After a meagre community organizer became President of United States, you would think every company out there would be looking for a community manager. Fire a CMO, hire a CM.
This blog post is heavily inspired by Micki Krimmel. So thank you Micki, from the community.
In the industrial age, if Monster.com was alive, I would probably see job postings for factory workers and if Craigslist was accessible in the agriculture era, I would probably be seeking another farmer, but this be the knowledge era and this be the knowledge era 2.0, when knowledge is increasingly social while remaining inherently personal, when masses go on the web and become communities, when pushing knowledge has given way to pulling knowledge. Yep it is definitely an interesting age to be alive. Beats being a factory worker in London in the 30s…I tell ya.
So in this new age when pull beats push, listening beats talking and the community already exists, you need someone to understand what is being pulled, why it is being pulled, how it is being pulled and who is pulling it? You also need someone who listens before he talks… and you need someone who is managing (insert your favorite verb here: organize, engage, relate to… etc.) that already existent community. You need a community manager.
Who are community managers? They are “creators, empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers.” They are the ones that give your customers a hug when they need one and your company a conscience when it doesn’t have one. Now if AIG had a community manager… okay bad example.
He is the customer’s lawyer on your company’s board, he is your communication gateway to your customers and if your brand is Jesus than he is your Pat Robertson.
So how do you hire for this really important person? Rather, who do you hire? Hint: your company’s biggest fan will make for a pretty good community manager. Love is contagious….
So when you do hire this biggest fan of yours, make sure he has the autonomy and is able to move around the company and learn from/about every department. And definitely make sure that he has authority. Well at least more authority than the silly PR firm you hired, that you do not need.
And community managers: you are in a unique position because before you exercise that authority you have two questions to ask:
1. Is this good for the company?
2. Is this good for the community?
So anyways get working on that job posting for knowledge era 2.0 – Seeking a community manager.