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The Departmental Lens: Community Management Across Team Lines

B9371330cad1f8da5d346d3ee090a98d?s=47 Kara Sowles
July 14, 2018
36

The Departmental Lens: Community Management Across Team Lines

A Community Manager can fall in nearly any department in a company - from Support to Engineering to Marketing to HR to Business Development and beyond. How does the leader that signs the checks shape the team? I'll reflect on my experiences rolling like a lost marble, from department to department - and finding community's ability to bridge the departmental divide.

B9371330cad1f8da5d346d3ee090a98d?s=128

Kara Sowles

July 14, 2018
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  1. The Departmental Lens Community Management Across Team Lines @feynudibranch

  2. Kara Sowles

  3. 2011 Marketing 75 Year Reports to VP of... Company Size

  4. 2011 Marketing 75 Year Reports to VP of... Company Size

    2012 Technical Operations 100
  5. 2011 Marketing 75 Year Reports to VP of... Company Size

    2012 Technical Operations 100 2013 Business Development 170
  6. 2011 Marketing 75 Year Reports to VP of... Company Size

    2012 Technical Operations 100 2013 Business Development 170 2014 Customer Success 210
  7. 2011 Marketing 75 Year Reports to VP of... Company Size

    2012 Technical Operations 100 2013 Business Development 170 2014 Customer Success 210 2015 Product / Product Marketing 350
  8. 2011 Marketing 75 Year Reports to VP of... Company Size

    2012 Technical Operations 100 2013 Business Development 170 2014 Customer Success 210 2015 Product / Product Marketing 350 2016 SysOps 415
  9. 2011 Marketing 75 Year Reports to VP of... Company Size

    2012 Technical Operations 100 2013 Business Development 170 2014 Customer Success 210 2015 Product / Product Marketing 350 2016 SysOps 415 2017 Products / Engineering 500+
  10. about me

  11. uh...

  12. What the heck is with a team that can be

    ANYWHERE?
  13. We’re talking about Community as a role in context in

    an organization -- rather than a value for ultimate good.
  14. And, since you’re a role in a company, then you’re

    in a specific department --
  15. What your VP is measured on defines your shape. PHOTOTROPISM

  16. What your VP is measured on defines what you measure.

  17. Because whatever metrics, KPIs, OKRs, whatever, that your executive is

    judged on, you better bet the CEO is on the phone with them right now telling them it’s not enough. It’s not enough! And they’re going to have to grind up whatever’s in sight to improve it. Oh look, you happen to be nearby. What do you do again? (added text for posted version)
  18. *spins the wheel of corporate fate* let’s see where the

    community team landed TODAY!
  19. Marketing WIN

  20. Marketing You’re doing social media, even if isn’t supposed to

    be part of your job. You’re ground up into the lead machine. Hey, there’s no time for long-term work during a leads crisis! You're laid off. They needed another Marketo specialist I guess?
  21. Business Development searching…. friends

  22. Business Development You focus on integrations with whatever vendor the

    executives are most fired up about this quarter. The vendor doesn't do their share of the work. Or email you back, really.
  23. Support help me HELP

  24. Support You're evaluated on how many forum posts you answer.

    You live in the forum. The forum is your life now.
  25. Product Marketing LOGO HERE

  26. Product Marketing You’re always being asked to promote things to

    “the community”. I thought that was their wheelhouse?
  27. Professional Services It’s so easy

  28. Professional Services No one remembers to talk to you because

    they are WAY overbooked on engagements. Somehow now you’re booked on customer training engagements too?? It’s cool you love flying on weekends.
  29. Engineering/Products well, technically...

  30. Engineering/Products You're promised "engineer time" for projects, but it never

    seems to materialize. They're so busy shipping things, you get moved to the bottom of every Kanban board Budget? That’s for someone else’s headcount Shouldn’t you be in Marketing or something?
  31. Human Resources BO

  32. Human Resources Your job is internal community but you're constantly

    asked about the external community. The questions are always hiring related, somehow.
  33. None
  34. Sometimes other people don’t know what I do so much,

    that *I’m* not really sure what I do anymore
  35. So what *do* we know?

  36. You skillset doesn’t have to match your department.

  37. The thing that made the biggest difference was how much

    the VP “got” community.
  38. Every department has its advantages

  39. Marketing An ACTUAL BUDGET Swag is ever-flowing, and there’s always

    a specialist nearby to help edit your blog post or promote your latest project
  40. Business Development You’re able to work on crucial integrations Sales

    has your back for once located…. friends
  41. Support Able to build resources that align with the customer

    experience and support lifecycle Forum metrics provide solid ROI for expanding the team thank you $$$
  42. Product Marketing All the benefits of being buddies with both

    the Product and Marketing teams You know what’s shipping before it’s even recorded LOGO HERE
  43. Professional Services You can always get someone to speak, write,

    or give feedback who’s worked with users in the field for years. It’s so easy
  44. Engineering/Products Developer Relations can flourish especially well, collaborating with developers

    internally well, technically...
  45. Human Resources You’re closest to the heart of the machine,

    able to impact systems and processes to encourage employee / community interaction BO
  46. So how do I pick? (added text for posted version)

    Most of us don’t get to choose where our team falls, and honestly, every situation’s different - different products, company needs, stages, sizes, personalities, budget. So let’s leave that to you and your gut and your specific situation, and talk instead about some benefits we can get anytime.
  47. The community function has the ability to bridge divides within

    the company, connecting the advantages of multiple departments.
  48. Marketing Products Community team Education Customer Success Sales Final Event

    Agenda Company Conference Talk Selection Process Input from Business Development
  49. current situation ideal future Best Practices are for what the

    goal looks like, not the path there
  50. current situation a future help Best Practices are for what

    the goal looks like, not the path there
  51. Hire Evangelists on-team Build Evangelism into Product roles Requires Budget

    Requires Alignment Control of employee time Control of employee time Goal Resources Needed Result Op i 1 Op i 2
  52. Expand Your Resources

  53. Think from the perspective of other groups What do you

    have that they need? user access $$$
  54. What is their leadership measured against?

  55. Physically list out other departments and how you interact. Intentionally

    brainstorm crossover with them.
  56. They don’t know what the crap you do anyway.

  57. And neither do I

  58. 2011 Marketing Year Reports to VP of... 2012 Technical Operations

    2013 Business Development 2014 Customer Success 2015 Product / Product Marketing 2016 SysOps 2017 Products / Engineering +
  59. None
  60. Thank you to @clipart1994bot which tweets Corel Gallery 1994 clipart

    every hour. All images are from this. A few have been modified; 1994 Corel clipart had, disappointingly, very little racial diversity.
  61. Thank you also to folks on the Evangelist Collective Slack

    for discussing the topic of this talk. https://evangelistcollective .github.io/ Join us!
  62. HAVE A GREAT COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP SUMMIT! @feynudibranch

  63. Extra Slide Storage Nothing behind this point is part of

    the preso!
  64. Q & A [ fascinating, wise point ]

  65. Q & A [ brilliant repartee ]