Note from Hillary: I’m thrilled to share this guest blog post from one of our current community management fellows who is wrapping up her training time as a TheCR Fellow and looking for a new community management role.
On my first day as a TheCR Fellow, the team asked me to take a quiz to determine my Holy Grail character (King Arthur for those interested). This quickly led to nine months of learning, training, and exploring every nook of community management, with some fantastic thought leaders at the helm. For those of you unfamiliar with TheCR Fellowship program, it’s a one-year contract designed to intertwine real-world experience with a training environment. For me, that meant working on dashboards, reading the last four years of The State of Community Management Research, and making connections in TheCR Network where I helped manage the day-to-day workings of the community.
With my year coming to a close, I’m walking away with a profound sense of gratitude for the opportunities I’ve had at TheCR, as well as excitement over what my next role could be. I’d love to continue honing the skills I’ve established in building dashboards, collecting and analyzing community metrics, and training (if you have a position that fits those descriptions, feel free to drop me a line!).
Below are just a handful of some of the most important takeaways I’ve learned from all the teachers I’ve had at The Community Roundtable:
1.) Community (and Community Management) Is Not Linear
Working in community means being agile, flexible, and comfortable with the unknown. Maybe you start building out an engagement program and end up reviewing your governance in the process. Or perhaps you begin exploring a metric and you wind up waist-deep in your analytics dashboard finding new reports you didn’t know existed. By approaching your work with a loose grip, you can be ready to take on rewarding (if unexpected) challenges.
2.) More Data Does Not Equal Better Data
Much of my work with TheCR was focused on wrangling TheCR Network data. As such, “more =/= better” quickly became my golden rule. Putting your community maturity narrative first, and then telling that story with data is a valuable lesson for community newbies and veteran pros alike. Saying that your “likes” have gone up 120% doesn’t speak to the dynamic complexity of your community’s journey – detailing who is liking, why, and in what context gives a better (and more important) picture.
3.) Always Be You
There is something to be said about the virtues of being cookie cutter, but the biggest I took away from my time at TheCR is that the things that make you unique are not only important but vital. I’ve learned to not only be authentic but to craft my authenticity with intention. Chances are if you read an email from me, it had something about video games, robots, or my cat, Walter- which is all thanks to TheCR letting me be me.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from amazing community practitioners and I’m excited to move onto my next career adventure. You can connect with me on Linkedin.