Getting Internal Support For Your Community (it begins with the list)

If you don’t have the internal support you want, it’s usually because you don’t have a good process for building that support.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, for concerns to rise, or until you need something.

Start building your list. Few things will have as big an impact on your career as maintaining good, clear, relationships with your list.

Begin with everyone who has an interest in engaging customers in your organization.

Your boss is first on the list, but what about her boss and her boss’ boss? What about your close colleagues? What about the people on the IT team? What about PR and sales?

When you’re done, go back and think again.

Most people exclude about half the names that should be on their list.

Marketing will certainly care if you suddenly start acting human and off-brand within the community. Legal will be worried about members talking about illegal activities or posing as brand representatives. Human resources might care if you ask employees to participate openly in the community. Procurement will care how you select the platform you use.

And that’s just the start. Who else might have a vested interest in the community? Even if they don’t know it yet.

Will the video department be concerned with people sharing videos in the community? Will someone responsible for SEO care about thin content created by the community? etc…

By the end of this, you should have a list of up to 30 names.

Your community’s success (and your career progression) depends upon your ability to maintain strong relationships with this list. You can get engagement metrics as high as you like, but without good relationships here, it’s a waste of time.

Set up meetings with each of them, understand their concerns and priorities, and incorporate these into your community efforts.

Don’t wait, get started now.

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