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How Good Is Your Community Management?

By Ted McEnroe, Director of Research, TheCR

For eight years, the Community Roundtable has dug deeply into the strategies, operations and tactics behind the most successful communities in our annual State of Community Management reports. Each year, we reshape and reimagine the survey, and I can say without hyperbole that this will be the best, most informative State of Community Management ever.*

Why the asterisk? That’s you. We need your help.

You see, our research is only as valuable as you make it by taking part. The more data we get, the more valuable our insights can be. We can split out subgroups. We can explore more specific use cases. And when we do that, we can demonstrate not only the common issues, challenges and best practices of community, we can also dig into communities that are nonprofit/for-profit, small/large, public/private, old/new – just like yours. Then you can use that information to make the case for things like additional funding or staffing, or to help you demonstrate your community’s value.

That’s great for us as researchers, but there are a lot of things robust research can do for you, too. For example:

Research helps you talk to executives

We know communities have been around for centuries, but a lot of executives and others still don’t quite understand them in an organizational context. Our research gives you a defined language for talking about communities, and demonstrates the benefits of dedicated community management. I’d rather walk into the boss’ office with robust stats, key definitions and a state of the industry than with a general feeling that our community needs more investment any day. Oh, and did I mention our research has shown clear correlation between executive support and community engagement?

Research places your community in context

Understanding community is one thing. Understanding YOUR community is another. To help you explain not only the big picture of community management, but also where your community fits into it, we created free Community Maturity Scorecards, our way of giving you a sense of where your community rates within our Community Maturity Model. After completing the 25 minute survey, you get a scorecard that can help you analyze, strategize and plan.

Research busts myths, and demonstrates impact

In just the past three years, we’ve built powerful cases on the need for community managers, the fallacy of the 90-9-1 rule, the power of executive engagement, the importance of organizational culture to communities, and the ROI of communities based on their ability to drive answers to key questions. That’s just for starters. It’s knowledge that opens minds to new possibilities.

You get the idea.

We work with dozens of community professionals to make sure we’re asking the most valuable questions about communities, and we pledge upfront that your community data will never be shared anywhere without your permission.

We’re about halfway into the survey gathering process, and we have potential for a record year for entries. If you can take 25 minutes – we’ll make it worth your time now with coffee, prizes and a report card for your community management. And you’ll help make the final report a valuable, actionable piece of research that improves communities.

Take the survey by March 18 at http://the.cr/socm2017survey – and thanks!

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