Community Managers place the highest relative value on content skills, although all three key roles give writing and communication high marks. Community managers’ content skills are focused on the development and production of community content and programs. At higher levels, those skills are less utilized, while being able to develop narratives and take a higher-level approach to how content fits
the overall story of the community becomes more relevant.
Top training needs underscore the subtle but important difference between how managers, strategists, and directors of community view their work through the lens of content. Managers find communication planning, such as the management of content calendars, their most critical skill set for development. Strategists and directors say they most need training in developing the community narrative, which gives members and those in the organization an understanding of the community’s role and value through data and storytelling. More tactical skills like multimedia storytelling, graphic design, and SEO optimization had appeal across roles. They may be incredibly valuable for some team members but are not needed by everyone in a community team.
CLIMBING THE LADDER
Our research shows that if you can’t communicate, your future in community (and your present) is in serious jeopardy. But moving up from a manager role can take one of two routes. Developing a specialty in a specific skill, such as multimedia or SEO can make you a valuable (and hard to replace) team member and can be a selling point for someone seeking or moving into a strategist or community content expert role. Growing into a director role can mean not just understanding how to tell stories, but how to weave those stories together into a compelling narrative that demonstrates the value of and need to invest in a community program.