Two completed the journey that covered over 250 miles and over 70,000 feet of elevation, reaching the 48th summit in 24 days to raise awareness and funding for ALS patients and their families.

And, as Jackie Scott, Rutgers CMD Program Manager, said in a press release last week, “Keep in mind HARK is not an international non-profit organization with dozens of staff members, satellite offices around the globe, and 6-figure executives. This is one woman working out of her basement in Hillsborough, NJ!”

So, now I’m getting ready to teach my part of the Social Media for Non-Profit Leaders and Public Officials course again. Yes, I will explain some things like the YouTube Nonprofit Program. And, yes, I will demonstrate other things like the YouTube Capture app. But, I will also try to inspire my students the way that Donna Dourney York has inspired me. It’s my stretch goal – but one worth striving to achieve.