Drew Mandinach is the Social Content Manager at UCLA Anderson School of Management, and was formerly the Video Production Manager at Balboa Park Online Collaborative, where he produced collaborative video content and helped manage social media engagement. Throughout our conversation, Drew stressed the power of collaboration and the importance of leveraging social media platforms to foster meaningful conversations.
At Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC), working together within the organization and with others in the field was integral to his work. He was part of the team working on Lost in Balboa Park, a project with the goal of bridging more than 15 organizations to help visitors explore the park. Working with many organizations presented its own challenges, but was ultimately rewarding, and Drew pointed to collaboration as a strength of BPOC. As a tech leader, BPOC was positioned to involve other organizations in a discussion about the strengths and challenges of social media. He founded a group to discuss social media trends, where colleagues could support each other and share ideas.
During his time as the Video Production Manager, he also helped manage the park’s social media. When users began asking questions as he captured and shared images in the park, one of his posts on Snapchat became a live back-and-forth. Engagement revolves around the audience – understanding who they are, how they use social media platforms, and their current conversation surrounding the museum. This informs which platforms organizations use and how they use them. Embracing a relatively new platform by testing it and being flexible with the outcome allowed Drew to connect with his audience in real time, talking directly with them where they already happened to be using the platform. Some other successful social media initiatives he discussed embraced challenging topics and current pop culture “moments” by relating them back to museum content.
Looking to the future of an ever-changing landscape of new technologies, Drew points to the importance of keeping an organization’s mission at the forefront. While embracing anything new, he recommends asking what it adds and how it can further the mission. Not every platform is necessary, and museums can do exciting, engaging work without the use of new technology. It’s all about knowing where the audience is and what they’re doing.