Social Media Mavens in Maryland School District
Social media has penetrated all walks of life, all over the world. So it's no surprise that it has also found ways to impact the field of maintenance and engineering management. For example, Frederick County Public Schools uses the medium to tell its story through the sharing pictures, stories, department news and other information.
John Carnahan, the manager of custodial services in the Maryland school district, discusses the impact of social media on his district’s operations department, which uses the medium to help communicate with staff, students and the public.
Manager of Custodial Services
Maryland school district
1. What social media platforms do the school district’s operations department use to interact with the community?
The Operations Department uses both Twitter and Instagram to interact with people both inside and outside of the organization.
2. What did the operations department hope to achieve in establishing the social media accounts as a form of communication?
What we hope to achieve in establishing these social media accounts was a way to tell our story to others. We have such amazing colleagues that we wanted to share their successes and efforts with others.
3. What kind of information does the department share on the accounts?
We share a number of things: New initiatives, success stories, people going above and beyond, our professional development opportunities, promotions, retirements, and LOTS of pictures.
4. How has the interaction been with the staff, students and public?
The interactions have been overwhelmingly positive. Staff, students, and the public have been very receptive to our message.
5. Describe a couple of situations when interaction with social media helped resolve or alert the operations staff about an important issue?
The Operations Department doesn’t depend on social media to alert us to problems but over the course of time we’ve gotten quite a lot of feedback about weather events over social media and the different conditions throughout our county, which is the largest land-mass county in the state. From a system-wide perspective, Frederick County Public Schools uses Facebook as well. We’ve been alerted to a few things through Facebook, that we’ve addressed.
6.How have your interactions with the public through social media enhanced the perception of the operations department?
Our interactions with others, both inside and outside of the school system, have enhanced the perception of the Operations Department in a number of ways: sharing the passionate commitment that our colleagues have for the mission of the school district has probably been the number one thing that social media has helped us share. Above and beyond that, school and colleague specific success stories are always popular with followers. Recognizing the amazing talent that the district has at all levels, and at all locations, throughout the organization in the Operations area has been a real priority for us. It is very rewarding to hear from the Superintendent or the Board of Education about a tweet.
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