I’ve been watching everything the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) social media person has been doing with their social media outreach via their Twitter/blog/Facebook over the last few critical weeks.
I even met the APS social media person at the governor’s press conference to announce the results of the state’s investigation the other day. We set-up media shop next to each other, coincidentally.
And WOW what an amazing transformation their social media game has undergone! Just in the last two weeks alone.
Suddenly, they are very responsive to the world around them. To their community here in Atlanta. They’re even dabbling in transparency and straight-up honesty too.
The live Tweets from @APSUpdate during a public forum with the new super Davis last week were very candid. And full of helpful and useful information.
What a difference a criminal investigation can make, eh? But the thing about social media, as any serious practitioner can tell you, social media is a garden; it only produces when meticulously tended.
Let’s watch and see. And participate, cultivate, in this transformation too.
I was really excited and gratified to see the APS communications office take the foundation we laid for social media and expand on it. By the time I left as the print & digital writer in March, we’d built a Twitter following of about 1,700 and readership on the Talk Up APS blog to an average of about 800 daily page views. (Both were opened in 2009.) The YouTube channel we’d launched along the way, featuring the professionally made videos by Scott King and my own amateur stuff grew as well. While disagree that APS finally has embraced social media, I’m heartened to see it embrace the potential a more transparent social media philosophy (one you probably don’t see in most school districts). I’m also grateful the Facebook page is kept up more consistently, as your main point about “tending the garden” is key. It will be interesting to see how much this consistency is maintained moving forward — not just under the interim superintendent, but also under the permanent superintendent, and whoever is chosen to fill the still-vacant chief communications officer position. — David Lee
Thanks for the knowledgeable perspective, David. Reminds me to list the APS YouTube channel here too. Will do that now. (And I gotta keep the headlines, er, *snappy* if I ever want anyone to read my blog posts.)