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Lunch and Learn: Communications and Social Media at DDC

The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) STEAM educational initiative launched a virtual summer Lunch and Learn series to provide high school students with information about the work of DDC and careers in the built environment. During the four-week program, DDC professionals shared personal and professional insights with high school students from across New York City. The interactive and engaging presentations encouraged students to pursue their dreams.

The final session on Thursday, August 6, 2020, culminated with a presentation by the Deputy Commissioner for Communications and Policy, Andrew Hollweck, and Social Media Coordinator, Anastasia von Raison. Their presentation on social media’s role in DDC’s communication strategy provided a unique perspective on the multi-purposed use of social media platforms and its benefit to our local communities.

Ms. von Raison stated, “In today's fast-paced digital world, more and more people get their news through social media. City governments have a duty to keep everyone informed of their activities.”

Deputy Commissioner Hollweck gave an excellent overview of the projects and programs of the Communications and Policy Division. The communications team is the main contact point communities across the city can reach out to for information about DDC. He noted the importance of building strong community relationships and improving communications tools for the agency to ensure that stakeholders are both engaged and informed. The Office of Intergovernmental and Community Affairs, which is part of the Division, work to engage elected officials, nonprofit organizations and other local partners in meaningful dialogue about DDC programs taking place in their vicinity.

Deputy Commissioner Hollweck noted, “Over the last several decades, government has begun to focus on community engagement as a key ingredient to a successful project. Print, video and online resources are all components of the Communications and Policy Division engagement strategy.”



Ms. von Raison plays a key role in managing the agency's social media content and response. She discussed the process by which DDC posts, reposts, and tags information on various social media platforms. Information about DDC projects shared on social media is received from the Community Construction Liaisons. These individuals help ensure that accurate and up-to-date information is disseminated across the 5 boroughs as they maintain their project sites. Social media enables DDC to interact with audiences in real time, helping to solve any issues in a timely manner. At DDC, it is essential that our digital communications are strong and representative of our values. Social media is evolving to be a tool that can be used to connect people with services, offer answers, receive feedback, and more. It is a way to amplify the many ways DDC is helping communities. She also spoke about DDC’s ability to review the analytics of each post; viewing the number of impressions, engagements, clicks, comments, retweets and likes. Receiving information about how audiences engage with posts helps DDC understand what themes are resonating with community members. The session ended with a robust Q & A confirming the impact and inspiration this series had on student participants.



Andrew Hollweck is Deputy Commissioner for Communications and Policy Division at the New York City Department of Design and Construction where he is focused on building strong community relationships and improving communications tools for the agency to ensure stakeholders are engaged and informed. Prior to this, Mr. Hollweck was Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff at the New York Building Congress, where he was a key industry advocate for smart public infrastructure investment.

Anastasia von Raison is the Social Media Coordinator at the New York City Department of Design and Construction. She manages DDC's social media platforms, informing and interacting with audiences about the scope of the agency's work. She previously worked in communications at the United Nations and Rodale Books.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit