Are you an association/nonprofit community manager (or association exec with community management newly thrust upon you?)
Join us for an 8-week online certificate program, providing 8 hours of CAE credit, where you will:
- learn from experienced community managers about the fundamentals of community management strategy.
- develop the skills to nurture (or troubleshoot) any online community
- share your own experiences and get help from colleagues on your own thorny community management issues
- get to know other people doing similar work and build lifelong friendships!
Many associations have launched private or public online communities over past few years. With the launch of a community comes the opportunity to connect members and have conversations that matter – as well as help with member retention and recruitment. However, launching community software is much easier than developing an actual community of participants who are active and engaged. Community management has become a crucial new role for associations, and skilled community managers will help their organizations launch and nurture their communities appropriately, moderate and handle conflict, track the right metrics to measure success against goals, and adapt and evolve their communities in a rapidly changing environment.
We’ll be joined by these super smart people, who will be your discussion leaders every Wednesday for 8 weeks starting February 9: Katie Paffhouse (Institute of Food Technologists), Rachael Bell (New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants), Kristi Donovan, CAE, Association of University Programs in Health Administration, Maggie McGary, (until very recently at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association), Alan Dicker (Specialty Equipment Market Association), Candis Sistrunk Robinson (Emergent Freelancing, and recently at APIC), Heather McNair (Higher Logic), Martha Jack (eConverse Social Media Consulting), Brett Wangmann (The Center for Association Growth) — along with the occasional outside expert in the field related to the specific topic (such as legal issues).
Here’s the program outline:
- WEEK 1: Planning for your community. How do you set the strategy and purpose of the community? How do you decide how open or closed it should be? How do you transition into your new community from listserves? How do you decide if members can start their own groups? Will you have a member-only community or an open forum? What about community rules and moderation policies? How do you set expectations internally for member engagement – Who will most likely be engaged? Who should be engaged? How will you measure success?
- WEEK 2: Launching your new community. How do you find beta testers for a soft launch? How do you leverage volunteers to encourage engagement? How important are game mechanics? What’s the role of staff in the launch, and how do you set an organizational philosophy–and roles and responsibilities–for monitoring and responding in the community? What kinds of training should you be doing as part of the launch?
- WEEK 3: Reporting engagement activity. Your community is up and running – now what? How do you benchmark activity? What monitoring dashboards work the best? What is meaningful engagement versus general chatter? How do you report activity to upper management? What is the difference between what you report to the Board versus other staff?
- WEEK 4: Content strategy for your community. How to use other organizational channels (publications, study groups, research projects, events, etc.) to increase engagement in your community? How do you know what content your members will find most relevant? Is curation necessary? How to write a content development plan.
- WEEK 5: Handling risk inside your community. Worst case scenarios – how to handle inappropriate or potentially inappropriate behavior. What are the legal implications of what goes on in your community: copyright infringement, antitrust violations, libel, etc.? How to protect your organization from a lawsuit? We’ll talk to some legal and risk management experts and get their take.
- WEEK 6: How your community fits in the digital ecosystem. How to integrate other social media outlets – i.e, how do you use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter to support your community? How do they all work together? How do you manage content across multiple sites – and how do you differentiate the special sauce inside your community?
- WEEK 7: What does success look like? What is meaningful data? How do you quantify (or qualify) success? (we’ll revisit what we said in week 1 and see what’s changed!) How do we use the information members share in the community for business intelligence (i.e. hot topics, leading indicators of trends or possibly problems/threats with your association, etc.)?
- WEEK 8: Taking your community to the next level. We’ll explore the concept of community as a business model. How might you integrate community use across the organization? Could a successful community encourage culture change? How do we support that, as community managers?
Dates, Fees, and Registration:
This program provides
15 8 hours of CAE Credit.
Fees: $595 introductory rate. [Scholarships may be available. Are you an association vendor looking for a sponsorship opportunity? Email firstname.lastname@example.org]
Dates: Wednesdays at noon starting February 6 (February 6, 13, 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27)