In what may be a national first for a school district, the Los Angeles school system has hired a full-time social-media director.
The move last month prompts an immediate question: What exactly does a K-12 school district's social-media director do?
Answering it has been one of the first orders of business for Stephanie Abrams since she took the job at the nation's second-largest school district after a career as a television reporter, most recently for KCBS in Los Angeles.
In an interview by email last week, Ms. Abrams said she picked up technology as one of her beats during the latter portion of her TV-news career and was one of her network's early adopters of social-media platforms.
She said her salary of just over $93,000 a year, which has drawn some criticism locally, reflects duties and responsibilities that are far more demanding than simply overseeing the district's Facebook and Twitter accounts.
For one thing, Ms. Abrams said, she will be leading staff education about a new social-network-use policy implemented in February.
The policy advises employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District to keep work-related and personal social-network accounts separate, strongly discourages maintaining social-networking contacts with students through a personal account, and warns employees not to hold any expectations of privacy while using school-owned technology.
"The use of social media is a new and fluid situation at [the Los Angeles district]."
Social-Media Director, LAUSD
"The use of social media is a new and fluid situation at [the Los Angeles district], so I expect to lead the district on this issue moving forward," Ms. Abrams said in an email. She added that enforcement of the policy would fall under the authority of the school system's human resources department.
The district now has just over 1,000 Facebook "likes" on its new profile page, and gets approximately 5,000 daily visitors, Ms. Abrams said, with the expectation that the following will greatly expand during the next six months. The district also has accounts on Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, and is using its YouTube channel to post weekly video updates titled "@LASchools" that will also run periodically on KLCS, one of the city's public-broadcasting stations, Ms. Abrams added.
The district may expand to more social-media platforms, Ms. Abrams said, after conducting the school system's first districtwide social-media survey to determine, among other information, how many schools have their own websites and social-media presence, and how many students and parents in the district are engaging in social media.
Ms. Abrams also said part of her job description includes working closely with top administrators, especially during crisis situations, so that information about school lockdowns, early closings, and other student-safety issues can be relayed through its social-media accounts.
Ms. Abrams said she understands the criticism of her salary, $87,000 of which is funded by the Boston-based Goldhirsh Foundation, which has given funding to the LAUSD in the past and has also funded other initiatives aimed toward "social innovation," according to Tara Roth McConaghy, the group's executive director.
Most Popular Stories
- SEO Traffic Lab Celebrate Wins at Digital Marketing Event 'Internet World 2013' in London
- Social Media Initiatives Should Follow Customers' Lead
- Apple CEO: Offshore Units Not a 'Tax Gimmick'
- U.S. Senate Accuses Apple of Large-scale Tax Avoidance
- UTEP Water Recycling Project Wins Venture Titles
- Marketo Makes a Mint in IPO: Stock Shoots Up More than 50 Percent
- Bieber Booed at Billboard Awards
- Crude Oil Up, Gasoline Down
- Austin Startup Compare Metrics Raises $3.5 Million for Expansion
- Why So Many Top 'Car Guys' Are Actually Women