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Why should community managers focus on building narratives in their online community programs?
At Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, we have incredible stories. Vlogs (video blogs) are one way we are telling those stories and building our brand. We use our most effective storytellers, our employees, to share our vision. The vlog posts to our community, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Do Plan in Advance
Plan three months of vlog content in advance. By knowing what you are covering in advance, you can begin to ask colleagues for contributions with plenty of time to compile and edit the content.
Do Control the Narrative
If you’re the vlogger, storyboard or script the vlog from start to finish, right down to where you’re going to insert your colleagues’ sections. This way, when you record your part of the vlog, you know what you’re saying and can even film future vlogs in advance. For January 2018’s vlog, I storyboarded the entire vlog in November, assigned sections to my colleagues, and filmed my sections prior to going on leave for the holidays. This was great for two reasons: I got to enjoy my holiday and, more importantly, the vlog was posted on time.
Do Strive for Diversity
The purpose of my vlog is to highlight our Pearson employees, so I include our people in every single vlog. Consider including colleagues who may not normally have a voice, because they work remotely or are on a team you are unfamiliar with. Ensure you’re inclusive of colleagues from all over the world. If they’re comfortable, have your colleague speak in their first language as that helps show how diverse your workplace is.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Started
If you want to vlog and don’t have filming or editing skills, don’t let that deter you. I knew very little about filming and editing, but everything I have learned so far is from using free resources, like YouTube. There are thousands of videos showing you how to produce a video and, as long as you are committed to the project, the rest is easy enough to pick up. It doesn’t have to start off polished, you work towards that, one vlog at a time.
Don’t Be Afraid to Let the Real You Shine
A vlog is a way to showcase the personalities of the people you feature, including yourself. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, even if you get a little silly; include the silly in the bloopers at the end. Be your authentic self and allow the colleagues you have highlighted to be their authentic selves, and nothing but good can come from it.