5 Key Points of Good Community Management

A flourishing community is not built in one day. People tend to join a community that will give them a sense of belonging, keep them informed and add value to their life. That’s exactly how I feel about NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development. Wasserman is a perfect example for addressing community management in terms of it builds an active community both online and offline.

1.    A Clear Subject

What is the community about? What is the core message of your organization? A clear subject serves as the identity of that particular community. It could be a goal like “NYU Wasserman provides students at all stages at their career the help they need.” The opposite situation of a clear subject is “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

2.    Be On Target

A common pitfall in managing social media communities is “the More the Merrier”. Actually, it is critical to differentiate your primary audience and others. For Wasserman, obviously, it focuses on NYU students. So when I asked to join Wasserman Center on LinkedIn, they required and confirmed my NYU e-mail address. This is a way to better allocate resources and achieve efficacy.

3.    Meaningful Engagement

With the first two points settled, it’s time to nurture the community relations via meaningful engagement. Wasserman, as I mentioned earlier, is proactive both online and offline. Aside from Wasserman Weekly emails, students can access Hot Job and special events updates on Wasserman’s Blog, Twitter account and Facebook page. Further, students could schedule a one-on-one career counseling and attend career fair to meet potential employers.

4.    Embrace Diversity

You can image a university like NYU is composed of students from all over the world. That’s why Wasserman organizes workshops specifically for international students, encourages them to give full play of their advantage and creates networking opportunities. They also provide different events for undergraduate students and graduate students, because diversity today has a much broader definition, including different education background. The point is community managers should respect diversity and customize messages accordingly.

5.    Keep Moving Ahead

NYU Wasserman recently launched a widget and mobile site as new channels for students to be informed. A small progress shows a big dedication. The ultimate goal for community managing is to build a mutually beneficial community. In this case, when we stand out in the job market, we bring honor to our school and career center as well.

Mission Possible—Get Along with Social-Media Relations

Do you guys watch 2 Broke Girls on CBS?Oh, I love it. It’s about a girl from Brooklyn, named Max who made ends meet by serving the table at Williamsburg diner where she met her new waitress friend Caroline—A rich girl came from upper-east side. Caroline’s luxury life gone for good when her billionaire father was put in jail for fraud. Anyway, two broke girls decided to start their own cupcake business when Caroline found Max made delicious cupcakes. The problem is that, for a small and new business like theirs, getting publicity seems “Mission Impossible”.

When they were in a food network party, Caroline noticed that one of the guests was an influential food blogger. So she took a shot, introduced herself and their homemade cupcakes to seek her endorsement. Later, the blogger savored their cupcakes and to their great joy, she did write about these yummy cakes for her column. What a vivid reflection of today’s media relations!

Media relations now, I think, can be better referred as “Influential Relations”. Because the emerging social media has empowered say influential blogger to generate buzz just as journalists do in printed media. Gone by the days when media endorsement seems out of the question for unknown products or small business. One major advantage is that the social media relations, or online media relations, offers PR professionals more opportunities to build relationships with media such as Caroline’s blogger pitching. It’s not just working well in TV series. A recent survey shows that 90% of small business use social media. In this case, PR practitioners now have a much longer media list than before, because pretty much everyone can report news today.

Well, social media may not have a gatekeeper as traditional media and fall short of accuracy or limited space, but they’re married to the “immediacy” and “transparency”, which is quite the beat of our society. I can’t say whether social media has made media-relations activities easier or harder, for opportunities coexist with challenges. But I do see the online-networking door is wide open.

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They wanted Martha to taste their cupcake.

“We need to get exposures”, said Caroline. She and Max hired a web master to set up their company website and at the end of the first season, they even reached Martha Stewart.