Editor's Letter

Aug. 21, 2015

The Zen in FM.

Zen masters ponder this question: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?” You should ponder this one: “Your FM department delivers great value to your organization, but does anyone hear about it or even know that you exist?”

Your facility’s occupants – as well as your management – may have little awareness of your professional role and value. Yet if you want to be acknowledged as something more than the fix-it folks and universal complaint box, then a simple but thoughtfully crafted social media strategy can be the means.

You may be deterred by the idea of social media – after all, doesn’t something named “social” seem wrong for business? Sounds more like “ice cream social” than “business event” or “business communication.” Indeed, most of your interaction and familiarity with social media may involve the personal rather than the professional. In fact, the name “social media” seems a regrettable misnomer when talking about its business purposes.

But FMs are discovering the benefits of using social media, as BUILDINGS’ E-Content Editor Pete Campie writes this month in his article entitled “The Social Media Playbook for FMs". Like all things digital and web-related, social media presents endless and dizzying options for communication. It is important to narrow down your goals and keep it simple when developing your strategy, then monitor the results and refine your approach.

Concerned that you would be opening up a channel that merely publicizes complaints? That’s a good question. But like martial arts masters who sidestep the antagonist’s force or turn it back to its source, you may gain street cred from addressing and resolving complaints in the open.

Let Pete know your questions and experiences with social media for FMs. You can reach him here.

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