I was born/grew up in: Hamilton, Ontario
I now live in: Ottawa, Ontario
I completed my training/education at: I studied environmental sciences and biomedical sciences at the University of Ottawa and received a graduate diploma in science communications from Laurentian University in Sudbury.
What I do at work
I manage the various social media channels (such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, YouTube, etc.) for the three museums of the Corporation: the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. This includes working with my colleagues to developing content, interacting with people on-line and developing strategies and plans for the Museums’ social media.
I spend most of my time planning and developing content that will be posted on our social media pages: writing and editing text, determining how the text will be shared over a period of time and keeping track of the French and English texts (it can be difficult to keep them all straight!). I also create strategies on how we’re going to promote an event or product over time. Our main channels are the Twitter and Facebook accounts of the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum.
Another of my tasks is to evaluate our social media accounts, looking at statistics over time: how many followers we have, how our follow rate increases, or evaluating what worked and what didn’t work in particular promotional campaigns.
I constantly monitor the Museums’ Twitter and Facebook feeds to see if people are asking us questions. Sometimes I may have to track down a colleague to answer them. I also interact directly with Museum visitors who are present on social media either to give them information prior to their visit or to ask them what they liked most about their visit afterwards.
Lastly, I monitor the social media channels, websites and blogs of other organisations in order to share their content that may be related to our Museums with our followers.
My career path is
I studied sciences in school, so this subject has always interested me. While I was at the University of Ottawa I worked for the Canada Science and Technology Museum’s summer camps and school programs and realized what I enjoyed most about science was learning something new and sharing my knowledge with others, so I decided to study science communications. Eventually, the job opportunity of Social Media Officer presented itself at the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation. Before getting this position, I did an internship with the Science Media Centre of Canada, I worked at the Museum of Nature doing interpretation and also did an internship with a marketing and communication company that specializes in science related topics.
I am motivated by
The fact that there are people following the Museums on social media and who interact with us on a daily basis. The content that I share evokes memories of the past and inspires people to share their own stories with us. It also inspires others to learn more about science.
How I affect peoples’ lives
I connect with people by answering their questions and interact with visitors before and after their visit to the Museums. I create a relationship between them and the Museum.
I also give people who can’t visit the Museum the opportunity to see what’s on display as well as artifacts or pictures from our archives that are not on display. Only about thirty percent of our on-line followers are from the Canada’s Capital Region. The rest are national or international and may never visit our Museums in person. Social media gives us the opportunity to share our collection with them.
Through the Museums’ social media channels, I share the stories of scientific innovations past, present and future. By doing this, I hope to inspire people to learn more about Canada’s scientific history and explore careers in science and technology.
Outside of work I
I spend lots of time on frozen water since I figure skate and compete with a synchronized skating team. I also volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada as a Brownie leader. In the summer, I add liquid water to my day and paddle on two dragon boat teams.
My advice to others
Continue learning all the time! Science is always changing, there’s always new discoveries to learn about and share with others. Social media is also a field in constant flux, always creating new opportunities to connect with people.
For those interested in science communication or science promotion, I think a multidisciplinary background with formal education in science and communications is important. There’s a need for people who can explain science in a clear and fun way to non-scientists.