Community management is an evolving discipline.
I like to think of it like teaching - everyone does it, those who succeed tend to do it well and some people do it professionally. Because community management is evolving and because it is both a discipline and a role, there is a lot of confusion about what, exactly, it is and how best to define it. Too often the ‘community manager’ role encompasses a collection of responsibilities ranging from the mundane and administrative to strategic subject matter expertise - too vast for any one individual to tackle often combined with compensation that does not fit.
At The Community Roundtable we are lucky to work with hundreds of senior community professionals who are frustrated by the lack of understanding of the discipline of community management, and the lack of differentiation between roles responsible primarily with moderation or content and those tasked with strategy and community architecture.
The problem is more than an inconvenience. Poor role definition is contributing to a variety of issues we see first hand:
- Burnout as over-tasked individuals try to accommodate a vast set of responsibilities
- Advancement barriers for the best community managers who want to develop their skills
- Experienced individuals leaving the profession because of lack of good opportunities
- Demotivated community professionals who lack internal support and appreciation
We knew that to help advance the profession and demonstrate the range of roles we see, we had to invest in better research about the roles, skills, responsibilities, hiring practices and professional development profiles of community professionals. This resulted, with support from Jive, in our inaugural edition of the Community Manager Salary Survey.
I’m excited to share a new eBook, also done in collaboration with Jive; Defining Community Management Roles. This eBook distills our CMSS research into a practical guide to understand and hire for three community management roles: Community Manager, Community Strategist and Director of Community. In this eBook we give you more context about each role, the relevant high level data related to each role, a profile of someone who exemplifies the role and a baseline job description for each role.
Use this eBook to:
- Assess and re-align your current role
- Identify the skills required to advance
- Write job descriptions
- Understand how roles differ
- Educate sponsors and stakeholders
- Build your skills
I would also be interested in hearing what your biggest challenge is as a community professional - understanding, support, professional development, burn out, opportunities for advancement - or something else?