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January 26, 2011
'Community Managers' Comfortable on the Web
 
Along with content curators, another term coming into timely use in corporate communications currently is "community manager." A community manager, as we've been encountering the term, is a business blogger with status and a wider array of PR/ marketing functions than posting alone. In other words, a superblogger. Lisa Barone writes about "8 Ingredients that Make a Community Manager" on her Outspoken Media blog and we're indebted to Tom Webster on Brandsavant for writing about community managers as trust agents and tipping us to Lisa's post.

We keep marveling about how relational matters are gravitating to the Web. In the case of community managers, Lisa Barone notes that they're "often responsible for a company's early online reputation management efforts." "For better or worse," we imagine, because online representation is still an emerging PR competency. Community managers have to be staffers who are comfortable on the Web. Lots of people, including higher-up executives, are still skittish about it. 

Lisa's eight pointers are that community managers need to be good connectors, have strong communication/social skills, be passionate about their brand, be relatable (someone people want to interact with), be void of ego, have a round-the-clock mentality, have a desire to help along with business savvy.

Boy, with skills like these, it won't be long before community managers are becoming CEOs, or at least PR VPs. And we'll all be better off for that. Read Lisa's post for her fleshed out interpretation of the role.  

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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