Inevitably I’m asked at a party, “so what do you do?” And my answer of “community manager” never fails to confuse people. Sometimes they respond, “you mean, you run a senior citizen community?” or “you're like a property manager or something, right?”
People never seem to get what I do.
Calling all unicorns
Part project manager, sometimes party planner, temporary hand-holder and erstwhile cheerleader, community managers have a wide mix of skills and areas of knowledge where they must have expertise. See How to write a Community Manager job description for the dizzying array of talents required. It’s nearly impossible to find this list of skills in one person, so hiring for a community can be very difficult. On top of that, experienced CMs are few and far between. I would argue that community managers are the unicorn of the 21st century. So to all of the other unicorns out there I say: "UNITE!"
Join me on the community management rainbow!
I can say without a doubt that each of us is a rarity in our own company. Very few companies have more than one or two community managers on the entire staff. There's typically no job classification for us and we are often entered as Marketing Specialists or Communications Experts or even IT Managers. But we know the truth because we live and breathe community. Call us what you will... we are COMMUNITY MANAGERS.
It might be slightly dramatic to say that it can be a lonely life (I do love a little drama). At the very least, we must look to each other here in the Jive Community to get our tough questions answered and celebrate our wins because there is most likely no one else at your company that knows the trials and tribulations of 'community' better than you do.
Celebrating you and your communities
An amazing example of community came earlier this week from DIRECTV. Their human resources organization created a video you can see here which is authentic and entertaining while perfectly illustrating the power of community.
CORE, DIRECTVs Jive instance, brought together their community in ways never before possible!
Other fantastic examples of communities were submitted via screen capture.
I'll highlight a few here but won't share them all because I don't want to steal Adam's thunder when he recognizes all of you with your Starbucks rewards!
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas | The Clive community
LANDesk | External Community
RingTo | RingTo support community
And thank you to everyone who submitted screen captures... we love and appreciate you all!
Have you hugged your community manager today?
At the end of the day, managing a community is an exciting yet exhausting undertaking: meeting new people, constantly putting out fires, running around from group to group, fixing problems on the fly, handing out virtual hugs when needed. Community managers are required to be everywhere at once yet are often behind the scenes moving mountains that look like molehills. I know that when I look into the tired eyes of another community manager, I just KNOW what the other person is thinking.
We do this because we love it.
So to all my brothers and sisters in community, Happy "Unicorn" Day!
I would've bought you this fabulous greeting card for CMAD day but they were all out of stock.