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Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 07/15/2011

Metro hires new social media manager

Metro has hired a new social media manager to help run its Facebook, Twitter and other efforts to interact with riders.

Brian Anderson, 31, is scheduled to join the transit authority Aug. 1.

Anderson has worked for the last four years as a manager of communications at Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). He’s best known for his videos — especially the one where he’s chair dancing — as part of his job helping with social media outreach at the Philadelphia area transit authority.

He spoke with postmetrogirl mid-morning Friday, shortly after Metro spokesman Dan Stessel announced his hiring.

Why do you want to come to D.C.?

One, I am a huge mass transit fan. When I was little, growing up in Northern New Jersey, I’d skip school to ride the trains in NJ and NY.

 Two, I have family in the D.C. area and I go to concerts there.

What Metro line are you going to live on?

I don’t know yet. I am hoping to live around the Green or Red in some of the up-and-coming neighborhoods. Also, I’m a big baseball fan and maybe down near the stadium.

Why is it important to do social media for transit agencies?

 People want real-time information. It is inevitable things are going to go wrong, but it is important to communicate what’s going on and when it is going to be resolved. That gives a sense of calmness.

 What are your goals in your new job at Metro?

 To keep information flowing. I want people to see Metro as a system of transparency and understand we are working for them. We want to understand their concerns and needs and work to address them.

 What does Metro need to do to improve its social media efforts?

Highlighting and getting the word out more. Metro Forward [a new Metro marketing campaign] started off well. It needs more details that highlight what is being done through videos and regular communications.

How are you going to help do that? Specifically.

Clearly the escalator issue is a huge issue. We need to show what it takes to repair escalators. What we have to go through to fix it. When one opens it should be treated as a celebration. It is frustrating even when I visit and I don’t have a working escalator.

What about improving Metro’s alert system?

Just saying, “Disruption,” and “Disruption Cleared,” isn’t enough. It needs to have a greater level of detail.

 Do you have any interesting hobbies or interests?

 I watch Steve Jobs for fun.

Why?

I love his vision. I love the way Apple conducts business.

Follow me on twitter @postmetrogirl.  

 

By  |  12:02 PM ET, 07/15/2011

Categories:  Metro, Metrobus

 
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