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By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief
Maintenance & Operations Article Use Policy
When does a maintenance and engineering department get its 15 minutes of fame? I ask because I recently came across the website of a major university that features seven — seven! — webcams trained on new construction projects on campus. The university is so proud of these projects that it directed its marketing folks to set up and promote the cams. It’s easy to understand the dynamic at work here. New construction is sexy. Shiny new buildings can indicate vitality and growth for any organization, not just higher education.
But we need to be honest, too. Once completed, new buildings increase the maintenance workload, putting an even greater strain on valuable resources that already are stretched thin trying to effectively maintain existing facilities.
While no organization is likely to devote a webcam to the next plumbing system upgrade, maintenance and engineering managers and their departments have earned their 15 minutes in the spotlight. They have a compelling story to tell, and they can make a strong case that they play a central role in any organization’s long-term success. They ensure facilities are safer, more energy efficient and better able to support the organization’s core operations and activities. To get some much-deserved attention, managers can use proven strategies to highlight department accomplishments:
Write and talk. Trade magazines and their websites, professional conferences, awards competitions and associations all offer ideal forums for generating much-deserved attention. They’re always looking for good stories to tell. Let them know what you’re doing and the benefits you expect to achieve.
Use social media. Twitter and Facebook provide ever-expanding platforms for reaching new audiences who need to understand the many reasons maintenance and engineering departments matter.
Brag. Tell your department’s successes to anyone who will listen. Your organization’s communications department is a good place to start. You might even get your own webcam episode. And don’t be shy. As Satchel Paige said, “If you can do it, it ain’t bragging.”
If you need a great place to brag about your department, check out the 2017 Facility Maintenance Decisions Achievement Awards. Entry information is coming soon to www.facilitiesnet.com/fmd.