This past week at PAX East I had several conversations with folks curious about Community Management. A lot of the questions boiled down to not really knowing what the position entails and what type of things you do on a day-to-day basis.
To be clear, I'm no Victoria Tran (check out her website and newsletter for some great CM insights and resources), but I do think maybe I can help shed some light on the types of things that you should know about the role.
Something I found myself saying frequently this weekend was that soft skills are what set the best CMs apart. Because so much of the job revolves around working with people, solving problems on the fly, and customer support. Being able to navigate difficult conversations and communicate with empathy and understanding is massively important.
Other than that, CMs wear a lot of hats and often fill many roles, so flexibility, organization skills, and being able to learn and perform new tasks quickly is helpful. You often have roles similar to that of a project manager, keeping various people and projects on track, acting as the middle-man who makes the lives of multiple different groups easier. In an average week, I collect feedback for our dev team, communicate product updates to our community, create bug reports as needed, collaborate with multiple stakeholders to find resolution for customer support issues, and have to collaborate with different departments for new and ongoing projects. That doesn't even include the social media management, stream production, video and podcast editing, graphic design, and copywriting that I do each week as well.
Those things are not necessarily under the "community management" umbrella for every company, but are additional hats that we sometimes wear.
At the end of the day, if you love helping people, think you can handle the stress and emotional pressure of constantly interacting with the frustration and demands of a fan base, you might consider Community Management. It's rewarding work, and the stories you get to hear from fans and community members of how your company and your work have impacted them can be immensely fulfilling.
I can't tell you what's right for you, but if you're interested in a career in games, this is one great way you could work in an industry that is fast-paced and fun!
If you have specific questions about community management or want me to write more about the topic, let me know and maybe I’ll focus on some future posts about it.