Best Social Media Manager

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4th Annual Shorty Industry Awards Winner

SpaceTweeps for Stephanie Schierholz!

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NASA

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About this entry

Stephanie Schierholz is the Social Media Manager for NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. In 2011, Stephanie managed a record 17 NASA Tweetup events, inviting the public into the nation’s space program in an unprecedented way. In addition to “herding tweeps,” she also works with the social media leads at the agency’s 10 centers to oversee the agency’s 250 social media accounts across services such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr. Stephanie and NASA’s social media team do all this with a fraction of the resources of a typical organization of NASA’s size and scope.

The case for why this entry should win a Shorty

Stephanie’s skill with emerging communication technologies has led NASA to establish strategic partnerships with services such as Gowalla, Foursquare, and SlideShare. Through Stephanie’s negotiation of these partnerships, she blazed a pioneer trail for NASA as the first government agency to use these platforms. Of particular note is the partnership with Foursquare, which NASA kicked off when astronaut Doug Wheelock checked in to Foursquare aboard the International Space Station.

If you have ever received a tweet from @NASA, you have Stephanie to thank in some way. Stephanie ensures NASA remains engaged with its 1.7 million followers, including occasional Q&A sessions with astronauts, project specialists, scientists, and even NASA’s Deputy Administrator. She works with social media leads at the agency’s field centers and with the web and open government teams to ensure NASA’s fans and followers with mobile devices can delve deeper into NASA news and content with a variety of NASA apps.

NASA averaged more than one tweetup per month in 2011, and Stephanie directly supported at least one dozen of these events, leading a small NASA team that hosted more than 1,600 @NASA followers on-site. This is no small feat, considering most of the tweetups supported spacecraft launches–logistically complex, multi-day events with a high probability of weather or other scheduling delays. The year also marked NASA’s “longest-ever tweetup” of 115 days–after repeated delays, the majority of the tweetup’s participants returned to see the Shuttle launch four months later. While the agency only planned to invite participants for the original launch opportunity, Stephanie advocated for their continual involvement that enabled many to see the launch from the historic press site.

Read more about why the entire community of space geeks (SpaceTweeps) collectively nominates Stephanie for this award and feels her work in 2011 merits special recognition: http://bit.ly/wYaxec

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