A Guide To Community Management

Just a few short months ago, I was an implementer of community and social media products and programs.  The success I had in those roles, and the knowledge I carry with me now, is thanks in part to the Forrester research reports that helped guide me along the way — so I’m especially excited to now be the author of one of those documents.

My first Forrester report is called the Community Management Checklist (Forrester clients can click the link to read it.)  It’s an overview of the process marketers need to follow and the important-but-sometimes-overlooked concepts and ideas to keep in mind as they work towards launching or engaging with their community.  

Through my research, I identified four phases of the process that can be handily summarized by the acronym PALM:

Planning: Laying the groundwork, setting objectives, exploring existing conversations, making necessary early decisions.

Alignment: Building internal consensus and processes.

Launch: Attracting and retaining members.

Maintenance: Cultivating relationships with your members and turning them into loyalists.

In the document, I’ve covered many issues that marketers have told me they’ve struggled with, so I hope you’ll find that it gives you actionable advice to help you during your own planning process. If it sparks other thoughts or questions, let me know in the comments here or on Twitter — a quick comment from you might turn into an important research topic for me.  


Teaching marketers PR

So you're basically teaching marketing people how to be public relations practitioners?


A little bit yes and a little bit no :)

Well, the idea of traditional lines between marketing and PR (and different segments of marketers and different segments of PR) is, of course, a really hot topic right now.

If a marketer works within a company culture that would let her partner really closely with a PR counterpart to keep their community on track, maybe that's the best scenario of all?

We're in violent agreement!

Totally agree with you Melissa. I'm all for a closer working relationship between PR an Marketing.

Online reputation is so important, and it's something both groups are struggling with.