The clock is ticking and we are in the final countdown to the submission deadline for the JiveWorld16 Digital Transformation Awards. I’ve personally submitted to the awards twice in the past, and while I’ve been selected as a finalist, I’ve never won. But despite the slight sting of missing the limelight of the winner’s circle, I wouldn’t hesitate to participate again and again and again. Why? Because regardless of who’s selected as winners and losers, it’s always win/win.

 

Why should you submit?

Aside from the potential accolades you’d receive if you win (and there are plenty), there’s actually a much greater value proposition to participating, in my mind. This is your opportunity to look back and reflect on the social transformation you have personally ushered your business though. Having a documented story not only serves as a submission to this awards contest, it also becomes hard evidence, a case study, to share internally with your leadership team or share externally with peers and communities of practice. This asset will help articulate and prove the value of your community.

 

But sitting down and reflecting back on your life as a community manager can easily get overwhelming with details. So, here are some tips on how to simply pull together a compelling story:

 

Define your challenge statement (Think: Point A to Point B)

Look back at the past year and how you spent your time as a community manager. What initiatives did you focus on, and more importantly, why? Answering the latter question will help you develop your story into a “cause and effect,” “before and after,” or “Point A to Point B” solution. Some examples might include:

    1. We wanted to increase employee satisfaction and productivity
    2. We set out to increase engagement with our prospects and customers
    3. We needed to improve our customer support experience

How did you get from Point A to Point B?

Now that you’ve established your challenge statement, how did you go about solving it? Sure, key Jive product features might have played a large role in this (and be sure to embellish these if you want to catch the eye of the judges). But we all know, as community managers, that they are other keys to success. Things like navigating through political landmines, gaining consensus across key business units, uncovering user mindsets and personas, influencing user behaviors, and driving user engagement all play a critical role in successful communities. The better you can articulate this part, the more strategic experience you can prove.

Results

Results can sometimes be the trickiest part. You’ve busted your hump for the last year so what do you have to show for it? Hopefully you have performance dashboards to look back on and compare quantitative results. But sometimes, the qualitative, anecdotal feedback gives us the most satisfaction. These results are the most important part of documenting your story, because it demonstrates the actual proof of why you love your job, and why your business should continue to invest in your programs in the future.

Some examples of results might include:

    1. Adoption of our new Jive instance was overwhelming with employees. Employee satisfaction results increased YoY.
    2. Our community blog was selected as one of the best industry blogs of the year. And traffic from our community to our gated assets increased xx%.
    3. Today, more than xx% of questions asked on our community have correct answers. And of those answers, more than half were provided by the community!

 

Walking through these three steps will not only make you a shoe in for the Jive Awards, but more importantly, it will provide you with a tangible story to feel proud of. And not to get too mushy, but that’s the bigger WIN in my mind. Share your story with your leadership team, share it with your peers, and share it out in the world for other people to admire and learn from.

 

  Click here for more information about the JiveWorld16 Digital Transformation Awards and instructions on how to submit. You’ll need to include some screenshots of your community too. But be quick about it! The deadline is February 5, 2016.