By Ted McEnroe, The Community Roundtable
Community Manager Appreciation Day is here for 2015. As this CMAD kicks into gear, we certainly have a lot of people to appreciate – with members from more than 100 organizations, we could spend a lot of time appreciating. And we will. But appreciation is just one of the ways you can make CMAD resonate both for you and for the profession.
Here are three things you can do right now:
Appreciate the unexpected: CMAD is about appreciation. It’s in the name. But if you limit yourself to a generic thanks to your community manager, you’re not taking full advantage. Don’t just walk over or send an email to your organization’s community managers – think of communities you are involved with elsewhere. Seek out those CMs and thank them, too. There are thousands of community managers out there, some of them one-person shops whose work gets noticed far less often than it should. Thank them, too.
Advance your skills: Rachel Happe is on a quest to change CMAD to Community Manager Advancement Day, and it is a good day to invest a little in yourself. A tip of the hat to the CMAD organizers, who have been working for months to create a 24-hour hangout of value to community managers, as well as coordinating and curating other events. There are dozens of great opportunities today to learn and improve your skills.
We’re big fans of the 3pm CMAD workshop on “The Power of Programs to Drive Engagement in Your Community,” moderated by TheCR Network’s Community Manager, Hillary Boucher, with Network members Kirsten Laaspere (Fidelity), Patrick Hellen (CloudLock) and Melissa Potvin (CA Technologies) along with Holly Goldin from Atlassian – and me.
But whatever fits into your schedule – dig in.
Advance the field of community management: One way to do that is to take part in the research for The State of Community Management 2015, our 6th annual examination of the growth and maturation of community management as a discipline. We want to gather hundreds of responses to our annual survey of community management practices, which helps drive much of our research during the year.
The survey opens today – and your answers will make it a stronger, more valuable piece of research. It will take 20 minutes so considering adding it to your schedule today, or later this week. You can access the survey here.
I warned you that we would have people to appreciate – and really, our list could be much longer. But we want to thank two groups today in particular – the community professionals whose stories we will tell beginning today with the pre-release of The Community Manager Handbook, and the community professionals who took on the task of championing our CMAD activities in six cities.
So with appreciation we recognize: CM Handbook interviewees Bill Johnston, Jerry Green, Maria Ogneva, Lesley Lykins, Lauren Vargas, Mike Pascucci, Christian Rubio, James LaCorte, Ted Hopton, Charissa Carnall, Matt Brown, Tracy Maurer, J.J. Lovett, Jeff Ross and Alex Blanton. You’ll be able to read their case studies and research that goes along with them when the full Handbook is released on February 4.
For a sneak peek, we have released a “teaser” featuring our own Hillary Boucher, discussing content and programs. Take a look and we’d love to have you sign up for the February 4 webinar sponsored by Higher Logic.
We also recognize our local event champions Laura Brook and Lindsay Starke (Atlanta), Luke Sinclair (New York), Ben Martin and Maddie Grant (D.C.), Heather Ausmus (Milwaukee) and Christopher Parsons and Susan Strom (San Francisco). You are making the fun part of CMAD possible, and we appreciate it
And special thanks to three people who actually are both interviewees and local champions, Eileen Foran (Milwaukee) and Patrick Hellen and Kirsten Laaspere (Boston). Kirsten and Patrick get an added star for being in our CMAD webinar, too.
We refer to the interviewees in the Handbook as “community superheroes”. We interviewed 20 of the best, but if we really wanted to capture all the people using their superpowers for good not evil in the community space, we’d add hundreds, if not thousands, of others.
So if you’re reading this on this CMAD. Take a moment to appreciate one other thing. Yourself.