What We Do, What We Believe In, And What We Want

August 7, 2012 Comments Off on What We Do, What We Believe In, And What We Want

We've received about 30 applications for the position of junior community consultant, mostly from people with a social media background. 

It's tough to apply for it. There's no-one else in the world doing it. We rarely talk about it. Aside from The Pillar Summit, we're reluctant to advertise our own services. To clarify a few things, today will be an exception. 

We help organizations develop thriving communities. That usually means one of three things:

1) Getting the community off the ground and running. If an organization wants a community, we take them through a step by step process of getting it going and reaching critical mass of activity. Our approach is based upon proven theory and refined by experience. We provide clear measurements, actions, processes for managing the community and ensuring everything is aligned with best practice (you would be surprised how many organizations make crazy mistakes).

2) Developing an existing community. Some organizations have communities which are struggling, others simply aren't sure what to do next. We diagnose these communities, use proven theory to create a strategy, and work with them in executing it over a 3 – 6 month period. This is intensive, it's data-driven, and usually involves training. The results are good

3) Resolving special issues. Many organizations have specific problems. This might be developing a platform, training a new community manager, converting newcomers into regulars, gaining internal buy-in. We analyze the problem, develop interventions, and improve the conditions.

Our goal is to work with organizations for a short-period and have an impact that continues to pay dividends for years. 

We do corporate training too, but usually under the Pillar Summit banner.

We have some firm beliefs, namely;

1) The process is the key to success. It's not the platform, nor the content, it's the process. Most organizations have no idea how to develop and manage communities. We have a very specific process for working with clients and developing communities in a measurable way. We transfer our knowledge, skills, and resources to our clients. 

2) You must master theory and data. Can you imagine government creating policy by asking a few vocal people passing by? No. Neither should you with a community. Instead you need data. Data tells you where you are now. It explains what is/isn't working. Once you know where you are now, you use proven community theory to identify where the community goes next. Every single line of strategy and action we recommend is based upon data and proven theory. We don't guess or make things up. We get the information we need and then make decisions. 

3) Communities can and should be measured. That includes health, progress, and ROI. We have a clear framework to track progress. It's important. Also, if we increase the return of a community by $1.4m, it's nice to be able to prove it. 

4) The organization has to own it. We don't manage communities on behalf of clients, the client should own this. We don't build platforms neither (though we do have best practice documents and work with clients to develop specs/pick vendors). Ultimately, we don't manage communities for people. Other organizations do, and we wish them well, but it's not something we believe in. 

5) A community isn't social media. Sorry to everyone that applied with a strong social media resume, but we're looking for a community person. 

We're small, tiny even. We hire great minds and train them to be brilliant community consultants. It's tough, intensive, but you quickly become able to diagnose and develop any community.

We're looking for genuine enthusiasm (as evidenced by previous activities), excellent knowledge in collecting and analyzing data (if you've never used a spreadsheet, move on by), great presentation/communication skills, and terrific references. 

The role includes lots of data gathering. Your day might involve dozens of calls gathering qualitative data, producing a thematic analysis, presenting the information, developing  strategies based upon that data etc, consulting with clients and responding to questions, spending time being trained in community theory. 

This is not a community management role. It's not social media. We do very little social media work. It's entirely a very deep level community consultancy position. One of the first in the world. 

If you're interested in joining us, e-mail us

(If you're interested in working with us, e-mail us too!)

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